Seeking practical visionaries of all ages with new ideas for bridging generational divides
Connections between generations were strained before Covid-19. Since then, physical distancing has created more division, disconnection, ageism and loneliness — all while reminding us how much we need one another.
By separating us, the pandemic has created a deeper appreciation for our essential interdependence and for the creativity that will be needed to bring young and old together again when it’s over.
To boost and support that creativity — and to respond to our urgent need for connection — we announce today the launch of the Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship. In service of a better future for all generations, we call on the nation’s most talented innovators and entrepreneurs to marshall their best ideas to create and scale intergenerational solutions.
We will select an initial group of 12 fellows of all ages and from all backgrounds, sectors and walks of life. They will be animated by a wide range of topics — from literacy to loneliness, housing to health care, education to the environment.
But ultimately, these practical visionaries will all be working to solve the same challenge: creating a post-Covid world that puts generational connection and collaboration front and center in ways that benefit all ages, solve critical social problems and mend our fraying social fabric.
Applications for the fellowship will open on June 1, with a Fellowship start date of Fall 2020. Sign up here to receive the latest information about applying.
Here are some key details.
Ideal Fellow candidates will be:
- Solutions-oriented innovators and creatives working at the intersection of longer lives, intergenerational connection and social justice.
- Practical visionaries eager to measurably advance their impact and invest in making intergenerational connection and collaboration the norm.
- Scrappy entrepreneurs at an early inflection point beyond concept but before wide-scale implementation, poised to take a compelling and scalable pilot to the next level OR entrepreneurial leaders making fundamental shifts with far-reaching impact to embed new intergenerational practices in established programs.
- Collaborative and humble learners committed to forming a supportive community with like-minded peers who live and lead Gen2Gen.
- True believers in the assets and value of old and young as contributors to society.
Fellows will receive:
- A powerful, cohort experience through a series of four virtual and in-person sessions over nine months.
- An opportunity to be showcased at Gen2Gen Live, the soon-to-be-launched annual convening of the most talented changemakers and thought leaders working in the intergenerational arena.
- Expert coaching and peer assistance on topics like innovation, intergenerational program design, compelling storytelling, thought leadership, developing a public voice, and leadership development.
- Exposure to important networks. We’ll connect fellows with key partners in our network, pitch their story to local and/or national media, showcase their work with potential funders and experts in the field, and highlight their work through our social media channels and newsletters.
- $10,000 awarded to each fellow to advance their Gen2Gen work.
We believe that Gen2Gen Innovation Fellows will be extraordinary catalysts for community renewal and linchpins for reweaving the social fabric. Together, they will lead thousands of people to connect and collaborate across age divides, harnessing the power and potential of generational connection to solve the greatest challenges of our day.
Thanks to the John Templeton Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Eisner Foundation, and Smith Charitable Trust for their generous support of this Fellowship.
Published April 8, 2020