Guiding Principles

  • Create Safe & Inclusive Spaces
  • Share Our Stories
  • Honor Each Other’s Unique Contributions
  • Design Innovative Experiments
  • Cultivate Meaningful Personal Friendships
  • Foster Productive Partnerships
  • Harvest Insights and Share Discoveries

 Principles in Practice

I nvite and Honor Unique Contributions: How can we acknowledge, respect and utilize the wisdom and experience of all generations, including those that came before or after us?

  • Use personal storytelling and deep listening techniques for identifying the common hopes we share, independent of age or stage
  • Do Community Asset Mapping of unique contributions and experience of each generation

F oster Real Partnerships: How can we shift traditional mindsets and assumptions in ways that deal compassionately with hierarchies and stereotypes, which can keep us stuck in unproductive relationships between generations?

  • Bring multigenerational teams that model collaborative leadership to host key gatherings
  • Identify issues of common concern that are larger than individual interest
  • Use proven dialogue methods that uncover hidden assumptions and mindsets in collaborative ways

D esign Innovative Experiments: How can we embody the Wiser Together approach to the work we are already doing in order to test and share the evolving Wiser Together guiding principles, approaches and core questions, as well as our ongoing learnings?

  • Practice leading edge learning methods such as participatory action research
  • Engage on-line communication and collaboration tools to design and share the results of action learning experiments across networks
  • Create venues that foster multi-generational story-telling around key projects

C reate Safe & Inclusive Spaces: How can we design environments and collaborative processes which assure that every voice and perspective has the equal opportunity to contribute their gifts?

  • Use a variety of large group hosting practices and collaborative on-line tools
  • Engage dialogue-based collaboration processes to build strong and lasting partnerships
  • Create hospitable spaces which include sharing nourishment for the whole being: body, mind, and spirit

U se Creative Ways of Learning and Working Together: How can we introduce authentic dialogue, the arts, ritual and celebration as well as other modes of creative expression to access collective intelligence and cultivate wise action?

  • Invite the use of music, movement, art, poetry, silence, and other forms of creative expression—both individual and collective.
  • Engage the natural world as an ally

C ultivate Meaningful Friendships: How can we create opportunities to build strong personal relationships of mutual trust and respect with others across the life cycle in all Wiser Together projects?

  • Share meals and other informal times together
  • Use personal storytelling/storysharing as a core process
  • Inquire into each other’s dilemmas and concerns

L earn Together, Harvest Insights, and Share Discoveries: How can we individually and collectively incorporate time for reflection and mutual learning as well as the documentation and sharing of stories, tools, and frameworks across our networks?

  • Use graphic facilitation/documentation in both face to face and virtual gatherings
  • Develop & continually evolve a Wiser Together Playbook incorporating key designs
  • Create multi-generational “ambassadors” to other networks and conferences

S hare the stories of our past / Develop the stories of our future: How can intergenerational partnerships create opportunities to learn the truth about history and to allow meaningful relationships to be at the root of designing the future we imagine?

  • Share the stories and forces that have shaped who we are – personally, culturally, etc.
  • Critically analyze what happens when we come together
  • Use methods of reconciliation and allow the stories from the past to influence shared positive futures

(Download a pdf of the Principles and Practices on this page)


Amy LenzoGuiding Principles