Schools and universities need to instill a culture that encourages pupils, future employers and employees, to ask for intergenerational learning. Whether it is through a skilled facilitator at an off-site, or training on asking good questions, or setting up organisation-wide competition on unearthing stories from another generation, a system of initiatives should be set in place to make learning inter-generationally a habit.
And, by definition, intergenerational learning should go both ways. The younger (or newer) generation teaching the older (longer-term) generation happened at San Pablo CEU, one of the world’s largest private educational organisations. The I Encounter of Young Entrepreneurs “Junior CEU Emprende” took place in the Higher Polytechnic School of the CEU San Pablo University in 2017. During the meeting, one hundred thirty-five students from six CEU schools from different regions of Spain defended their entrepreneurship projects before a jury made up of professionals from the sector.
ICON Group supported and participated at this I Junior CEU Emprende event, being part of the jury and interacting with the newer generation, most surprisingly, the older learning considerably more from the younger.
In these intergenerational exchanges, storytelling must be a key element. We recommend setting aside time for this to happen, assigning someone to facilitate the intergenerational storytelling, so that participants are not asking. The goal of intergenerational storytelling in an organisation is always to learn. A facilitator can help capture the stories and drive home the lessons those stories illustrate. And then those stories can be preserved for those who might never meet the generation that shared them.