Dialogue strengthens our sense of belonging and civic muscle. When we listen, share, and discover, we are able create meaning together—and are better positioned to act as stewards in our organizations, communities, and regions.

The WIN Network engages in dialogue to deepen relationships and to facilitate collective action. We know that dialogue will help connect communities across the county and will shift understanding about who we are, how we got here, and how we might create well-being and equity.

The key to a strong dialogue is starting with the right questions. It’s important to introduce terms and topics in a way that inspires discovery and brings people together.

Dialogue is also about how people respond to the right questions. No matter the topic, dialogue partners need to enter the conversation with intention by:

  • Listening for what’s true for others
  • Sharing what’s true for you
  • Discovering what we share in common

Intergenerational Well Being Conversation Starter and Dialogue Draft

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What is an example dialogue question?

When we have a short amount of time with a group or individual, WIN Network members ask this question:

Do you believe young people in your community are more or less likely to experience a high level of well-being as they become adults?

The question highlights a few key components of WIN:

  • This question requires that the person responding define well-being. Instead of providing a specific definition or asking directly, the question prompts us to think about what well-being means—and what a high level of well-being would look like.
  • WIN is all about intergenerational well-being. This question includes a couple of intergenerational components:
    • The person answering the question is thinking about the present and the future. What are young people experiencing today and how will that be different in the future?
    • The person answering the question is also thinking about their connection to young people. How is my experience as a young person different from this generation’s experience as a young person?
  • Equity is at the center of WIN’s work. This question focuses on the responder’s experience in his or her community, which will be different from experiences in other communities. How are the legacies formed in this place shaping opportunities for young people?

WIN Theory of Change: The WIN Network looks to the leadership of people in places across the country who confront challenges and enrich communities in ways that are inclusive of everyone. We believe that together, we can secure intergenerational well-being for all.

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What’s an example dialogue guide?

The WIN Network conversation starter dialogue guide is a great place to begin when it comes to launching a discussion in your community. The dialogue guide includes two types of prompts based on the amount of time available and the number of people.

The guide also summarizes the responsibilities of the facilitator. No matter the group size, it’s important to provide foundational context—to explain why you are asking these questions—and to create intentionality—to share expectations for how to engage in dialogue.

As the WIN Network continues implementation, additional dialogue guides and tools will be available here.

Interested in testing dialogue questions in your community or joining the Story and Dialogue Cooperative? Contact Elizabeth Hartig at Community Initiatives: ehartig@communityinitiatives.com.

PACSETTERS initiatives, organizations, and communities demonstrate what intergenerational well-being looks like–and they can help others bring these solutions to scale

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Dialogue Starter Conversation Draft

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