Paul, Good question! This is exciting to think about the continuum for middle/high school youth through college level. It appears as though there might be a couple of entry-points for youth engagement. Whether it is school-based, faith-based, university-sponsored, or part of a public-private initiative, there is opportunity to organize. For example, there are most likely a number of school-affiliated clubs that youth participate in. And not all subjects need be technology-based to provide support for starting a business. Junior Achievement programs at middle and high schools focus on principals of business and finance. And there are mock stock-investment clubs, social activation groups, and robotics and coding clubs. These could be great settings to develop opportunities for youth and older adults partnering. The club leader/teacher could work with the older adult(s) to create informal focus groups, conduct community market research and implement simple tech projects that could give fledgling business concepts life. Higher education students/clubs/groups could participate as well, by acting as mentors to youth. They could provide subject matter focus and guidance, perhaps twice a quarter to youth and older adults, taking busy schedules into account. (And don't forget local community colleges with strong computer and health sciences programs). The end result for the older adults would be gaining new information (tech, resources, data research, youth perspective, etc. ) for developing a solid business plan. All of the youth would gain real-time knowledge acquisition of developing a business plan, giving back to community and strengthening their resume for future opportunities. And everyone would go deeper in establishing intergenerational connections and understanding.
Thanks for the idea, Avi. This brings to mind a project that I did with a family literacy program. It's much more simplistic because we had a lot of people; however, it was a tool that served as a powerful catalyst for sharing and reflecting between generations. Participants explored five themes that related to milestones in growing up. (Family, fun/entertainment, school, work, as well as hopes/dreams). Each theme was framed as a fill-in-the-blank statement, i.e., "When I was young, to have fun, my friends and I ____________________________". Both the older adult and the youth would complete the sentence independent of each other and then share. They would then explain a bit more about why the activity was fun and go into more detail. Then that information would captured in a couple of paragraphs and be added to the page. If possible, each person would use a disposable camera or find illustrations to connect a visual to the activity and add as well. This was done across the five themes and eventually was turned into a small booklet that was duplicated as a takeaway for each person and also saved for the program. I think with so much more technology at our finger tips the storyboards you describe could be useful for many adaptations of the exercise! Thanks again for your idea!
Maria, I think I understand what you are saying. In a knowledge economy there is value attached to skills and knowledge that would be similar to bartering. Perhaps create something like a "time-bank" where individuals "bank" their volunteer hours in exchange for a service or product. There are already models like this that exists, I believe. For example: Maybe a young person could volunteer two hours to help an older person organize a room at home or run errands. The time spent doing so would be banked and the young person could later receive tutoring help with a writing assignment or actual produce from a garden. (Meena, I'm sure you will suggest this comment turn up in the "Ideas" section coming up later!)