Intergenerational Guidelines

Women's World 2011 is committed to creating an intergenerational space where young women can participate meaningfully and equally at the conference. As part of that priority, the Young Women's Leadership Team (YWLT) was created in 2010 to encourage the participation of young women in the event and advise the congress on how to make the perspectives, wisdom, and leadership of young women a meaningful part of the organizing and program.

For these reasons, the YWLT wants to share with all participants of WW 2011 the following Intergenerational Guidelines (abridged). Created by the Girls Action Foundation, these guidelines are intended to inspire and create more inclusive environments at WW 2011.

A complete set of the guidelines can be downloaded below.

If you have any questions or want to know more about these guidelines or other YWLT initiatives, visit our page and/or connect with us by email at youth@womensworlds.ca.

We look forward to seeing you in July in the traditional First Nations territory of the Algonquin nation.

- The Young Women's Leadership Team


Why create Intergenerational Spaces?


All generations have something amazing and important to bring to the table. When creating moments and spaces for intergenerational exchange and learning, we are building communities that are better positioned to work towards transformative change. We are growing communities and societies that work towards justice and equity for all, and for those to come.  Intergenerational spaces are important for many reasons. They offer:

RICH EXPERIENCES
Recognize that the large diversity of people in our networks is an important asset to the work that we do; their variety of life experiences enriches learning spaces.

INCLUSIVITY
In order to create inclusive and anti-oppressive spaces and programs, age is just one of many factors that need to be taken into account. Intergenerational spaces can help break stereotypes and prejudices related to age.

COMMUNITY
Intergenerational spaces create opportunities to truly build community based on everyone's contribution and complementary skills and talents. Creating community is  especially important in an era that places so much emphasis on the individual.

REACH
Intergenerational spaces can build bridges that result in larger movements for social change. Imagine what is possible if all generations are engaged in an issue!

SUSTAINABILITY
We all want our efforts for social justice to be strong now and in the future. Intergenerational connections increase the sustainability of social movements.

CONTINUITY
The past, present, and future of our movements are connected. Intergenerational spaces help us reflect on the past, look at the present, and plan for the future. Memories, experiences of what has worked well and what has not worked, stories, current and changing needs, new opportunities, emerging trends - every generation has something to learn and offer to the next.

Key Approaches to Creating Intergenerational Spaces

  • Base the program in the experiences, realities, and needs of those we work with in order to make it relevant and interesting.
  • Include the experiences, realities, and needs of participants of all ages.
  • Acknowledge that regardless of age, each of us is an expert in our own life and of our own experience.
  • Share experiences and skills in a non-hierarchical fashion. Learning is not a top down process - everyone has valuable knowledge to contribute.
  • Value different roles across generations: there is a diversity of strengths within each generation and often age is not an accurate indicator of experience.
  • Recognize that youth do not have to already know it all and that older generations can still learn new things.
  • Appreciate that intergenerational spaces have been used across cultures and communities for centuries and we can be inspired by these successes.
  • Build the program on issues that are relevant to the participants and "engage" all generations. Rather than trying to include youth or elders into our work, our work is organized around the needs and experiences of all generations.
  • Create a participatory process where women of multiple generations have input at many stages of the process.
  • Recognize that there is no such thing as a young or old issue; issues should be approached holistically. There are many links, it is up to you and your group to find them!
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