Founded by Nelson Mandela.
"It's the sort of thing that happens in a village, people go to their elders, to give them a problem, and seek their advice, or sometimes the elder intervenes."
"Elders started in a conversation between Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel. The idea they discussed was a simple one. In an increasingly interdependent world, a global village, could a small, dedicated group of independent elders help to resolve global problems and ease human suffering?"
"The Elders do not hold public office and have no political or legislative power. Because they are not bound by the interests of any single nation, government or institution, they are free to speak boldly and with whomever they choose on any issue, and to take any action that they believe is right."
An Elder no longer holds public office and is independent of any government. Members have earned international trust, demonstrated integrity and built a reputation for inclusive, progressive leadership. Elders backgrounds include being Peace makers, Peace builders, Social Revolutionaries, or Pioneering women.
Elders help to reduce or resolve global conflicts by:
- Opening doors to gain access to decision-makers at the highest levels.
- Listening to everyone, no matter how unpalatable or unpopular, to promote dialogue.
- Providing an independent voice that can speak out, challenge injustice and break taboos.
- Bringing people together to catalyse action and forge alliances.
- Amplifying and supporting the work of people affected by conflict or working for peace.
- Creating space for campaigners and policy makers to broach difficult issues.
- Connecting people with decision-makers, ensuring the needs of ordinary citizens are always represented.
- Highlighting neglected issues to generate media coverage and political attention.
The Elders initiatives and projects promote dialogue and peace building, support efforts to alleviate human suffering caused by armed conflict, extreme poverty, injustice or intolerance in
Cyprus, the Middle East, Zimbabwe Burma/Myanmar, Sudan and many other areas.
The group also works to promote Equality for Women & Girls and Eliminating Nuclear Weapons.
WATCH VIDEO ON HOW "THE ELDERS" ORGANIZATION WORKS