Elderberry designs alternative futures for ageing, longevity and a multigenerational society.


we do this in two ways:



We partner with organisations to help them innovate and grow in the context of ageing, longevity and a multi-generational society. This includes developing and implementing innovative and human-centred strategies for:

work and income

  • mature age and multi-generational employment
  • phased retirement and flexible work
  • alumni engagement and participation

home and housing

  • ageing in place
  • intergenerational living
  • connectivity and access


We want to build a community of young and old change makers to understand our shared and evolving needs for the future, and help shift out-dated perspectives about age and ageing.

The challenges of an ageing society, requires intergenerational solutions, to be designed
by young and old together.

By  providing a platform for intergenerational conversation, storytelling and exploration we hope
to engender a mutual understand of the challenges and opportunities, affecting both young and old. 

The current project we are exploring is an intergenerational mentoring service.



global populations are ageing and people are living much longer


Our purpose is to create alternatives that meet our changing human needs as we age and live longer in the 21st Century.


In a time when our societal composition and structure is changing so significantly thanks to ageing and longevity, the products and services of the past will not satisfy the needs and expectations of the modern day 60, 70, 80 or 100 year old. 

older Australians are changing what it means to age in this modern era

There are significant opportunities to create alternative products and services that are better suited to people as we age in the 21st Century. Babyboomers, who represent the next generation of older Australians, are re-defining ageing. They are a large, growing market that are not just the most wealthy older generation in history, they are also the most decisive about what they want. They want products and services that match their individuality, sense of youth and lifestyle. 

Organisations who understand their wants and needs will benefit from this massive market and benefit society in providing meaningful products, services and experiences for people.

We bring together multi-generational teams to understand and co-design the alternative models. We apply customer and user research, systems thinking and experience design to co-create 21st Century solutions for how we might:

  • work and participate meaningfully for as long we want
  • live affordably and with social connection in older age
  • ensure financial security while providing choice
  • enable long term health and well-being

You can read more about our stance and how we think about this in our manifesto.


storytelling at TEDx

Elderberry Founder Inge van der Poel spoke at TEDxSouthBank  about the value of wisdom, the opportunity to rethink our notion of retirement, and the need for alternatives that give older people opportunities to participate in meaningful work. 

Want to engage us for a keynote?

how Elderberry partners with organisations 

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Project partnership are about improving the lives of people. 

They start with a conversation to fully understand the real challenge or opportunity. Once we are clear on the problem statement, we can define the project scope and design the best approach together.  

Our approaches are based around a combination of user research, systems thinking and design. With use these to gain insight into people's un-met needs and create the services and experiences people are looking for.  

Depending on the nature of the partnership, the outcome might be a strategic framework and implementation plan to improve an existing service. We work with partners to implement the plans.

It could also be an innovative opportunity platform that forms the basis of entirely new service that we develop and deliver in a strategic partnership with you. This could be done through the creation of a new entity or consortia to bring the opportunity to life. 

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Workshops expose the opportunities of ageing and longevity for your organisation. 

We design and facilitate bespoke workshops in which we help leaders understand the strategic opportunities of ageing and longevity for your business. Workshop participants can expect to gain rich insights into:

  • the trends of ageing and longevity and global innovative responses
  • the changing expectations of older people
  • the disruptive nature of ageing and longevity on business
  • the strategic opportunities for creating targeted products and services
  • the risks of in-action




Keynotes are a source of perspective, insight and inspiration.

When bringing together leaders for a conference or strategic event, it makes sense to
ask the big picture questions.

With our keynotes we explore ageing and longevity trends and how these are disrupting the way we work, educate and live. We will inspire a sense of possibility about how we can respond to ageing and longevity in ways that provide both business and social benefit. 


the way we work

bespoke Multi-generational teams

We assemble a bespoke team of strategists and designers to tackle the complex problems and opportunities with our partners.  We draw on our community of young people (Berries) and an older people (Elders) to get the right skills, experience and wisdom required for the project. 

This means we can bring together unique cross generational perspectives and diversity of though and skills to address the issues associated with ageing and longevity. In this way we build empathy and resilience into the problem solving process. 



A manifesto for celebrating life,
regardless of age


Let’s LIVE long lives rather than be alive for a long time

The reality of longevity is not simply an economic or welfare issue. It is a deeply human issue. We are at a point in time in human history where we must drop the old stereotypes, language and cultural constructs and take a different stance on what it means to age.  

We must see people for who they are and defy outdated perceptions of age and ageing. 

We must create opportunities to re-imagine what it means to live vibrant, connected, dignified and bold lives well into our 80, 90s and even 100s.

Let’s stop providing the beige and monochrome services of the past and create alternative products and services that are responsive to evolving human needs and expectations and give choice so we can LIVE with agency!


Let’s acknowledge older people are not all the same

Baby boomers are not going to be the “seniors” of the past. Many are going to be 80 and cool, and 90 and fabulous. They have a voice and attitude, and expect to continue to live as they have done all their lives. Most importantly they expect choice and not to be segmented and referred to as a group of “old people”.

With longevity older people in society will constitute a much more diverse group of people, covering multiple generations and ages ranging from 50 to 100+ years. Clearly people’s needs vary significantly across such large and diverse groups.

Let’s do the work to understand and empathise with the breadth and depth of these evolving needs so that we have the necessary insights to design the alternatives.


Let’s lose ageist stereotypes

We must question our assumptions about age and how they influence our perception of ourselves, and the people around us: our families, colleagues, clients and customers. It is time to challenge cultural constructs such as retirement that set rules and expectations about work, value and participation.

Let’s acknowledge our ageist stereotypes and ask ourselves, “How do I want to live and treated when I am 90?” Only when we do this, can we start to create alternative futures that are fit for the 21st Century.


Let’s change the language of ageing

Our language and imagery around ageing perpetuates stereotypes of frailty and decline and a fear of old age. The word “retirement” means to withdraw (from life), while being “elderly” has a stigma associated with it as it conjures up images of decay and death.

Let’s adopt language that reflects the realities of longevity, the vibrancy of older people and supports a cultural shift of accepting and celebrating all ages.


Let's bring generations together

The reality of longevity is that it is going to affect us all and it is time co-create new realities for young and old. In an age where we are living longer there are layers of multi-generational thought and experience co-existing together. 

This is only going to increase, providing unique opportunities from which to innovate. We must tap the collective wisdom across the generations by involving young and old in the design of 21st Century alternatives for how we might:

  • Work and participate meaningfully for as long as we want to 
  • Live affordably and with social connection
  • Ensure financial security while providing choice
  • Enable long term health and well-being.

We CAN re-imagine different futures that are much better suited to the realities of longevity in the 21st Century. These need to be equitable and give people choice and agency about how they live their lives, regardless of age. 

It just takes is passion, determination, a commitment to question our assumptions and a willingness to truly disrupt the status quo.

In the spirit of co-creation and learning, this manifesto is meant to be a evolving document that will be updated as our understanding of a longevity future deepens. If you have feedback or suggestions for the manifesto, please get in touch 
and sign up if you want to join our community. 

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We are growing a community of people who want to help create alternative futures for people to live bold, energetic and dignified lives, regardless of age.

We bring multiple generations together at events to learn about the needs and concerns of both young and old and where we should be focusing our attention when considering alternative futures in the context of ageing and longevity.

project - intergenerational mentoring

We are currently exploring the opportunity to create a service that helps young and older mentors and mentees find and connect with each other. We refer to this as intergenerational mentoring, which is when older mentors work with young mentees, and vice versa, when young mentors work with older mentees. 

We are running a survey to gather the perspectives of as many mentors and mentees as possible so that we can design a great service experience!

We'd love it if you could participate. Please click here to get started. Thank you!














If you would like to join the Elderberry community, be kept in the loop of upcoming events, and work with us on our projects please register below or feel free to email: info@weareelderberry.com.

You can also join our meetup group where we explore and discuss the implications of ageing, longevity and a multi-generational society.

Name *
Please indicate your interest *

Inge van der Poel

Inge is Elderberry's founder. She is a big picture thinker with a passion for re-imagining ageing and how we live in an time of longevity.  

She draws on 15 years of experience in sustainability, trends research, service design, and consulting and leadership, to solve complex problems. She is known for bringing unique, critical and positive perspectives to co-create alternative futures.  

Having personally experienced the value of elders and mentors throughout her life, she wants to bringing together multiple generations to create new responsive models that will enrich people's lives, and benefit business and society.

Suzie Graham

Suzie is an Elderberry Collaborator, which means she works with us on projects and she is also a wise Mentor.

Suzie is committed to social justice and helping to light the spark of realisation that each of us can do and achieve anything we are able to envisage. And some things we cannot. 

Her specialities include innovative and strategic enterprise vision, strategic communications and digital marketing, business development, building teams, simplifying and integrating business processes, philanthropy (new school and traditional), and recognising and leveraging social trends to create shared value initiatives. Joining the dots.

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we would love to connect with you

If you would like to know more, have any questions or want to be involved in the further development of Elderberry, please email us at: 


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partners we have worked with

some things people have said

“Inge spoke about the disruption of an ageing population at the June session of our Aged Care Leaders Network, which consists of approximately 90 leaders from different aged care and retirement living services across Victoria. Its fair safe to say she was a hit! Inge provided great insight, which led to a lot of discussion and was thought provoking for all participants”.
— Richard Prideaux, Regional Manager, Retirement Living Service Australian Unity (2015)
“Inge is a creative thinker and a powerful team motivator. Most importantly, Inge is courageous in her approach to work and brings an honest engagement to her client to get the absolute best outcome”.

— Brenden Carriker, Sustainable Council Team Leader, City of Melbourne (2015)