Everyday Intergenerational Conversations: Baby Boomers & Millennials

Course Number
DYNM 631 001
Course Code
Course Key
Course permit for Non-DYNM students: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/dynamics/course-permit
Primary Program
Course Note
Category: A; Concentration: LMC, GS.
Course Description
This course delves into three big questions around the burning theme of everyday intergenerational conversations. The class experience will be a living such conversation with Dr. Barstow, a Baby Boomer, and Amrita Subramanian, a millennial. The course format is 20% in person and 80% on a virtual platform. It's a learner-centric and a learner-driven course. It is created to mine the practical know-how and life experiences of all participants, so all generations within the class can have a revealing experience that they can immediately apply at work and their personal relationships in life. At this exact point in time there are 300+ million people in the workforce and four generations at play. We begin to see the tiers of own understanding falling apart. It's no longer about stereotyping or simply managing by default or banking on quick-recall labels--and here's why--workplace performance or productivity or engagement or intergenerational respect and trust cannot be left to chance or opinions. We have to pause and consider the following questions: 1) What: What are the generation names and labels we use? What purpose do they serve? How do they help and how do they hurt? What do they help us see? What do they hide, obstruct or make us miss? 2) So what? Intergenerational communication is poor and we can do better. Understand it and skills (strategies and tactics) to prosper and cope. How to use agency and brokerage? What of cognitive dissonance? Responding versus reacting to Fake News? 3) What's next? What have we learned from this whole century about the 4 generations at work? At home? At meetings or webinars or potluck parties? What of families at Thanksgiving? How can we expect to have valuable and meaningful conversations and relationships with all generations--current and future? The primary goal is not to make up our minds just yet or have cookie-cutter retorts. It's not just what to think but how to think about this very pertinent issue at hand for all practitioners, leaders, managers, and folks from all walks of life. There are bound to be far more questions than answers as we begin, and by the time we close, we would have configured our own responses to these questions that appreciate the context of our own unique lives.
Subject Area Vocab