Today’s world presents unprecedented challenges to humanity – to the young, the adult and the old.
Rapid advances in science and technology are having a major impact on ways of working, organizing, financing, learning, innovating and, in general, living. The Internet has given rise to an entire new economy and this is manifested in new professions, markets, industries, forms of government and so on. Simultaneously, we are confronted with a series of societal challenges such as the greying of the population, the environment, the realization of 21st century education and, certainly, the need to respond to the effects of the deep economic crisis of recent years with its dramatic impact on jobs and the quality of life in general. Not surprisingly, new terms such as apps, co-working, crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding, open innovation, rapid prototyping, etc., coexist with others such as massive youth unemployment, precarious work, NEET, active ageing, etc. This is the background informing project COME ON, aiming at stimulating experiences of social innovation based on intergenerational solidarity.
Project COME ON recognises that intergenerational solidarity is a need to give innovative answers to the challenges described, since all energies, knowledge, experience and resources are required, especially to male as difference at the level of communities and territories. The immediate benefits are well-known through the past experience of the partners in the COME ON consortium. They include the digital inclusion of older people, the fall of the inter-generational divide, and the acquisition and practice of life skills (21st C education) for the youngsters.
COME On project, however, intends to take these gains a significant step further by stimulating the creation of inter-generational teams who are challenged to contribute improvements to their communities through social innovation projects. By so doing, the project pursues and implements an experiential “education for life,” that is an education that blends codified knowledge (predominating in the traditional school curriculum), with life skills (involving a large element of tacit knowledge) and character formation (involving fundamental values). In addition, the project considers “phyrtuality,“ that is the integration of physical (offline) and virtual (online) activities in the experiential learning process, as an important “like skill” to develop through the practice of the social innovation projects.
This approach is essential if the challenges first described are to be faced by the young and the older together, contributing to their own personal growth and their communities at large.
ComeON! is an intergenerational learning project funded by the European Commission, within the Lifelong Learning Programme, Grundtvig Multilateral Projects Action.
ComeON! started in October 2013 and will continue until September 2015.
Agreement N°: 2013 – 3209 /001 – 001