a his & hers weblog of worlds apart

Generational GapCasting

In a lovely example of what I like to call unlikely friendship, Google’s recent Project Re:Brief takes a handful of advertising legends from the Mad Men days and puts them to work reinventing their classic campaigns for the digital ad world – the catch being that most of these icons are essentially ‘net illiterate. The outcome is not only a beautiful and touching view of outsider collaboration, but also four impressive pieces of client work that put AMC’s The Pitch to shame.

*See full video here. 60 mins well worth it, by the team behind Art & Copy.  

The project spurs a couple of recent connections for me. The NYT Sunday Review had a feature this past weekend asserting that the ‘generation gap is back’ – outlining the growing economic and attitudinal gaps between young and old. Given the quickening pace of cultural change over the past 5o years, it’s not surprising that generations are having difficulty finding common ground. But the financials are alarming, and the notion of heightened social divisiveness is one that feels like it could have serious societal consequences if not addressed.

The digital divide is not highlighted in this NYT article, but there’s no denying the impact it’s had on exacerbating the differing perspectives across generations. One emerging idea to combat this gap in the workplace is reciprocal mentorships – or reverse mentorships – pairing experienced execs with digital natives to exchange skills and learnings. Personally, I love the idea. The majority of these relationships will inevitably do more than just help close the digital gap – at their best, they will create cross-generational empathy and help bust stereotypes (think entitled millennials vs. out-of-touch boomers).

Reciprocal Mentoring and Project Re:Brief are nice examples of the opportunity that lies in connecting cohorts. We may appear more different from each other than ever, but speaking for the young(er) group, I think we know we share more common interest than we’re acting upon. With so much opportunity to learn from each other, we should not be butting heads and taking sides. We should be looking for creative ways to facilitate cooperation and collaboration . Beyond the workplace – in social institutions and across community – seems there’s a lot of potential between the gap that should not go undiscovered.

One comment on “Generational GapCasting

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2012 by in His Nurture Posts and tagged , , , , , .

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