Expand AU Menu


Peggy O'Keefe


'Getting It' About Global Workforce Aging and Inter-Generational Conflict: Exploring the Issues and Opportunities with Gen Y Students

Presenter(s): Peggy O’Keefe

Description: Everyone gets old, but most people don't 'get' how changing global aging demographics present unprecedented challenges on a personal and societal level. Deep seated negative perceptions and biases about older people prevail, and are particularly acute in the professional sphere. Ambivalence and avoidance can surround any discussion of ageing –with the young who think it will never happen, to older people encouraged to diminish and disguise their age. However, a complicated situation from increased longevity and declining birth rates is upon us. Large sectors of the population will be retired or sidelined from a competitive and contracted workforce for more years than they actually worked –just when knowledge transfer and wisdom to the next generation is essential. This session will focus on how the question of what can happen if Gen Y and Millennial students are challenged to face the global ageing phenomena from a cross cultural perspective. How can their thinking and perceptions expand, and what ideas can they generate through educating themselves on generational groups largely invisible to them? / / Using a TED TALK format, the issue of global ageing and the workforce will be framed, focusing on the potential it presents for intergenerational conflict –or opportunity for cooperation and support across age cohort groups. The story will be told of how Gen Y and Millennial students were challenged to research global ageing, identify international vulnerabilities and opportunities, and propose initiatives. How class discussion and projects resulted in an expanded view of older people from emerging professionals and future will be explored, followed by facilitated discussion with attendees of the issues and innovative ideas global ageing presents.

Level: Intermediate

Delivery: Case Study

Tracks: Business

Peggy OKeefe


Adjunct Instructor - New York University School of Professional Studies

Peggy O'Keefe is a Business Communications Professional, with experience as a corporate executive, educator, and consultant in strategic media communications and technology. Corporate experience included executive positions with Bankers Trust, The First Boston Corporation, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs, establishing innovative internal service delivery and consulting departments producing multimedia programs, conferences and events. Early training as an educator inspired her to continually bring a human focus to her executive role, making staff development, mentoring, and coaching a critical component of her management style. She was recruited for a variety of corporate taskforces and initiatives focusing on recruitment, development, performance management, retention, and flexible work arrangements. As an educator she has focused on university, executive, and continuing education. She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate level Marketing, Business Communication, Career Development and Leadership and Human Capital Management courses at New York University, and Baruch College. Professional work in higher education has included executive/continuing education program development, marketing, and management for The City University of New York, and the Institute for Media and Entertainment. Her eclectic background and interests in talent management led to current work as an Organizational and Executive Coach. Professional interests include Cross Cultural Communication and Diversity Management, particularly in intergenerational workplace relations. She has designed, conducted training, and marketed employee engagement programs for diversity initiatives, and served on diversity steering committees throughout her career. A particular interest is in facilitating communication and collaboration between creative, technology, and business professionals. Her experience, expertise, and insights on these topics have been shared as a speaker and panelist at professional conferences. Academic credentials include a BS in Art Education from SUNY College at Buffalo, an MA in Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology, and a post graduate certificate in Organizational and Executive Coaching from New York University.