BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ, 16:30, 09 October 2008

A public debate exploring the growing interest in the issue of intergenerational relations at the societal (non-family) level.

Commentators often identify a 'gulf' between the generations in terms of both the amount of contact between old and young, and in the social and cultural differences between the generations.

Trends in regional migration and the economy also point to the physical separation of young and old, with new job opportunities clustered in large cities and some locations displaying above-average concentrations of retired people.

Simultaneously, there has been a growing interest in the benefits of contact and relations between the generations. Intergenerational relations have been cited as a key factor in the development of community cohesion, social identity, as well as the transmission of knowledge, skills, and national and local culture and history. For older people in particular, who are at higher risk of social isolation, the benefits of contact with other generations are felt to be real and imminent.

This debate explored the questions:

  • Are intergenerational relations today any 'better' or 'worse' than in any previous era?
  • Is a growing 'intergenerational gulf' inevitable in an era of globalisation and economies characterised by rapid flows of people, ideas and culture?
  • What is the right role and objective for public policy in improving relations between the generations?

Agenda from the event

16.00 - 16.30
Registration and Tea
16.30 - 16.35
Welcome and Introduction by Chair: Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC-UK
16.35 - 17.10
Presentation by James Lloyd, Head of Policy & Research, ILC-UK
17.10 - 17.40
Panel Response:

  • Rosie Winterton MP, Minister of State for Pensions Reform
  • Stephanie Harland, Deputy Director-General, Age Concern England
  • Stefan Stern, Financial Times

17.40 - 18.25
18.25 - 18.30
Summary by Chair

This event was free and open to all; however, registration was required.