Can we overcome the generational divide?

IET Birmingham: Austin Court
Thursday 8 November 2018 (18:30-20:00)

For more information, please contact

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 The divide between generations has increased over recent years, with the gap between Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials growing starker as time goes on.

As integration within society worsens, it’s essential that we overcome this divide for current and future generations. 

This panel event will bring together thedifferent generations to identify and tackle the main issues that contribute to the generational divide and, through debate and honest conversation, address them and the bridge the divide.

The panel will be made up of academics from the University of Birmingham who will share their expertise and discuss topical issues, surrounding technology and social media; beauty standards; financial security; attitudes towards work; and perceptions of racism and poverty. Our academic panel members will be joined by organisations that represent the interests of all generations as well as the award-winning think tank, the Resolution Foundation.

This event will be livestreamed on the University of Birmingham Facebook page.

Panellists at the event will be:

As well as looking at individual behaviour in relation to personal finance, Karen is interested in the role of the state, the financial services sector, employers and the third sector in delivering financial security.

Karen will be facilitating the panel session, but will also lend her expertise to comment on housing, financial security and money lending. 

  • David Houghton, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Birmingham

David’s research centres on the psychology of communication online, with a specific interest in the way that consumers interact with brand content, and how this is utilised by brands for marketing.

David will discuss the impact that social media and technology developments have had over time. This includes whether social media has changed the way that we communicate and how social media may contribute to perceptions of self-worth or -esteem.

  • Kiran Trehan, Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development, University of Birmingham

Kiran heads up the Centre for Women’s Enterprise, Leadership, Economy and Diversity (WE LEAD). Her research involves the active engagement of policy makers and practitioners on issues relating to diversity, enterprise and leadership development.

Kiran will be on the panel to discuss whether attitudes and types of work have changed, including aspiration for leadership positions and opportunities for development.

  • Heather Widdows, John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham

Heather's research focuses on beauty ideals, beauty practices, changing attitudes to body image and cosmetic procedures.

Heather will join us to discuss the impact that the beauty industry has on different generations, and how the beauty industry has grown over time, and how this has started to affect the way that people perceive their own beauty.

  • Neil Duncan-Jordan, National Officer, National Pensioners Convention
  • Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, Trustee and Board Member, British Youth Council

Amanda was appointed to the British Youth Council Trustee Board in October 2017 after having previously chaired the trustee board of Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union. After two years as President of the Students' Union in Cornwall, Amanda went on to found and run a campaign aiming to put young people's voices at the forefront of the Brexit negotiations. She is particularly interested in work campaigning to end child poverty in rural areas and helping young people engage with politics in new ways, and in September was elected as the next Chair of the British Youth Council.

Laura joined the Resolution Foundation in March 2014. She oversees the organisation’s work in a range of areas including the labour market, taxes, welfare and social mobility. She also specialises in intergenerational issues, and during 2016-18 was secretary to the Intergenerational Commission.

The key to uncovering the issues that we face as a society is hearing from the people that they impact the most – you. We all feel the impact of having a divided society; your experiences are what truly matter and can influence perceptions and, hopefully, long-lasting change. Our audience will be welcomed and invited to have their say, ask questions, and be involved in the crucial conversations that will take place.

The event will allow our academics to analyse the issues that we face together as a society, where they differ and align, and how we can overcome them to encourage a multi-generational and cohesive culture.

Register now

This event is part of the Festival of Social Science which runs from 3-10 November 2018. See what other events are taking place in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham. 

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