Bring Your Boomers Intergenerational Dialogue Series

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Bring Your Boomers Intergenerational Dialogue Series

Vancouver, CanadaVancouver, Canada
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We bring generations together to explore the social,cultural and economic realities and opportunities presented by looming, massive demographic shifts.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Increases in longevity and continuing low birth rates are causing a shift in the ratio of old and young, and as a result the proportion of older people is rising. As public spending for pensions, health care and long-term elderly care rise significantly, young people face a shaky labor market, large-scale environmental challenges and costs of living that have risen more quickly than their income levels. Of the many societal "divides" the divide between generational equity is rarely acknowledged explicitly.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Convening positive and intentional conversations between generations help us work through difficult issues together, generate understanding and ultimately build stronger, more resilient communities. Bring Your Boomers is an intergenerational dialogue series that explores our rapidly changing social realities while showcasing local music, film, visual art, theatre and dance in order to create community experiences that deepen our sense of connection. By convening high-profile speakers of different generations in on-stages dialogues, we address society’s most complex problems and ask: how do generations create innovative solutions together? Vancouverites have shown an ea- gerness for this type of conversation, demonstrated by having sold out both of our previous Bring Your Boomers events, the first at 120 people, the second at 350 people. See highlight video here:
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Bring Your Boomers is a project of Gen Why Media, a community-based social enterprise focused on civic engagement. Bring Your Boomers is designed both as a revenue model and outreach strategy for Gen Why Media. Ticket sales and exposure through large-scale events like Bring Your Boomers create a model for growth that can generate a sustainable revenue stream for future projects initiated by Gen Why Media. We will also use the series to attract other community development organizations and partners such as Vancity, the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Foundation and various corporate sponsors. Furthermore, feedback from our past intergenerational dialogue events has demonstrated that there is an appetite for this type of conversation. We sold out both of our previous Bring Your Boomers events, the first at 120 people, the second at 350 people.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is an array of interesting events happening in Vancouver. The amount of qualified groups hosting great events presents a lot of competition for interest. This will challenge us to continually innovate our offering and attract high-profile speakers, performers, audience and media attention. What sets us apart is that we bring Vancouverites together at the crossroads of the technology revolution and the values revolution. We offer our reputation as a youth-run cultural organization and our expertise in social media production, providing a relevancy and legitimacy among Generation Y that is both authentic and powerful. Through our multi-layered, interdisciplinary events we are supporting our all ages community we express our vision for a better society.

Founding Story

When we began hosting events as Gen Why Media we threw an event called "Why We Do It Party", which was a stylish gathering of young activists, students, entrepreneurs, opinion leaders and creatives who came together to talk about why they are engaged in social change work. The event was great with a series of engaging speakers, music, artisans lining the room, food, drinks, dancing, media and good times. After the event we were debriefing with our friend and his dad (who came to the event) and his dad said, "Great party but I was the only Boomer. You've tapped a good crowd but you need more that just Gen Yers talking to other Gen Yers. You should get these young people to bring their Boomer parents, who probably also have a lot to say." He was right. Bring Your Boomers was born.
About You
Gen Why Media
About You
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Gen Why Media

Organization Country

, BC, Vancouver

Country where this solution is creating social impact

, BC, Vancouver

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact


How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Transparency, Quality, Equity.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

Goal 1: Provide a platform for intergenerational understanding and knowledge transfer.
Objectives: Use concentrated conversation between generations to explore critical issues and create new insights and understanding;

Goal 2: Expand active citizenship and provide a fresh outlet for civic engagement.
Objectives: Appeal to a wide audience by using dialogue, cultural performance and a celebratory approach to convene civic conversations.

Goal 3: Nurture innovation and community collaboration.
Objectives: Engage ethically diverse communities and interdisciplinary perspectives through solutions-based conversations that explore intergenerational equity through culture, business, politics, the environment, community, and social change.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

- Sold out both of our previous Bring Your Boomers events, the first at 120 people, the second at 350 people.
- Generated greater consciousness for inter-generational equity issues (based on online feedback and mainstream media coverage);
- Provided a unique and entertaining platform for civic engagement;
- Produced a publication documenting what was learned and how intergenerational dialogue can be used as a form of civic engagement;
- Created a video documenting the process, participants and dialogues;
- Continuing to build an intergenerational community by facilitating meaningful discussions, both online and offline.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

Long Term Outcomes:

- A stronger intergenerational community built around civic engagement;
- A willingness to change or adapt new behaviors based on what was learned;
- A on-going intergenerational dialogue program including more events and workshops
- Networked collaboration across groups and organizations that can translate the outcomes into practical contexts

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

As our events get bigger, so does the cost of putting them on. In order to grow and have a bigger impact, we need to host in larger venues, attract high profile participants, offer great value and ramp up our promotions. Not being able to financially cover the front-end of the event preparation could hinder the success of our event.

Also, we need to plan long-term. Ideally we'd like to have at least 4 events confirmed in advance so to plan thematically and strategically how the events will build on each other and be relevant to current social issues. Not knowing if we'll be able to throw another event (due to financial limitations) could hinder our ability to plan a well thought-out series.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Be ready to host our largest Bring Your Boomers event to date, with 1000+ attendees and nationally recognized participants.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Meet with potential event sponsors and pitch the series to them

Task 2

Establish a partnership with a mentoring organization (potentially SFU Centre for Dialogue)

Task 3

Find media and promotions partners to help get the word out about the event

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Gain national attention for our events and sell out our first two events with 1000+ attendees.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Source high profile participants (Thomas Mulcair, Arcade Fire, Michaelle Jean, Margret Atwood)

Task 2

Secure sponsorship from Vancity (or Coast Capital) for the series

Task 3

Partner with the City of Vancouver to put on the series

Tell us about your partnerships

Below is a list of our current and future community partnerships:
• SFU Centre for Dialogue will help with program design, venue logistics & reporting.
• SFU Woodward's Cultural Unit will help with performance programming, venue & community engagement.
• Lead Now will help with live polling at the event, online promotion & will help make the connection between the local and national context.
• Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives will help with supporting policy research for the program design.
• Truthfool Communications will help with facilitation of the events and media promotion.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

Our core audience is connected generation Yers who care about social issues. From there we intentionally seek out diversity. The title "Bring Your Boomers" implies that young people take the initiative to bring their parents, offering a sense of empowerment and diversity of ages older generation. We are also try to engage the unengaged by offer a diverse slate of program, we've had young people tell us "I came for band, but ended up learning a lot". This is our ideal outcome. Going forward we intend to engage minority populations by designing content that speaks to their experiences.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

Since the beginning, we have worked across generations making our internal operating environment truly collaborative and intergenerational. To us, successful innovation requires the following:

Collaboration: Bringing diverse disciplines together to help us think outside the box.
Creativity: Constantly engaging with musicians, artists, designers and other creatives to find engaging ways to present issues.
Grassroots sensibility: Locally-minded and community-driven.
Flexibility: The allowance to scale up or down depending on the project.
Diversity: Target different groups in order to give voice to under-represented perspectives.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Because we need to keep our events financially accessible (tickets under $12), we don’t have the financial capacity to cover the upfront costs of putting on large-scale, high caliber events. With some seed money, we would be able to grow and execute four large-scale events over two years - each with 500+ attendees, high caliber cultural performances and nationally recognized speakers.