Knowledge Transfer And The Over-50’s


Everyone’s being encouraged to work longer these days although usually without any clear ideas about how this might actually happen. Large companies are releasing staff (and will continue to do so) and starting innovative small businesses from scratch is not for everyone.

Are there other, more community-driven ways? Ways that might even make the prospect appear energising and satisfying? And, at the same time, is it possible to mix generations, improving the passing on of hard-earned ‘wisdom’ and maybe even helping reduce the digital divide?

It’s a well-known knowledge management issue that when staff leave an organisation, they take their knowledge with them. However, the real societal issue is much wider than this – their knowledge and passion can often just completely disappear without trace. No-one benefits.

In this context I spotted this from Simon Kelner in the i last week (after discussing age and the digital divide)

I was interested to read in my local paper about an initiative called The Amazings. Ignoring the awful moniker, this is a really clever idea which gives people over 50 a chance to share skills, and learn new ones. If you have a talent in a particular area you can offer to teach an online community. If enough people show an interest in learning this skill, it is turned into a course or a workshop that people can book and attend. The “teachers” get 70% of the fees, and the chance to pass on their expertise.

From the Amazings site:

The Amazings was born out of a single, simple idea. Society has always learned from its elders. But somewhere along the way we have lost that connection between generations—which means losing rich, valuable, and rare skills. We’re on a mission to fix this.

Our vision is a marketplace for wisdom. Where over 50s are empowered to stay active and make money from their hobbies. Where hard-earned knowledge is passed on to the next generation. And where connections between young and old can be made in really fun, really social, really friendly events.

It sounds a really innovative and promising idea.

So, if you’re over 50 and have a skill that you’re passionate about and think that others might be interested in, why not register an interest or, alternatively, mention it to someone else?

The venture has an impressive and interesting list of supporters:

  • The Technology Strategy Board
  • The Design Council
  • Sidekick Studios
  • Hackney Age UK
  • The Cabinet Offiice
  • Deloitte

Comment: I’ve added a few clarifying sentences since the original posting.

Picture credit: here.

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