When we talk about “aging population”, what is your biggest concern?
What does the word “ageism” remind you of?
How long have you been thinking about these questions?
On 18 May 2019, the Mobile Co-learning Classroom and IAFHK co-organized a Radical Questioning x Facilitation workshop, with the theme “Ageing Population - whose problem is it?“
More food for thoughts…
You’re a middle-aged, grey-haired man who just lost your job. Would you dye your hair black before your next job interview?
You’re around 30-50, and you have a stable job and a place to live. You have a decent month salary. You’re able to save up half of your income after your monthly expenses. If new technologies and food products, that are expensive but can slow down ageing, emerge, will you be willing to use half of your income to keep yourself young?
Do you agree that a policy should be put in place so that a fixed percentage of 60-70 year old are to be employed in the government, public and private institutions?
This Saturday afternoon, 20 participants were divided into 5 groups. Paying close attention, they followed the discussion flow designed by facilitators and dissected the issue of ageing population layer by layer.
One of my memorable moments was when a participant said, “My grandmother is very tall, and our culture teaches us to honour the elderly. So when she talks, it’s like her words were thrown down from heaven. We never had a conversation in which we were equal..”
Communication is so important to human relationships. And authenticity and respect are the key to communication!
Facilitation is to catalyse meaningful dialogue, so that different parties understand one another, problems are solved and society is improved.
Everyone participated enthusiastically. As one who is concerned about the theme, the workshop made me think more, and listen more deeply to others’ opinions. I felt like I have a wider perspective and a deeper understanding towards the topic. As part of the organizing team, I was really happy to see everyone so focused and so engaged. Participants did an in-depth analysis of the topic and showed their support to one another. We have achieved our goals for “facilitation” and “co-learning”! What a satisfaction! All of our learning and preparation paid in the past few months have paid off!
Last Saturday, we completed a Community Radical Questioning session with Mobile Co-Learning Classroom. We spent 3 months to design the sessions, starting from scratch and modifying constantly.
What is the root cause for population ageing? Is population ageing a problem at all? Do we dye our hair because we are afraid of old age, or is it just a fashion? Of course, we have no simple, black-and-white answers to these complex questions.
Here is where effective facilitation and communicative tools come in. We make use of these tools to help participants engage in discussions, organize and summarize their ideas. This helps us address the social problem at its core. The process helps participants gain an in-depth understanding of the issue. They also experience a variety of facilitative tools that they can take away.
I am grateful for my friends at IAF and the opportunity to get to know Mobile Co-Learning Classroom. It’s so meaningful to learn together. All new challenges and trials help us grow. We should continue to think about aging and ageism, as they are no simple issues!
I look forward to participating in future events and to see more opportunities for meaningful dialogues! IAFHK, you are my star!
This video is made by Michelle, showing highlights of the first public workshop... stay tuned!