The Common Room

The Common Room – An Intergenerational Space

The Common Room is a brand new social innovation concept in intergenerational thinking by The Age of No Retirement. It is somewhere where younger and older people can come together in a dynamic space full of inspiration, energy and purpose. It is where human connection, collaboration and the power of “together” thrive. The Common Room enables people to (re)discover their purpose and reach new goals in life, whatever their age.

Over the last 12 months The Age of No Retirement has worked hard on this new social innovation. We have collaborated with more than 100 leaders from corporations, non-profits, government agencies, creative organisations and almost 200 citizens of all ages and backgrounds from across the UK. This is what we found…

We set out to discover what “something” was missing in our lives and in our communities that would help heal the big societal rifts and enable us all to live more fulfilled, connected lives. In a world where, increasingly, we will be living for 100+ years (and working for 60+ of them), rethinking the services and systems that would enable a good life at every life stage has never been more urgent. What we learnt from all those conversations rang out loud and clear. People care most about those they love, and about having purpose in their lives. We all want to live the best lives possible, and be part of a thriving connected community. But we don’t always know where to find the inspiration and support needed to live the lives we aspire to. These discoveries were universal – being consistently felt across all ages.

We used these insights to develop a new service blueprint – a new sustainable business model that will deliver both social and economic impact at scale. It is called The Common Room.

The Common Room

On a local basis, The Common Room is a physical place, deeply rooted within a community. It is a place where you join as a member and chart your own course of self-discovery and purpose, learning from and collaborating with those around you. The Common Room is like a human library, where every member in both a reader and a book, with new chapters being written every day.

Each Common Room will have a host team which will help you along your journey, connecting you with the right people and introducing you to the most appropriate and inspiring activities.

The Common Room will enable people to acquire new skills, gain confidence, build networks, find work, start new careers, launch new startups, become more engaged in the community, participate in design-led focus groups, and collaborate on large problem-solving challenges.

On a community level it will be a place for citizens to co-create a community in which to thrive; for local  authorities to engage with their local residents to better understand their needs; for the NHS to find help in co-designing health services; for police to find help in making the communities a safer place for everyone; for local politicians to really get to understand the needs of the citizens they serve…

We have spent more than a year developing The Common Room service model. Our first 150 members have already signed up. We have loads of volunteers to help us paint, decorate and operate. We have built an international fan-base and we have even started to explore large funding streams for when we are ready to scale.  The challenge now is to raise the capital to get us started.

To find out more about The Common Room including how to get involved, click here.

Jonathan Collie

Jonathan is the co-founder of the Common Room project.

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