News

08 June 2018

As life expectancy for Australians edges towards 90 over the next 30 years and retirement is redefined, staying connected with employment and other activities will be increasingly critical for all of us.

With this in mind, QUT is leading the way in fostering cross-generational collaborations.

Intergeneration Powerhouse is a QUT initiative connecting innovators from different generations to develop entrepreneurial partnerships. Its first event kicks off on Monday at the QUT Gardens Theatre. 

‘In Cahoots’ is a full-day workshop engaging more than 30 innovators from different age brackets to work together in teams and develop solutions for an issue in one of the following categories:

  • Energy and sustainability
  • Food
  • Waste
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Liveability

“We have chosen a range of participants to create seven teams made up of three generations.” said Professor Laurie Buys, from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments.

“They include QUT undergraduate and post graduate students, alumni, MIT Bootcampers, senior industry professionals and business people. With the aid of mentors experienced in entrepreneurship they will work together to come up with creative solutions to real world problems.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is not purely the domain of any one generation. People of all ages and experience levels have something unique to offer and can learn from other generations.”

Professor Buys has teamed up with David Fagan, director of the QUT Foundry which hosts the university’s student entrepreneurial functions, to establish and drive Intergeneration Powerhouse. The initiative is chaired by Adjunct Professor Everald Compton, a champion for senior Australians and head of the Longevity Innovation Hub.

An Australian-first, Intergeneration Powerhouse was founded on the belief that older and younger people can benefit from cross-generational collaboration. It is focused on connecting different generations to develop entrepreneurial partnerships.

“By 2050, one in four Australians will be older than 65 years. Thanks to rapidly changing digital infrastructure, we don’t have to stop doing what we love and disengage from our community as we grow older. Being over 65 is now an opportunity,” said Professor Buys.

Partner organisations supporting In Cahoots include Bank of Queensland, River City Labs and Data61 from CSIRO.

Teams will compete for prizes to the value of $10,000 in cash and services. Three judges, representing three generations, will choose a winning team while the QUT Foundry will also find space and support for any team that wants to continue working together for a few months.

More details on Intergeneration Powerhouse and In Cahoots are available at: https://research.qut.edu.au/intergenpower/

QUT is part of a national collaborative group of five major Australian universities that form the ATN (Australian Technology Network of Universities).

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 9449, amanda.weaver@qut.edu.au

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901, media@qut.edu.au

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