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Generations Talking Together: stimulating a new discussion on work and technology

28 January 2013

Last week we hosted the first two sessions from a new series called Generations Talking Together, examining intergenerational tension with a diverse panel including academics, senior corporate influencers, charities and influential individuals. The initial session examined housing issues with Rosie Bennett, some points from the discussion were written about in this Bricks & Mortor column on Friday. The second event was chaired by health editor Martin Barrow and examined questions including whose responsibility is health and what solutions can be found for prevention, cure and better health for all.

There have been common themes such as a sense of history being lost and the value of bringing different generations together. There have also been some unresolved questions over whether costs will continue to escalate in the same way and if so, what is the best way to tackle that cost? Brilliant examples have been shared around the table, but questions remain about whether it is possible, and even desirable to scale up these solutions from small local projects to nationwide programmes.

This week we move on to tackling one of the biggest questions on the current agenda: work and employment. On Wednesday Anne Ashworth, Assistant Editor of Personal Finance and Property will be chairing a session that will ask should older people retire to give a new generation opportunities? Are expectations of work fundamentally changing? Is there a bias against older and younger workers? Should we be creating more flexible job opportunities for those with increasing care roles? And ultimately how can we work better together?

The final session in this series will discuss the issues around technology and intergenerational tension. Murad Ahmed, Technology correspondent for The Times will be encouraging the panel to think about whether technology causes or can tackle loneliness, how it can bring generations together, whether technology products are ageist with too much focus on youth and how technology can improve the lives of both old and young.

We look forward to hearing the panel’s thoughts on these issues, and ideas on the solutions on Wednesday and Thursday morning.   If you would like to find out more or contribute to the project please contact Katy on

The series is being run by Forster Communication and United For All Ages with kind support from News International and a number of journalists from The Times.