What is needed to bring all ages together? In early 2017, The Age of No Retirement set to answer this question. To discover what was needed within our communities that would engage people of all ages and create impact for intergenerational collaboration. We wanted to find out how people of all ages can inspire each other to achieve more and how together, we can reshape our communities around our modern ever changing lives. Now in October 2018 we are ready to test our beta prototype.

Well, after a year's research and over 3000 insights from working with many organisations and almost 100 people from all ages and backgrounds we have a developed, what we believe will be, a game changing idea on how communities and the people who live and work within them find purpose and build relationships. We call it The Common Room. 

The Common Room is like an inclusive members club. But this club has a clear purpose — it is all about personal development. Personal growth and a focus on how changing ourselves can also help our communities. The goal is to make people better, to help them be more content,  which in turn makes them better participants in their communities. 

"We all have much more in common than we think. We should be building on what we have in common rather than dwelling on our differneces. Our society would be a much more hopeful plave is we shaped it together."

The Common Room co-designer.

Some of Co-Desigeners who worked with us on imagining The Common Room

The Common Room can be described as part university of life and part human library. It is where people of all ages gather within a community come together to share their stories, explore what matters to them, and how they can help each other achieve their goals in life. 

The Common Room is a place for intergenerational collaboration and exploration. It is about human connections and the collisions between different people — of different ages, backgrounds, colours and creed — who might otherwise never connect. It's about creating the right conditions for surprising and unexpected relationship and the benefits that these can bring all of us, throughout our lives.

"The Common Room is designed by people for all people. Everyone needs to become a member of The Common Room."

The Common Room co-designer.

What The Common Room might look like.

The exciting news is that we are now testing out our first Beta Common Room in London and we would love you to be part of our next stage of development.

On Wednesday 26th September 2018, The Age of No retirement launched the first prototype Common Room in London. At our first workshop, 16 amazing people of all ages connected in deep and meaningful ways, and began helping one another create their new and inspiring next-stage life plans. We learnt so much just from that first day. We now know that The Common Room is needed, and will become a critical and highly valued presence in every community. 

"The single most important reason for The Common Room to exist is to provide opportunities, advice and learning for those that don’t have access to them."

Alice Barrett, GSK

Just a few of the 3000 ideas we generated while researching The Common Room.

Our next life-planning beta workshop dates in London are 15 & 18 Oct. Book here (it's free). Watch this space for future developments. The Common Room will be opening its door to you very soon if we have anything to do with it. 

If you liked the story above, we think you will also like these related stories from our In—Common library.

An intergenerational photography project

25.08.17 - Community

This project by Photofusion was designed to address the gap between young and old (more)

Connecting neighbours of all ages in our changing cities

10.07.17 - Community

The Age of No Retirement have been lucky to get a deep, and sneak (more)

Sharing Stories - An Intergenerational Film Project

01.01.70 - Community

Children interview older people from New Cross, about what used to be and whats (more)

Read more of our In-Common stories here