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We’ve just wrapped up our Youth Mentor Challenge Ideas phase and what an inspiring and thoughtful ride it’s been – from rich discussions and questioning about intergenerational connections, to virtual brainstorms and collaborations from community members around the globe. This week, the OpenIDEO team joined our challenge sponsor AARP Foundation to review the community’s exciting efforts and determine our shortlist to move onto Refinement.

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We are seeing many ideas emerge around three of our five Opportunity Areas and are excited to see more momentum building every day. Here are some of our favorites. Keep up the awesome enthusiasm, innovative builds and fresh thinking!

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What role can young people play as mentors in the lives of older adults? To add some context to our Youth Mentor Challenge, the OpenIDEO team recently caught up with Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation, to learn about the Foundation’s work and hear what excites her about OpenIDEO and our community.

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We when we think about new ways to bring people together, we don’t have to invent something completely new. Brooklyn Boulders (BKB) was built with a dual vision in mind: a rock climbing gym created so that its physical space would build community and spark innovation. Walk in the doors and you see an unexpected mix of New Yorkers – young professionals, retired people and kindergartners casually colliding in a single physical space. BKB’s space is the body language of Brooklyn’s culture, and a vehicle for serendipitous connection. What else could we put a twist on to bring people together in new and unexpected ways?

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