50Plus-Skills in partnership with CDR Equipping, had a successful online event with about 30 attendees. It was an experiment to try and connect young and old together in small group conversations, to try and understand the group dynamics and process.

The attendees were privileged to have Esther Benjamin, a global leader, who has served in the White House with two presidents to share some wisdom and insights on building and engaging with people across the globe. New York Times best-selling author Wes Moore profiled Esther as “The Globalist” in his book entitled, The Work: My Search for a Life that Matters. She shared some thoughts on how to engage across generations and cultures at local, regional, and global levels.

We had an equal number of people younger and older than 45 in the session. We designed small groups with 2 from each generation and sent them to a breakout room to have a small group conversation. We managed this process with feedback after each session and had three rounds of questions.

We asked about what people dreamed about for themselves and their community/business/family.

Purposeful life, leadership and impacting our communities.

We dream of a bright future for South Africa…

Live in a world where “rural does not mean poor”

Personal stability, SA in harmony.

What is one skill you can teach and one skill you would like to learn

This question brought many and varied answers from the groups:

Coding, writing, public speaking, patience, SEO, instructional design, digital agility, work with my hands.

Theatre for development, financial literacy, leadership in education, how to tell your story.

Technology, project management, swimming, data visualisation tools for development.

Planning & budget, networking, ballroom dancing, languages, technical terms and understanding it.

Execution skills, emotional intelligence, how to have fun, relationship building.

A comment from one of the delegates “geographical divide does not exist when it comes to personal and community interests and dreams”

There are so many people who have skills they can teach and many that want to learn a skill. We can all make a difference with what we have, right where we are.

It was amazing to see how fast, individuals can engage. Here are some of the comments at the end.

Awesome, very informative and enriching

An enlightening experience.

My takeaway: we are more alike than we think

Thank you to each attendee for working with us to formulate a process that we believe can work in any environment. Diversity across age, race, and sex across local, regional, and global environments, fall away when we connect intentionally.

Please be in touch if you would like to know more about this process or how we can assist you organisation to manage an event like this.