The Youth & Elders Project
A venture to start ripples in our global culture and to engage and commit youth and elders to collaborate around social initiatives.
The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you
Country of residence of entrepreneur
Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?
I'm a global citizen with Danish and American parents, I have lived and traveled all parts of the world and I have a tremendous passion for nature. I've been educated at an institution called the KaosPilots in Denmark which has opened my eyes to my ability to influence the world through projects and business and the Youth & Elders Project is an expression of my drive for social change for the benefit of the environment.
About Your Organization
The Youth & Elders Project
Denmark, CC, Valby
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
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The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The global systemic crises of environment, economy and social inequality need a fundamental shift in mindset to be properly addressed. We believe that there is an untapped potential in the exchange between youth and elders, and in June we will set sail on a Tall Ship in the Baltic Sea, to rekindle this relationship together with 30 others from a wide range of backgrounds, but united in our passion for bringing about a better world.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
From June 10th to 17th, 2012 an intergenerational group of 30 change makers will set sail on a Tall Ship
in the Baltic Sea.
Over the course of one week, facilitated by workshops, deep conversations and the movement of the sea,
the group will explore the notion of ‘cultural maturity’ in an era of global change and in the quest for a
more sustainable way forward for our societies.
This is a voyage of discovery to explore and clarify the unique and diverse value in being human in all
stages of life; honoring that only by combining the push for change with the wisdom of maturity can we
tackle the challenges of our time.
This will be the first of a series of events in the Youth & Elders Project that form the basis for ongoing intergenerational collaboration.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
It is a journey of self-discovery and inspiration and of coming home with new ideas and concrete steps to take. A journey of playful exploration and deep sharing – where youth and elders mirror and discover each other, and together step into their potential for contributing to a common goal.
The participants will:
Challenge their assumptions and expand their horizons;
Experience principles of dialogue and storytelling, of creativity and of decision making;
Explore mentoring abilities and personal growth;
Together define next steps into action that embodies the wisdom of all generations;
Play, perform, create and be inspired.
Some anticipated outcomes from the project:
Sparking strong relationships between Youth and Elders, between fresh energy and passion on one end, and experience and deeper perspectives on the other;
Reinvigorating hope for a sustainable response to current crises that affect us all;
A renewed drive for wholeness in our actions, of embodying intergenerational exchange in our individual next steps.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
This is a non-profit initiative and places itself within a series of organizations promoting youth initiatives, elder issues or mentorship. There are quite a few of these out there, but the Youth & Elders Project differs from all by daring to ask the fundamental question: How can we mature as a culture by collaborating across generations.
Select the stage that best applies to your business
Operating for less than a year
This Entry is about (Issues)
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?
Leading up to this project we've been creating a series of podcasts with engaged youth and elders from across the globe. These have sparked creativity and lively debate and have already formed the basis of several new cross generational mentorships. The project is however still new and it will take several months before we start to see the more direct outcomes.
What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?
We need to formulate our project into a more long-term organization that can funnel funds and ongoing initiatives in the years to come. There's a long way to go, but we've created a Youth and Elders Council to support the work and several prominent and influencial people have already agreed to form the backbone of advisors who can guide us forward after our sailing trip in June.
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?
We have a vision of transcending the paradigm of expansion growth, of creatively maturing as a society and joyfully collaborating across the generations to get there.
All organisms and systems progress through developmental stages from infancy to maturity. The immature and adolescent stages are characterised by expansion growth: increase in size and strength (and appetite and ambitions), by testing of limits and often by activity for the sake of itself, without reflection or awareness of impacts. At some point expansion growth shifts to growth of finer detail, of complexity and relationships. Activity does not stop and energy exchange continues, but it shifts towards increased resilience, understanding and complexity or relationships.
We have a vision for a future where we live in mature societies shaped by a mature culture;
a tomorrow where individuals help each other step into their highest potential, where Youth act out their passion for shaping the realities they inhabit and where Elders step into their wisdom to hold space for the generations that are emerging.
Are we acting as mature stewards of our planet? And if not, how can we individually and collectively step into our responsibility for each other and for the ecosystems of the planet we inhabit?
We are creating the space for a series of explorations of these crucial issues.
Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?
What a question!
Local, community based initiatives are by far the most socially resillient and are usually the ones most in tune with local needs. Entrepreneurship is really just a word to express the bridge between blank pages and the formation of such local, community based initiatives. More idealogically speaking entrepreneurship also balances out corporate interests when succesful which moves initiative down into the hands of the people. I believe this to be a good thing.
What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?
Learning from the hands of those who have become entrepreneurial under conditions so different than my home turf. I admire the perservearence required to see initiatives grow in all circumstances and I believe there's a lot for me to learn form seeing it play out in such a different context.