Generations is a multi-year social innovation project to develop innovative solutions to reducing social isolation in older New Zealanders.


The goal of Generations is to reduce social isolation among older people, and ensure they have positive social connections to friends, family, communities, work and other non-paid day activities that enable them to thrive, participate and contribute as full citizens.  Learn more about social isolation here

Generations is powered by Innovation Unit, a social enterprise that creates new solutions for thriving societies with bases in Australia and the UK, and significant experience in building scalable solutions that enable positive ageing.  Generations was originally started by innovate change, a not-for-profit social enterprise that used creative and participatory approaches to build social connectedness that enables youth development, whānau well-being and positive ageing. Innovation Unit and innovate change formally merged in July 2018 and Generations continue as an Innovation Unit venture.

Innovation Unit is a leader in social innovation practice and is passionate about using the process and methods of social innovation to have lasting impact.  We are concerned that innovation efforts often do not focus on the health and well-being of older adults.  For this reason, we have chosen to invest significant resource in getting Generations started.

A Generations co-design group will play a critical design and decision making role. The solutions will be developed and refined by a co-design group comprised of older people, stakeholders, technical experts and external provocateurs. The co-design group will generate ideas, make decisions, and guide Generations through every stage. The full engagement of older people in the co-design group as designers, doers and deciders will be a significant and vital contributor to the success of Generations.  Meet our co-designers.

Solutions will be varied.  Generations may produce solutions in technology, policy, service, programme, infrastructure and other kinds of initiatives and solutions.  Generations won't be limited to a particular type of service solution and it is likely our final set of solutions will be a mix.  By the end of the initiative we will have between two to four solutions which have been developed, prototyped and refined in the real world.