Communicating Across Generations: Defining the Challenge of New Language, New Media, New Reach?


DPI/NGO Relations invites you to a 

Communications Workshop

 “Communicating Across Generations: Defining the Challenge of
New Language, New Media, New Reach”

Date: Thursday, 13 December 2012

Morning Session: 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Conference Room 1, North Lawn Building

Afternoon Session: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Salvation Army Auditorium, 221 E 52nd St.

Background Information

In all its informational work the Department of Public Information tries to reach out to both young people and older persons. In recent times however, much more emphasis has been placed on not merely attracting one generation or another, but rather in creating opportunities across generations to meet and interact. In designing this Fall’s DPI/NGO Briefing Calendar, finding ways to intergenerationally engage the NGO community has been at the core of topics chosen and the speakers selected to address them. Whether looking at the protection of the girl child or crisis mapping, fulfilling indigenous rights or examining the impacts of climate change the importance of having the perspective of age and youth has been essential.  Even more so, with the increase in technological advancements, in particular the advent of social media and its revolutionising role in the communications industry, which has allowed for new opportunities for intergenerational communication and collaboration…

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, have expanded our ability to communicate with each other across borders and time zones. As we learned from our Briefing on Crisis Mapping, NGOs all around the world-whether young or old- can employ social media tools to accumulate and analyze within a few minutes mass volumes of real-time data, allowing them to take action on issues of mutual concern in all corners of the globe. Recognizing the significance of social media, we, the DPI NGO Relations Cluster, launched our own social media initiative in June 2012 to further enhance intergenerational communication among our NGOs.

One of the challenges, however, that we have faced since launching our social media initiatives has been to ensure that we are engaging all generations at equal levels. It is no secret that, when people are raised in different eras, their views of the world can vary, causing potential for communication barriers across generations. But with the 2015 deadline for the completion of the Millennium Development Goals rapidly approaching, and with much work still to be completed to achieve them, our only hope is to join forces across generations to tackle the pressing challenges facing our globe.  

We have therefore decided to close our Fall 2012 Briefing Season with a Communications Workshop that is specifically geared toward intergenerational cooperation and engagement. The morning portion of the Workshop will feature a panel that spans generations and represents both the UN and NGO perspectives on enhancing cross-generational collaboration. The afternoon segment will follow up with firsthand UN and NGO experiences and lessons learned in using social media to engage civil society. There will also be an interactive session that illustrates the various social media outlets of DPI NGO Relations and how to use them most effectively.

The Morning Session will begin promptly at 10:15 a.m. and we ask that our audience be seated
by 10 a.m. sharp.


María Luisa Chávez, Chief, NGO Relations, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information

SPEAKERS (Morning)

Mary Elizabeth Niland, Division for Social Policy and Development – Youth, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)  
Matthias Resch, Young Professionals, Southern New York State Division of the United Nations Association (UNA)
Maya Saoud, Deputy Team Coordinator for the UN Advocacy Team of Pax Romana, an international youth NGO

The Afternoon Session will begin promptly at 2 p.m. and we ask that our audience be seated
by 1:45 p.m. sharp.

SPEAKERS (Afternoon)

Felipe Queipo, Public Information Assistant, NGO Relations, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information
John Romano, Social Media Focal point at UN Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

NOTE: You can also post questions and comments during the morning session on our Facebook ( or Twitter pages (#DPINGO).

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