QUT Hosts First Intergenerational Challenge, Harnessing Diversity for Problem-Solving

This week QUT hosted InCahoots: Australia’s first intergenerational innovation challenge, harnessing cross-generational thinking to solve significant real world challenges.

The pilot event, co-created by QUT foundry & QUT IFE, catalysed cross-generational (and cross-sector) collaboration.

Participants let their passion for solving a particular problem, rather than their age or qualifications, guide their teaming.

After several hours, all nine teams showed their capacity to be creative and develop and pitch business opportunities for profit and positive impact.

ElderYoung, the winning team mentored by QUT foundry, proved the power of harnessing diversity for intergenerational collaboration. Its participants ranged from an undergraduate youth, to mid-career researchers and professionals, through to an octogenarian powerhouse Mr Everald Compton.

Mr Compton, a successful businessman and now director Chairman of the Longevity Foundation, is an 87 year old Australian passionate about “making a difference in vital areas of life”, ranging from environmental issues to positive ageing.

That’s why he was keen to help drive support for InCahoots, a pilot for QUT’s new Intergeneration Powerhouse initiative, conceived by Chancellory’s David Fagan, Director of QUT foundry, and Professor Laurie Buys, of QUT IFE.

The pilot was lauded as a huge success, and just the beginning for InCahoots.

Mr Compton declared the InCahoots style of intergenerational teaming is a key to innovation and Australia’s future, enabling problem solving and opportunity creation for mutual benefit. He believes it will lead to the generation of more businesses.

Other participants and supporters from industry, research, and government, including Commerce Queensland’s CEO Stephen Tait, are keen to see InCahoots continue and grow.

InCahoots-style events afford benefits beyond the solutions developed and implemented. They help participants in many ways, including to enhance their human and social capital, including entrepreneurial thinking and network, respectively.

PhD graduates can both add unique value to and enjoy benefits from attending InCahoots style innovation and entrepreneurship events (including hackathons).

PhD graduates are proven problem-solvers, creating and applying new knowledge, who can pioneer new thinking.

These are qualities of value in innovation and entrepreneurship.

If you would like to learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship, participate in a future InCahoots event, or perhaps work on an innovation or entrepreneurial endeavour of your own, connect with QUT foundry.

QUT foundry is a hub, co-working space, and community for the QUT community curious or committed to innovation and entrepreneurship. We help to inspire, enable, and connect current and future innovators and entrepreneurs, and enable new startup businesses and social enterprises.

If you would like to learn more to apply your talents to solving problems, whilst making new friends of all ages, join the QUT foundry community. You can sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media @QUTfoundry.

Our next program, commencing in July, is IDEAS launched. It’s free and open to you to apply.

Learn more and submit an Expression of Interest.

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