Gen2Gen is Encore.org’s campaign to mobilize 1 million adults 50+ to stand up for — and with — young people today.
By bringing the generations together, we’re working to realize the potential of longer lives, the potential of every child, and the power of older and younger generations working side by side for change.
MAKING THE CASE
Read the latest research and thinking behind Generation to Generation.
Tens of thousands of people have joined the Gen2Gen campaign to stand up for – and with – young people today. Check out this infographic for a look at the progress we’ve made together.
The Gen2Gen campaign is co-chaired by Encore.org President and CEO Marc Freedman and Encore.org Vice President and campaign director Eunice Lin Nichols.
Check out our board of advisors, funders, and staff here.
Gen2Gen activists across the country lead the campaign. You’ll find them — and can join them! — on our Facebook Champions group.
What is Gen2Gen?
In 2016, Encore.org launched the Gen2Gen campaign to engage many more older adults in the lives of young people. We built partnerships with more than 250 organizations, developed best practices for engaging older adults in nonprofit work, provided mini-grants to activists working in real life, and shared inspiration and ideas with tens of thousands of people via email and social media. (See impact here.)
We’ve seen that intergenerational connection can solve critical problems, bridge divides, bring joy to the second half of life, and help all ages thrive. Today, instead of operating as a separate program of Encore.org, the Gen2Gen campaign’s goals, values and ethos have become the heart of all of our work.
What does Gen2Gen do?
We work to change the culture by elevating new ideas and diverse voices on the power of connection and collaboration across generational divides. We accelerate innovation by offering a variety of fellowships that empower people bringing generations together to solve society’s greatest problems, increase capacity in the social sector, and create new models for the multigenerational workforce. And we leverage leaders, organizations and networks to build a movement making intergenerational connection and collaboration the norm.
Why are you focused on bridging generational divides now?
For the first time in U.S. history, people over 60 outnumber people under 18, raising fears of widening generational divides. We see another path — a more-old-than-young society that works for all generations.
What does it mean to live Gen2Gen?
You’re living Gen2Gen if…
- You’re aware of age segregation in our society and make efforts to avoid reinforcing ageist stereotypes.
- You seek out opportunities to connect meaningfully with people of different generations and value the perspective that people of different ages bring.
- You believe that strength comes from diversity and acknowledge the benefits of multigenerational teams, communities and households.
Want to see if you’re living in an age bubble? Take the quiz.
What is the Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship?
On June 1, 2020, we launched the Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship to call on the nation’s most talented innovators and entrepreneurs to marshall their best ideas to create and scale intergenerational solutions.
We selected 15 fellows of all ages and from all backgrounds, sectors and walks of life. They are 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.
Our Early Childhood Innovation Fellowship in 2019 supported innovators tapping the talents of adults, age 50 and older, to improve the care and education of children, age 0 to 5.
How can I get involved?
Sign up to get the latest news from Encore.org — including notifications about events, fellowships and other opportunities. Check out these 10 organizations connecting generations virtually during the pandemic and 6 ways to advocate for racial justice from home.
Explore our list of virtual events that relate to intergenerational connection.
Can my organization join the Gen2Gen campaign?
Yes. If your work is focused on bringing generations together for mutual benefit, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here.
If you’re working to turn longer lives into a force for good, you may want to join the Encore Network — a coalition of leaders and organizations connecting members to learn, grow and positively impact their communities.
Are there local Gen2Gen campaigns?
Yes! Seven so far, to be exact. Gen2Gen champions in Boston, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle and Tampa Bay are working hard to create more intergenerational connections in their communities.
Each effort is led by local leaders, public agencies and/or nonprofit organizations. The seven communities engage in regular calls with one another to share challenges, breakthroughs and learnings and to generate best practices and models that can be adopted by others, extending the Gen2Gen vision across the nation. Learn more here.
Do you have tools to help organizations recruit more volunteers over 50?
Yes. We created the Learning Hub for exactly that reason, to provide individuals working within organizations with the tools and resources they need to develop or refine their strategy for recruiting and retaining staff and volunteers over 50. Learn more here.
Do you provide funding to support people working on innovative ideas that connect generations and solve social problems?
Yes. The Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship provides a variety of support, including funding, to talented innovators and entrepreneurs marshaling their best ideas to create and scale intergenerational solutions.
In the past, The Early Childhood Innovation Fellowship, The Encore Prize and The Purpose Prize are all Encore.org programs that have given funding to innovators working in our space, supporting them in scaling growth and increasing impact.
Does Gen2Gen have a policy agenda?
We work to influence and promote solutions that help young people thrive and connect generations to create a better future for all.
We support ongoing work in many cities across the country to create intergenerational programming. Check out our report, Gen2Gen Cities: A guide to intergenerational strategies for public sector innovators seeking solutions to community challenges, for examples and lessons learned.
We support — and encourage others to support — federal funding for national service programs that engage older volunteers, bridge divides and help communities thrive. AARP Experience Corps, for example, involves many older, part-time AmeriCorps members working to help children in more than 20 cities learn to read by third grade.
And we’re working with California Volunteers — along with California’s Department of Aging and the Early Childhood division of California Health and Human Services — to pilot a statewide intergenerational service corps. Our goal: to help create a world where older people are a staple in every preschool, helping not only to provide extra sets of hands but also to develop social and emotional skills in young children. Where individuals in the second half of life not only come to libraries to take out books and read newspapers, but where they are the backbone of afterschool programs for neighborhood children, especially those growing up against the odds. Where these elders reap the benefits of purpose and connection, the two most critical ingredients—researchers tell us—for sustained physical and mental well-being. And where all these activities together contribute to interdependence across the ages and a stronger social fabric for all.
How is Gen2Gen funded?
The campaign is funded by a series of foundations, including the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, The Eisner Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, and the Schultz Family Foundation. Individuals can contribute to Encore.org here.
Got another question?
Write to us at [email protected].