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Knowledge Relay

Nowadays young people are having hard times looking for new professional experiences. At the same time, every year senior people get retired with a strong expertise on their field and a great networking agenda. “Knowledge relay” is a network where just retired people will transfer their knowledge and expertise to just graduated youngsters in order to help them finding a gap in the labour world. As a return, young people will help the seniors with whatever need they may have.

Photo of Jose Genoves
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How would you describe your idea in one sentence?

Knowledge replacement in the labour world. This idea is a service that helps the knowledge relay in the labour market by linking just retired experienced people with unexperienced just graduated youngsters.
“Knowledge Relay” is an on-line platform where “just graduated” and “just retired” people come in contact to exchange knowledge. Senior people get retired at 65, when they still have a perfect mental health. After a whole life working on a field, senior people have a huge networking agenda that could be really helpful for just graduated willing to start their professional career. This platform will help to transfer the knowledge and experiences from senior people to new generations. As exchange young people will help seniors with the understanding of the new technologies. 

Who are the target users of your idea and how does your idea speak directly to their needs, life stages and goals?

The target group is divided in subgroups. On one hand, part of the users of this service are young people recently graduated between 20 and 25 years old, who are dynamic, social, eager to keep learning and willing to enter in the labour world. These people usually look for a job on the internet but also via job agencies, business fairs, conferences and their network. On the other hand, senior just retired people between 55 and 65 are the other part of our target group. These retired users are full of knowledge and experience, they are still mentally active people used to the business life and they are definitely still able to give a service to our society. Usually they tend to fill their free time with social activities.

How might your idea scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

The service main task is to link the two subgroups of our target group. How? This service would need collaboration with companies and universities. Companies could offer this service to their “just retired employees” and universities to “just graduated students”. Firstly, the community will have an on-line platform where people interested can advertise themselves in order to offer or ask for a service. Secondly, apart from this on-line community there would be a physical place (office, agency…) where people can make the inscription in person. Last but not least, the “knowledge relay” team will organice monthly events where people can meet each other and have a more real contact. During these events people are invited to present any topic they would like in front of the public. These meeting/activities are meant to have a more personal contact with the rest of the community. This way both subgroups´ components will go outside from their routine and interact with other people.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Leigh Cullen

Jose, I enjoyed reading this. Harnessing the world wisdom of older adults with the technical savvy of youth is a solid idea.
Best of luck to you!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Awesome visualisations, Jose!

Photo of Amber Capehart

I think this is a great idea, and having recently graduated, I would be very interested in a program such as this. You're definitely filling a need in this exchange of information. How would you plan to raise awareness of this site so that both the just graduated and just retired know about it?

Photo of Meena Kadri

Something we'd encourage you to think about is how you might update your one sentence description to encapsulate what your idea actually entails. Imagine you are filling out a grant or funding application form – how would describe your idea in one sentence with clarity?

Here's a template if you need some help, though feel free to come up with your own clarifying sentence structure.

Our idea is a_________________ [campaign/app/service/program/online platform/toolkit/social enterprise/etc.] that tackles the problem of _____________[the issue being addressed ] by __________[what your idea looks like in practice].

Photo of OpenIDEO

Congrats on your idea making it to the Top 20 shortlist, Jose! We just love the visualisation of your idea. Great work! As a next step, we’d love to see you think about the subgroups of young people (ages 15-24) and older adults (over 50) who would be using this platform. A deeper understanding of the personas or user types will help take your design to the next level. For example, what do college students do with their time post-graduation? And, what might motivate or incentivise them to participate in the first place? The WIIFM (what’s in it for me) factor might be interesting to explore more deeply. We definitely recommend talking to young people about your idea and gathering insights from students who’ve recently graduated. Be sure to also interview older adults who have just retired and find out what excites them about your idea. It’s wonderful that you are highlighting life milestones as important moments to connect cross-generationally. A resource like this can feel sustaining and supportive. Lots of learning and empathy-building possibilities here and we can’t wait to see how user research will help bring your idea to life! For more tips for this Refinement phase, check out and catch our Lowdown on Refinement at

Photo of Charles Dence

Hi all, on the issue of the user types and subgroups, instead of breaking it down by age, could another approach be to allow users to identify themselves by the core interaction they wish to achieve?

That might give insight into the WIIFM factor and user motivation which would influence the design of whatever enables that.

For example:

I am looking for a 'Host' for a Reverse Summer School , or conversely I would like to 'Host' a Reverse Summer School.

I need an 'Ambassador' to promote mentorship to offline communities, or I want to be an 'Ambassador' to promote mentorship to offline communities.

I require a corporate 'Sponsor' for a branded event, or I am a corporate 'Sponsor' looking for a branded mentorship opportunity.

And of course, I am looking for a "Mentor', or I would like to be a 'Mentor'.

With common wording identifying the different roles and opportunities, does that overcome the demographic diversity and make it easier to find and enable mentorship matches?

As the refinement questions state one of the key issues seems to be how to identify who the real users will be .

What are the other roles we are talking about here in the final 20?

Photo of Anna Warheit

I love this idea! I spoke with a retired gentleman recently who had worked in the financial/banking industry for many years, and you could tell he still had great pride in his career. We were discussing financial exploitation of the elderly and consulted him for his input and knowledge on the banking side of the issue, and his insight was invaluable. He was eager to help and share what he knew, and I could see people like him being just as eager to share their expertise with young people just getting started out in their field. Additionally, it's a great unspoken benefit to the retired people as well - being able to share the pride they have in a long, knowledgeable career and to give some meaning to it after all those years is so important. It's important to feel you are still contributing to society even if you're not clocking in for a paycheck anymore. Love the "Knowledge Relay" name as well - very clever!

Would this be a purely online platform? I would imagine places like the AARP and college career services offices could distribute information, at least providing a summary and directions to the website.

Photo of Coreen Callister

Beautiful assets, Jose! You've articulated your idea so clearly. I especially love that this network focuses on moments of important life transitions when social support and connection can feel really important.

Photo of Guy Viner

+1 to Coreen's point! Catching youth at graduation and older adults at retirement is a novel and actionable idea. It was great to see your visualizations- they do a lot to bring your idea to life. Can't wait to see you carry this forward, Jose!

Photo of OpenIDEO

Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Love this, Jose! I can imagine that as I was graduating, I would have loved to use a platform like this to find out about stuff like financial planning. And also good to keep in mind that our challenge guidelines: mention the target group we're exploring for 'older adults' is 50 which includes many people who are still working who could also be interested in giving some time for something like this (though I hear you that retired folks may have more time on their hands)

We'd love to hear more about a lightweight experiment for this which could be used to explore testing assumptions. (You can add that at any stage by hitting the Update Entry button and competing your submission form)

And again – your visualisations really bring your idea to life!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Oops – and forgot to mention that the name Knowledge Relay rocks! As a communications strategist – I can imagine some great copy coming off the back of this name :^)

Photo of Ashley Jablow

Totally agree, Meena – I love this name too. It makes me think of passing the baton during a race – sharing what you know and setting the next 'runner' up for success in their leg of the race. Great job Jose!

Photo of Mirna C

Wish I had this when I was graduating! awesome Idea