From Connections to Community: Data-informed lessons for an intergenerational gathering

April 2019 | interstitio & SAGE report written by by Eric Gladstone, Pony Knowles, and David C. Thompson

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“For many of us, the messages we hear around aging render it, at best, largely a mystery, or at worst, something to be feared or driven back for as long as possible. The things that keep us silent about the joys and the challenges of getting older mean that, in a variety of areas of modern life, our current selves are often poor stewards for our future selves. We continue to age into poorly planned futures, assiduously avoiding the simple question: “Who is going to be taking care of us when we’re old?””

How would you create an event, at a national scale, to foster connections across generations? What steps would you take, what questions would you ask, and how would you know you’d been successful? What follows is a data-informed summary of an audacious pilot program to convene intergenerational groups in the service of fostering connection and build community within different age groups of the LGBT (and allies) family.