The Elders are an independent group of global leaders working together for peace, justice, and human rights. You may not heard of them collectively, but individually they are some of the most recognized and respected people in the world, including former president Jimmy Carter. While many Elders came from public service, they no longer hold public office. They are independent of any national government or other vested interest. They are all perceived to have earned international trust, demonstrated integrity, and built a reputation for inclusive, progressive leadership.
Each of The Elders have made a lifetime commitment to peace and universal human rights, a commitment that they are carrying through to their last breath as evidenced by founder Nelson Mandela and members Desmond Tutu and Kori Annan. The age of the Elders currently ranges from 70 – 97, and they come from every corner of the world. They are change makers who have inspired others by their example and peace makers with, in many instances, decades of experience resolving conflict. They are pioneers and revolutionaries.
Look to The Elders
Founded in 2007, the group grew from a conversation between entrepreneur Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel. “The idea they discussed was simple: many communities look to their elders for guidance, or to help resolve disputes. In an increasingly interdependent world – a ‘global village’ – could a small, dedicated group of individuals use their collective experience and influence to help tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the world today?”
That idea turned into The Elders, whom Nelson Mandela described in their first public outreach as an organization that “will support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair.” While the areas in which The Elders work are many, their process remains the same. They work strategically by focusing on areas where they have the unique qualifications and experience to make a difference. According to their website, this can mean engaging in private advocacy or using their collective influence to open doors and gain access to decision-makers. They also work publicly to promote neglected issues and speak out against injustice. The Elders decide collectively where there is the greatest opportunity to make a real impact.
Make Every Year Your Best
Interested in finding out more about The Elders, or how you can become involved? Visit their website for all the details. And remember, living 100:100 isn’t just for other people. You, too, have much to contribute as you age. Living your 100 Year Lifestyle will likely give you the time, energy, and health to serve your workplace, family, community, and the world in whatever ways you want as you grow in wisdom – and age! Use The Elders as an example of the possibilities, and make every year your best year yet!