These 15 innovators, ranging in age from 19 to 75, are bringing generations together to fight social isolation, even the playing field for youth, create stronger cities and more affordable housing, strengthen the multigenerational workforce, and so much more.

Somehow in the midst of this god-awful global pandemic and long overdue racial reckoning, surrounded by apocalyptic fire, floods and an increasingly divided country, I find myself feeling something I haven’t felt in a long time: Hope.

Why? Because innovation is often born out of crisis. And this particular crisis is inspiring and accelerating the work of leaders and innovators who recognize that we are better together. That we can do better together, solve problems together, create a better world together.

I’m pleased and excited today to announce the first 15 Gen2Gen Innovation Fellows, a group of the nation’s most talented innovators and entrepreneurs marshaling their best ideas to create and scale intergenerational solutions.

Over the next nine months, the fellows will meet (virtually) with one another and with experts and coaches who will help them advance their work, increase their impact, and tell their stories to you and the rest of the world.

Stay tuned to learn more about their work in the days ahead. I think you’ll feel hopeful, too.

And now, the 2020 Gen2Gen Innovation Fellows:

Aditi Merchant, Co-founder, Big & Mini
Reducing isolation through unexpected intergenerational friendships

Alex Owens, Founder, Be Loud Studios
Helping youth and elders tell their collective story through radio and digital media

Arielle Ayala, Associate Director of Stockton Service Corps, Reinvent Stockton Foundation
Anchoring national service in intergenerational collaboration

Brittany T. Paschall, Founder & Board Chair, We Remember Nashville
Bringing generational healing and compassionate action to Nashville

Charlotte Japp, Founder, CIRKEL
Connecting older and younger professionals for two-way mentorship and networking

Dana Griffin, Co-Founder & CEO, Eldera
Harnessing technology to build a virtual global village for elders and youth

Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, Founder & Director, Opening Minds through Art, Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University
Creating a dementia-friendly app that fosters intergenerational friendship through collaborative art

Gee Kin Chou, Co-founder, The Boombox Collaboratory
Enabling older adults who have connections to make introductions for kids who don’t

Jim Isenberg, Co-founder, Grandpas United
Mobilizing grandpas to be role models for boys, changing the narrative about older men in the process

Lennon Flowers, Co-Founder & Executive Director, The Dinner Party
Piloting a new intergenerational approach to grief and loss

Noelle Marcus, CEO & Founder, Nesterly
Tackling urban housing affordability and aging in place through intergenerational homesharing

Rowena Richie, Artist & Teacher, For You and Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, Atlantic Institute
Launching a creative movement of art making as gift giving between artists and elders

Sarah LaFave, Board President & Founder, Lori’s Hands
Transforming the learning experience of next-generation health care leaders and the lives of their chronically ill patients

Sherreta R. Harrison, Sustainability Catalyst, MetroMorphosis
Sustaining the social sector through intergenerational co-leadership models

Sue Phillips, Co-Founder, Sacred Design Lab
Helping high-impact organizations bring spiritual wellness and intergenerational joy to their work

Encore.org will open nominations for a second group of 15 Gen2Gen Innovation Fellows in 2021. Make sure you get the word by signing up for our email today.

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