Leuven University College and specifically it’s Social Work Department who takes the lead in our contribution, is committed to the ProMe project for a number of good reasons, that are intimately linked to what Leuven University College stands for : Quality Education, Applied Research and Social & Societal Engagement.
For us, understanding and contributing to the processes of intergenerational collaboration is an accurate answer to a number of social and societal challenges such as : building social cohesion, the risk of social isolation for elderly, unemployment and the economical and social consequences thereof, etc…
Intergenerational collaboration is also a way to capture the experience, expertise and tacit knowledge that risks to be lost forever when experienced professionals retire and are no longer active in businesses and organizations. Through mentoring, coaching and communities of practice bringing developing & seasoned professionals together, we activate that knowledge, create learning opportunities for many and contribute to sustainable performance of organizations which is all the more dependent on knowledge, innovation and learning.
Mentoring & Coaching are for us as School also learning methodologies we use, to help our students acquire the necessary competencies, attitudes and maturity to make their successful entry to professional life. Understanding these mechanisms better on the one hand, and the use of effective online tools will help us accompany students more effectively during internship as part of their curriculum as social worker, HR professional, teacher, etc..
But we are also a professional organization with the aspirations to become a Learning Organization for the teachers, researchers, administrative staff and managers who work together at Leuven University College. Coaching, mentoring and communities of practice are ways to share and develop our professional expertise and we plan to use the learnings from ProMe in order to improve our teaching, our research, our management practices and our community service. We think that we cannot only contribute to the ProMe project, by sharing our academic insights and practical experience with coaching, mentoring and network learning, but we also think that we can benefit from the ProMe project. It will help us challenge the way we learn as an organization through coaching, mentoring and network learning. The online platform and virtual collaboration tools will support our students during their internship and will enable our communities of practice to connect the community members in between ‘face-to-face’ activities and meetings.
The Gluk Advice Company among its activities is performing applied research in recommendation/reputation systems for online communities of many different sectors of our daily life. Through ProMe we found and an excellent opportunity to apply our technology into a prototype. Through the participation in ProMe project we expect to test the aforementioned technology and further improve the developed algorithms.The further target for the Company is to create a total product for the Active Ageing market and enter the real market. ProMe will bring us close to the users and reveal the real user’s preferences. Through ProMe we will better understand the mentoring concepts and needs and we shall draw a better user-oriented architecture.
An added value for Gluk Advice Company will be also the access to major transnational networks of expertise and the publicity and prestige arising from the European “label” of the project.
Important finally for the company is the total collaboration lifecycle with the rest partners of the project, in terms of exchanging knowledge and practices, understanding philosophy of other EU countries in collaboration and social matters.
Prome enables older people who are already retired or in transition to retirement to share their knowledge, which was accumulated over years, on a platform and thus support with their know younger people, or people, who are interested. From the perspective of a seniors organization (EURAG) ProMe provides meaningful employment for older people which keeps them integrated in the society and promotes the exchange and cooperation between young and old. Older people still feel that they play a key role in society and building up networks and contacts by doing something useful.
Baby boomers are reaching the retirement age. Many of these people are well educated and have a lot of professional knowledge that goes lost when they retire. Simultaneously professionals get a lot of personal fulfillment out of their work. Therefore many retired persons feel a void in their lives when they finish their working career.
As a charity for older persons the National Foundation for the Elderly (NFE) sees on a daily basis the importance of an active and full live in order to stay healthy for longer. The NFE actively promotes volunteering and intergenerational exchange in order to stay active. Hence ProMe will be an important tool to reach these objectives and help people bridge the way from professional work to volunteering.
Additionally the NFE sees important possibilities of ProME as a means to support and help unemployed people, both young and old. When people are unemployed for a longer time, people feel more insecure and in need of help. Through the ProME platform unemployed people can find support and guidance from volunteers. This is strongly related to the national project Network to Work of NFE, which is running currently in the Netherlands at national level and aims to help 50+ unemployed find a job.
Nina van der Vaart
In recent years we’ve observed decreasing levels of interest shown by young people in engineering as a profession, and this fact is also impacting upon a range of professional associations that underpin industry sectors.
For AGIR, the activities and anticipated results of the ProMe project represent an opportunity to increase our association’s attractiveness for younger people, given that most current members are older people. AGIR strongly believes that our professional association is responsible for preparing tomorrow’s engineering professionals. And there are actions that AGIR can take help to mitigate conflict between generations, to improve the image that young people have of older people, and to contribute toward social solidarity.
We at AGIR believe that young people must have a reason to understand the importance of professional associations, as well the importance of being educated in the spirit of volunteerism. We also hope that by participating in the ProMe project, AGIR can improve its visibility, attract more members and undertake a wider range of activities that help AGIR to achieve its objectives.