Beta Futures has recently teamed up with The Future Perfect Company to work on an exciting intergenerational project. Beta Futures aims to keep the lives of the 50+ in our society vibrant and worthwhile, making use of their skills and expertise they have gained over a lifetime. However, with the ageing population at its highest in record, there seems to be an ever-present generational gap.
The Future Perfect Company, a company which champions innovative thinking around the ageing demographic, has been engaging with design students at the College of Richard Collyer and the University of Brighton for the past 6 years with their Designing for the Future competition, working with A level students to create valuable products for the older population and deconstructing social barriers and stereotypes that exist between generations.
Beta Futures run the 50+ Skills Exchange Club and saw this as a perfect opportunity to engage some of its members directly these students at the beginning of their design careers; bringing together both young minds and those with years of experience under their belt to start a much needed conversation between the baby-boomers and the millennials. Members from the 50+ Skills Exchange Club visited the College of Richard Collyer to help launch Designing for the Future 2016/17. The members worked with the students, participating in discussions about the pros and challenges of ageing and the stereotypes surrounding older people.
Philippa Aldrich, Founder of The Future Perfect Company and Designing for the Future said: “We are absolutely delighted to be joined this year by members of the 50+ Skills Exchange Club who as expert older users can inform the students’ Designing for the Future projects with real life experiences and expertise”.
Margaret Williamson, 50+ Skills Exchange Club member, said: “I found it very interesting to hear the views of the younger generation. It was an enjoyable session and it was great to see that the students were very engaged in our discussions”.
Beta Futures hopes that this newly formed alliance with The Future Perfect Company will provide a platform upon which ages from either end of the spectrum can find common ground to discuss the challenges which face us all. In doing so Beta Futures fulfils one of its fundamental principles of social equality. Furthermore, the club members can use their valuable experiences to provide the younger generation with ideas and information that can be used to enrich their projects and some new and perhaps otherwise unlikely friendships can be established.