An Intergenerational Dialogue brings together five generations and reflects as much diversity as contained in the community or organization where the Dialogue is taking place. Participants should include at least 10 people from each of the generations, with no restriction on the maximum number of participants. The Dialogue uses an issue of importance to the group hosting the event as its focus. It respects and values each generation's participation and perspectives on the chosen topic. Through the Process, all generations together make recommendations for future action.
The Intergenerational Dialogue approach is based on two simple, but very powerful, concepts:
1. Each generation has a unique and valuable perspective—exclusive of race, culture, ethnicity or gender—that must be included in discussing any issue or opportunity.
2. All generations need to be involved in solving community problems or creating community opportunities.
The Five Elements of Every Dialogue Event
1. Circle of Generations (gathering of all attending into a mass circle based on age)
2. The Scenario (an open-ended, real-life story, of interest to five generations, describing an issue of concern to whoever is sponsoring the Dialogue event)
3. The Generational Panels (volunteer representatives from the audience from each of the five generations attending the event)
4. Intergenerational Working Groups (small groups--formed through a numbering process during the Circle of Generations--of all the Dialogue participants, consisting of an even distribution of all the generations represented)
5. Group Recommendations (prepared by the small groups, the Dialogue is concluded by intergenerationally created recommendations for actions that the community or organization can take to resolve the problem or issue presented as the topic of the Dialogue event)
You will find a complete guide for organizing your own Intergenerational Dialogue in our books Together for Tomorrow (written for organizations and businesses) and All Are Welcome (written for communities of faith). See our Shop page for information on how to order these resources.