THE BAJA POST
SOURCE: PRN MEDIA
Modern Elder Academy (MEA)—the world’s first midlife wisdom school—and the founders of Death Over Dinner—the program that has gathered over one million participants—announce the launch of Generations Over Dinner, a program intended to inspire meaningful conversations across generations by modeling and creating an experience that connects and values all perspectives across the age continuum.
Generations Over Dinner is a decentralized model which encourages thousands of hosts to gather their friends, family, and even strangers at both physical dinner parties and virtual gatherings to discuss key topics through the unique lens of each generation. In addition to Modern Elder Academy (MEA), Generations Over Dinner is launching with a growing list of partners including the Association for Growth and Education (AGE), Stanford Center on Longevity, Esalen Institute, Encore.org, Old Dominion University, University of Denver, Soho House, and more.
“The power of cross-generational connection and collaboration could genuinely improve the world, and we’re thrilled to help create a platform that encourages shared wisdom,” says Chip Conley, Co-Founder and CEO of Modern Elder Academy (MEA). “Cultural tropes about aging have created acute age-segregation: the perception that school is just for young people, work is just for the middle-aged, and retirement communities are exclusively for older people. Similar to the intergenerational wisdom we encourage and cultivate at Modern Elder Academy (MEA), we hope that Generations Over Dinner helps to drive meaningful conversations that shift perspectives on aging.”
During its first month, Generations Over Dinner kicks off “The Generation Challenge,” a goal to bring 10,000 people of all ages together for dinners across the world. The invitation and provocation: How many generations can you bring to the table? Can you find six, five, four, or even the significant touchstone of bringing three generations together? This is an invitation for families to gather, but intended to bridge far beyond blood relations. Every host will pick a topic for discussion, with a choice between three universally appealing topics: Love and Relationships, Purpose, and The Future. Hosts are encouraged to plan dinners through the BETA website http://www.generationsoverdinner.com.
“We saw such immense success with Death Over Dinner and Drugs Over Dinner that we knew it couldn’t stop there,” says Michael Hebb, Creator of Death Over Dinner, Drugs Over Dinner, and Generations Over Dinner. “The model demonstrated the importance of bringing curious minds together to engage in important conversations. With Generations Over Dinner and The Generations Challenge, we’re excited to see what wisdom an 80-year-old can share with an 18-year-old, and just as importantly, what new curiosities an 18-year-old can inspire within an 80-year-old.”
Joining the project is Dr. Thomas Socha of Old Dominion University’s Graduate Program in Lifespan and Digital Communication, who will be administering a longitudinal study focused on the impact of these dinners. “The preliminary data collected about Generations Over Dinner suggests that these conversations are not only fun, they may be good for us,” said Dr. Socha. “Participating in these conversations may help us improve the quality and effectiveness of our nation’s intergenerational communication and better understand the many meanings and purposes of our generational lives. Most importantly, it can help us increase our appreciation of the many and vital contributions all generations make in our everyday lives.”
Generations Over Dinner is a non-profit and free initiative. The initiative is fortunate to launch with an extraordinary list of community partners and advisors from companies, programs, and institutions around the globe. Generations Over Dinner will also launch several pilot enterprise programs with leading companies to encourage cross-generational conversations and mutual understanding in a professional setting. If you are interested in participating in the Generations Challenge or hosting a dinner, please visit http://www.generationsoverdinner.com. This initial phase of the project is considered a BETA launch, with a full project launch coming soon.