The use of digital tools that facilitate effective intergenerational relationships

Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development

Session 220

Thursday, 16 March 2023 11:00–12:00 (UTC+01:00) Room 14, CICG, 2nd Floor Thematic Workshop

2023 Edition for the Track on "ICTs and Intergenerational Partnerships for a Sustainable Future

One of the key benefits for intergenerational relations could be the mutually beneficial collaboration of developing digital competence.  "Digital Competence" is considered to be one of the key competences for lifelong learning representing an essential aspect of healthy and active ageing and adaptability to the evolving demands of future world of work.  Such a competence could be vital for both generations, old and young.

Research generated evidence that social computing applications can support both students and workers in their development of new learning processes and skills (Redecker, Ala-Mutka & Punie, 2008).  Yet the entrenched digital divide continues to prevent participation by all generations in this new reality.  As a result, they tend to be left behind especially now due to the rapid technological innovations which makes it difficult for them who are on the other side of the divide to master the Learning 2.0 methodologies which has both economic and social impact.

Digitalisation of society from schools to workplaces has been accelerated by the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.  Disparity of skills and knowledge development, especially related to Artificial Intelligence, have turned into future barriers of labour market participation for young persons of school age known as "the lost generation" and employability gap of the older workers who are not equipped with the skills to learn and advance their digital competences to remain employable in a workplace that is continuously automating and digitalising.  

The focus of our debate is how to mitigate these disparities through the use of digital tools in promoting intergenerational partnerships at the workplace for mutual support and learning.  The vital question remains: "To what extent does the use of digital tools promote closer and more effective intergenerational collaboration at the workplace?"

Three speakers will give their views to kick off the debate.  Participants will then form groups to identify positive and negative examples for the use of ICT at the workplace that promotes or hinders intergenerational relations.

After reporting back by the group, a short round of comments by the three speakers will close the session.

Vitalija Gaucaite, Ph.D.
Vitalija Gaucaite, Ph.D. Formal Chief (ret.) recently retired from UNECE Population Unit, Geneva

From 2010 until her retirement in 2022, Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich was head of the Population Unit of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) responsible for the UNECE work on population ageing and intergenerational relations. She coordinated the activities of the UNECE Standing Working Group on Ageing and oversaw the organisation of the reviews of national policies and strategies in implementing the Madrid International Plan of Actions on Ageing (MIPAA, 2002) in the UNECE region, capacity development and publication of policy briefs in the area of population ageing. Prior to joining the Unit in October 2010, Dr Gaucaite Wittich worked in the Statistic and Economic Analysis Division of UNECE. 

Dr Gaucaite Wittich has a doctorate degree in social sciences and before joining UNECE was an Associate Professor of Economic at Vilnius University in Lithuania.  

Jovan Kurbalija, Ph.D.
Jovan Kurbalija, Ph.D. Executive Director DiploFoundation, Geneva

A former diplomat, Jovan has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy and information technology.  He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomacy Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.  

Jovan has been active in the internet governance domain since 2004 and took on different roles and responsibilities in this regard within the international community and the UN.  In 2018-2019, he served as co-executive director of the Secretariat of the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

He publishes regularly on DiploFoundaiton Blog and the Huffington Post.

Raymond Saner
Raymond Saner, Ph.D. Prof Em. Basle University & Director, Diplomacy Dialogue/CSEND, Switzerland

Raymond Saner is Titular Professor at Basle University and co-founder of CSEND (1993), an ECOSOC accredited research organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland.  He co-chairs the academic network of the OECD Guidelines on Business and Human Rights, is a member of the UN Taskforce on Social and Solidarity Economy, and expert in the application of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs.  He was a member of the Bureau of UNECE's PPP Unit (2019-2022) and works for UNDESA and UNOSD in the field of sustainable development.  He has published books and articles in academic journals and has been invited as keynote speakers to international conferences of the UN organisations.  The most recent one was in July 2022 a the High Level Political Forum talking on "Sustainable Investment for the SDGs".  

Lichia Yiu
Lichia Yiu, Ed.D. President Centre for Socio-Eco-Nnomic Development, Switzerland Moderator

Lichia has worked in the field of organisation development and transformation.  Her work mainly consists of capacity development for institutional transformation in the public and private sector.  Presently she focuses on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals at multiple levels.  

She has published books and more than 80 articles in academic and refereed journals.  Her most recent publications included Public Goods (co-authored), ICT and the Social and Solidarity Economy and the role of Multinational Enterprises.  She also curated training workshops on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the UN agencies.


Digital Divide Digital Inclusion
WSIS Action Lines
  • AL C3 logo C3. Access to information and knowledge
  • AL C4 logo C4. Capacity building
  • AL C5 logo C5. Building confidence and security in use of ICTs
  • AL C7 E–LEA logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-learning
  • AL C7 E–HEA logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-health
  • AL C7 E–EMP logo C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-employment

this session will address the use of ICT at the workplace and how this impact the inclusion of all employees especially the older workers.  It will also address the need to achieve C3 and C5 through supportive intergenerational collaboration.  By enhancing digital competences of all ages, the session discuss ways to achieve digital inclusion through intergenerational cooperation.  

Sustainable Development Goals
  • Goal 3 logo Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all
  • Goal 4 logo Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 8 logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 16 logo Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

"Leaving no one behind" is the stated aim of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.  Intergenerational partnership facilitated by the use of ICT in the workplace and in the community will promote multiple SDGs, i.e., health and wellbeing (SDG 3), lifelong learning (SDG 4), more inclusive work environment (SDG 8) and finally contributing to the social participation of all ages in the community and society by digital means (SDG 10).