Generational Leaders Podcast Series

How can we create new work opportunities with the help of Michigan's young people that:

  • expand their connections to the work of older generations;
  • strengthen their civic involvement in communities; and
  • build on their growing support for working in and with socially-conscious and ethical enterprises?

These are the three challenges that were the genesis of And they are an essential to understanding what we are trying to accomplish with Generational Leaders. Generational Leaders is a locally-based mentoring program that connects 20- and 30-somethings with community members in their 50s and 60s. One goal is to identify and exchange ideas about common ethical challenges, especially in the workplace. A second goal is to create intergenerational solutions to current community problems. A final goal is to publicize area socially-conscious and ethical enterprises and the people working for them. This podcast series represents an archive of the various strands of the Generational Leaders initiative and its goals.

One traditional way to tell a team competition story is to be the publicly detached sport journalist, who provides the written reality show to other fans, offering them an inside tale of locker room antics. No matter the competition, the story line is the same. It basically follows the four tasks required of a team. Sooner or later, all teams have to: "form, storm, norm and perform."

Parents everywhere have concerns about what will happen to their children and families after they are gone. On an abstract level, older generations worry about whether they are leaving their children better opportunities to live the good life, meaning a life safe and free from harm as well as one offering freedom to make ethical choices and to actively engage with others in the places where they live. 

For parents of children with development disabilities, this concern is not an abstraction. 

Our first Generational Leaders Dine and Discuss program about the state of education in Michigan featured a remarkable and engaging group of panelists.

Social entrepreneurs. Microfinanciers. Practical Idealists. These are just of the few of the titles given to the new nonprofiteers and venture social capitalists starting up and charging up the world to make it a better place over the last two decades or so. 

At, we may almost be forgiven (okay, maybe not)  if we thought that fair food was one of the fried concoctions sold on a stick, that as children we grazed on, waiting to see the prize-winning animals at our state fairs.

Charitable gift-giving is complicated. And charities are facing the toughest year in our memory. What should charitable giving be about?

Our interview with Laurie Atwood (Kidz in Need Scholarship Fund), Jane Talcott (Campaigns Director,The Salvation Army), Katie Richards-Schuster (Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation Youth Council Adviser) and Martha Bloom (A2ethics Board of Directors and Vice President, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation). Listen in.

A few weeks ago, Michael Pollan, author of several works on the food industry and its social and moral impact on our lives, penned a letter to the president-elect, urging the new commander in chief to move to the top of his executive and legislative agenda the issue of food security. The article was entitled: Farmer in Chief. (

It is a common enough complaint. You generally hear it just before the holidays around the Ann Arbor area. When people are getting annual giving appeals by mail, online or lately, by text message. The complaint? "There are too many nonprofits around here. And don't some of them overlap and aren't they offering similar programs?" Why don't they collaborate and work better together?

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