The well-respected Encore.org just announced it is changing its name to "CoGenerate." Some name changes can be viewed as simply refreshing a brand, but this particular one seems more substantive.
In an email to supporters, the organization explained the name change this way:
"As Encore, we helped change cultural expectations for the years beyond 50 and expand the contributions of older people. As CoGenerate, we’re focusing on what the vast and growing older population can do in collaboration with younger generations to solve society’s most pressing problems.
We call that intergenerational collaboration 'cogeneration,' and we believe it’s an essential and effective strategy to create connection across differences, combat polarization and ageism, and build an equitable, healthy, inclusive, productive, safe, and joyful world together."
Not surprisingly, the email was signed by Co-CEOs Marc Freedman and Eunice Lin Nichols. One look at their photos and it is obvious that the organization practices what it preaches: the two leaders are clearly from different generations.
A national opinion survey conducted by Encore.org with NORC at the University of Chicago's AmeriSpeak Panel validates not just the name change but the concept of "cogeneration." The survey reached 1,549 respondents, age 18 to 94 in U.S. households in March 2022. Here are some of the key findings:
- 60 percent of respondents strongly agree "Working across generations can help America better solve its problems."
- 52.4 percent strongly agree "Working across generations can reduce divisions in our society."
- Despite strong interest in working across generations, fully half of respondents cited a range of obstacles preventing them from acting on it. These included difficulty communicating with members of other generations and lack of opportunities to work with people of other generations. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) said they wish they had more opportunities to work across generations for change.
- Of those who have worked across generations for social change, learning, sharing knowledge and increasing appreciation for other generations are by far the most frequently cited answers. Moreover, the learning and sharing knowledge dynamics are notably two-way.
- While younger and older generations want to work together on some of the same issues, the interest varies widely by age and race. For example, mental health topped the list for younger generations, while the environment came first among older ones.
Read more about the survey here: https://cogenerate.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Encore-Cogneration-Report-1.pdf