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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, Adjunct Professor, New York University

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. 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. This session will focus on what can happen if Gen Y and Millennial students are challenged to face the global ageing phenomena from a cross cultural perspective. 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.

Level: Intermediate

Delivery: Case Study

Tracks: International Education, Training and Exchanges, Business

Peggy OKeefe


Adjunct Professor, New York University

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. 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.