Panel Discussion: An Inter-generational Discussion on Ageing
CREA co-hosted a public panel to exchange ideas with panellists from four different generations. This intergenerational panel is the first of its kind at SMU that engages audiences with panellists of all ages to debate on pressing issues such as ageing, work pressure and changing values. Participants in the audience were invited from diverse backgrounds which include the government sector, self-employed, students and the public.
Prof Thang Leng Leng, Associate Professor of NUS, kick-started the event by defining “generations” in today’s context, with four main categories for our event – Silent, Boomer, Gen X and Millennial. This is followed by Jiaming Ju, Associate Director of CREA, who discussed the importance of an open dialogue across generations and introduced the four panellists – Helen, Sharifah, Charles and Naveen.
The panel discussion was divided into two segments. In the first section, the moderators asked the panellists a total of four questions. Each panellist answered all the questions, providing the audience with the different perspectives held by the different generations.
Panel Discussion 1
1. Do you have friends outside of your age group? Do you think you can foster a meaningful relationship with people outside of your age group?
2. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “ageing”?
3. Have you ever thought about growing old?
4. Do you think 'age' as an important divide?
In Part 1 of the second segment, panellists asked each other questions while in Part 2, the panellists opened their questions to the floor.
Panel Discussion 2: Part 1
Naveen to Helen
“Listen to your elders” is not seen to be of much relevance today to the youth, they may feel that they are in the right as they have been validated by the net. Do you agree? Do you think that this will cause greater barriers as we adopt more and more technology?
Helen to Naveen
Will there still a need to differentiate the old and the young at work if everyone is IT savvy?
Sharifah to Charles
What is the number one pressure your generation face?
Charles to Sharifah
What do you think of working until your last day? Daunting? Welcome? Why?
Panel Discussion 2: Part 2
What do you think of ageing in place and implementing intergenerational living? What are some of the challenges and advantages? Why?
Have you tried teaching your parents or an elderly person something with success? What was the experience like?
There is a mismatch between what older people desire: when a senior has a medical problem ( e.g. a fall ) he/she appreciates concerns from others but they want to maintain their autonomy. What the seniors do not want is to be told how to behave and lose control of their independence. How can we get the younger generation to understand this?
Do you think there is reverse age-discrimination that occurs and what can the young do about it? (e.g. complaining about lack of experience when hiring, reluctance to promote a younger member due to elder staff being present etc.)
The event concluded with a Q&A session where the audience raised their own questions and viewpoints on the issues discussed. Everyone left the public panel with the agreement that communication is of utmost importance in promoting intergenerational understanding.
Please find the event programme here.