Cross Sector Conversations
Recently, I wrote about the need to break down silos as communities explore age-friendly communities. Now, I’m taking time, to share my experience while traveling with a Teratogen Expert. First, let me explain teratogen! In short, a teratogen is an agent or factor that causes malformation of an embryo. Definitely, the opposite to the study of aging. With this in mind the perfect example for cross-sector conversations.
Studying an Expert
While conducting an informal study of a Teratogen Expert I asked three questions. First, what can I learn about from his presentation style? Second, How is his work similar to mine? Third, Is there an opportunity for cross-sector collaboration? Here are my results.
What can I learn about from his presentation style?
Many health and wellness professionals spend most of their time delivering presentations. My take away – Create a single slide deck. Then based on your audience only highlight featured slides.
How is his work similar to mine?
When delivering presentations the overarching goal is to increase awareness of your program. Since marketing budgets are slender it is often a high touch exercise. I feel you! Similarly working with older adults it is often talking to one group at a time. My take away – I’m not alone. However, I need to partner with an agency or non-profit to extend my reach.
Is there an opportunity for cross-sector collaboration?
With this in mind, I began reviewing my calendar for ideas on collaboration. First on tap is the County of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista’s Age-Friendly Communities project. Again, for those unfamiliar with Age-Friendly Communities, this is an initiative to make create communities accessible for residents age 8 to 80. Second, the grandparents raising grandchildren phenomenon. Currently, 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren. Although this may be true, consider the challenges facing a Boomer grandparent raising a Generation Z grandchild. In other words, an individual who grew up with black and white TV. Now raising someone who will carry a computer/smartphone in their pocket.My take away – While I may not be able to support my Teratogen Expert directly I can provide referrals to increase his outreach to young families through their grandparents.
With Thanks for the Conversations
Many thanks to Robert Felix Senior Teratogen Information Specialist.
Currently, I am the Director of Program Innovation at Advocates For Aging. My claim to fame? First gerontologist to speak at South by Southwest. Another accomplishment? Freewheeling After Sixty the first book to make it easier for older adults to give up driving. Lastly, this summer I’ll be speaking at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging on Let’s Talk Sexy: It’s Part of Aging.