Module 8 - Intergenerational Collaboration

1. Introduction

Brief description of the unit: In this unit, you will learn how to identify and describe the concept of intergenerational collaboration for environmental change; define the benefits of intergenerational collaboration into community; increase understanding about ageism discrimination and inclusion practices in environmental activism.

Competence statement:

Develop inclusive strategies to fully participate in political, social, economic and cultural life and be responsible citizens. Develop sustainable links in the community to the benefit of the community and society. Be able to opt and balance among different local activities that can enhance intergenerational practices.

Learning outcomes:

  • Show commitment for respect toward different generations and approaches.
  • Learn about the current situation about youth movements and sustainability activism.


Keywords: Intergenerational Collaboration; Young People; Discrimination; Stereotypes; Ageism; Age Gap.

Expected time: 6 hours.

2. Intergenerational Collaboration

Intergenerational collaboration refers to the collaborative efforts and exchanges among individuals from different ages or generations.

This kind of collaboration can take place in a variety of contexts, such as families, businesses, communities, or organisations, and it usually entails people of different generations cooperating to overcome shared obstacles or accomplish shared objectives.

Elements of intergenerational Collaboration:

  • Share your wisdom, acquire new skills. Knowledge, expertise, and experience sharing between different ages (young people can contribute their technology skills, while older individuals may share their expertise).
  • Be a mentor, learn forever. While seniors may gain from the energy of their younger counterparts, younger people may look to older generations for leadership, mentoring, and opportunities for learning.
  • Solve life’s puzzles together. Tackle difficult problems by using a variety of experiences and points of view to come up with creative solutions.
  • Bridge generation gaps. Collaboration between generations can foster understanding among people, which can improve relationships and have an impact on teamwork (by exchanging experience, knowledge and ideas).
  • Share stories, embrace cultures. Encourage the sharing of social and cultural norms, customs, and viewpoints to build a more inclusive and diverse community.
  • Shape policy for our future. Stand with generations young and old. Your voice counts in decisions on health, education and the environment. Together we will shape policies that reflect a shared and diverse perspective.


Benefits of Intergenerational Collaboration:

  • Knowledge Transfer. Tap into a reservoir of wisdom rooted in the experiences of previous generations. Your active engagement in the community allows you to seamlessly pass on valuable skills, knowledge and practical insights to the younger generation, preserving cultural practices, historical perspectives and everyday wisdom.
  • Mentorship & Personal Growth. Use your extensive experience to serve as a mentor and encourage the personal and professional growth of younger people. Your guidance will teach them important life skills, boost their confidence and help them make informed decisions.
  • Minimise Stereotyping & Ageism. Intergenerational collaboration helps to break down stereotypes and prejudices and promote empathy, awareness and mutual respect for people of all ages. Your direct involvement helps to create an environment where each individual is valued for their unique contributions.
  • Improved Social relations. Strengthen social bonds by working together across generations, reducing social isolation of older adults and promoting acceptance of the younger generation. Your participation contributes directly to improving social relationships.
  • Community Cohesion. Work with combined forces on community initiatives, projects and shared goals to give people of all ages a sense of unity, co-operation and common purpose. Their active participation fosters a strong bond with the community.
  • Innovation & Creativity. Combine your wealth of experience with the fresh perspectives and creative thinking of younger people to find innovative solutions to community challenges. Your contribution adds to the dynamic creativity of community endeavours.
  • Economic Support. Let the younger generation help you in areas such as technology, transport and budgeting. In turn, share your insights on retirement planning and budgeting, fostering a mutual exchange of support and knowledge.
  • Improved Quality of Life. Intergenerational collaboration leads to better resources and services in the community, including social events, recreational opportunities and healthcare facilities. Their involvement contributes significantly to an improved quality of life.
  • Resilience. Communities that foster intergenerational collaboration demonstrate greater resilience during difficult times and emergencies. Intergenerational collaboration strengthens preparedness and response to various challenges.
  • Cultural Preservation. Play an important role in preserving and passing on historical accounts, cultural practices and languages to ensure that the community’s heritage remains alive and relevant. Your involvement ensures cultural continuity.
  • Responding to Local Problems. Pool your resources and experience with community members of all ages to find practical solutions to local problems in infrastructure, healthcare or education. Your collective efforts will have a tangible impact on overcoming local challenges.
  • Learning & Education. Engage in educational initiatives that pair older adults with younger mentors to foster intergenerational collaboration. This collaborative approach improves learning outcomes and strengthens the educational experience for all involved.
  • Community Projects. Contribute to the planning and implementation of community projects, such as beautification, social initiatives and environmental preservation. Your active participation ensures that these projects benefit the entire community and leave a lasting impression.

Practical material

Activity 1: Intergenerational Environmental Workshop


Activities for reflection

Activity of evaluation: “4 Guard rants of intergenerational collaboration”

3. Inclusive strategies for participation

Ageism is the unfair treatment or discrimination of people because of their age and it is important to recognise and address this issue. As an older adult, you may face various forms of ageism – from assumptions about abilities to stereotypes about interests. It is important to challenge these stereotypes and advocate for equal respect and equal opportunities. Ageism can affect how other people view your abilities, but remember that your experience and wisdom is a valuable asset. Embracing and celebrating the diversity of age groups contributes to a more inclusive and respectful society.

Here you can find some inclusive strategies for environmental participation:

  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge. Actively participate in environmental workshops to share your wealth of wisdom and knowledge about sustainable practices. Engage in conversations with younger people to promote the mutual exchange of insights.
  • Encourage intergenerational environmental workshops. Encourage and participate in intergenerational environmental workshops. By actively engaging with people of all ages, you will help to overcome age-based stereotypes and encourage cooperation in tackling environmental issues.
  • Serve as environmental mentors. Volunteer to mentor environmental initiatives and showcase your experience and commitment to sustainable practices. Mentor younger people and emphasise the value of your practical insights in creating positive environmental change.
  • Get involved in local environmental projects. Actively contribute to community projects that revolve around environmental preservation. Your hands-on involvement shows that you care about the wellbeing of the community and challenges stereotypes about age-related limitations.
  • Advocate for inclusion in green campaigns. Raise your voice for inclusivity in environmental campaigns. Ensure that these initiatives take into account the needs and perspectives of people of all ages, including older adults, promoting a more diverse and effective approach to environmental issues.
  • Share your sustainable practices. Share your knowledge of sustainable practices in your community. Demonstrate how older adults actively contribute to eco-friendly habits to dispel stereotypes and promote positive change.
  • Think about the environment. Participate in reflective activities related to environmental co-operation. Share your insights on the importance of intergenerational collaboration in addressing environmental challenges, emphasising the value of diverse perspectives.
  • Join local environmental groups. Participate in local environmental groups or organisations and bring your unique perspective and experience to the table. Your active involvement emphasises the idea that age should not be a barrier to being an active advocate for the environment.

Practical material

Activity 2: “Fighting stereotypes in ageism”

Activities for reflection

How do the stereotypes that you listed make you feel?

Do you agree with the stereotypes that society has for older and younger people?

4. Unit in a nutshell

5. Quizzes

6. Further reading

  • Applewhite, A. (2019). This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. Celadon Books.


  • Poo, A., & Conrad, A. (2009). The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. New Press.


  • World Health Organization. (n.d.). Ageing. WHO does this work in line with the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health 2016–2020 and the related UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030).


7. References




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