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WHAT Founded by Nelson Mandela former elder world leaders of nations use the village approach and collective elder wisdom to promote international dialogue and peace in areas of armed conflict, poverty, injustice or intolerance, address the climate crisis, and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
WHYTo use the collective wisdom, experience, and influence of former world leaders to resolve global conflicts.
WHEREThe Elders.
Founded by Nelson Mandela.

Program Description

"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."
–Kofi Annan

"Personal contact and relationships at the highest level are critical drivers of change, so we will continue to prioritise Elders meeting world leaders. Through private dialogue with decision-makers, Elders can have sensitive discussions, help broker solutions, and stimulate negotiations. Elders are well placed to use their collective experience and influence to help resolve tensions. Elders can also offer leaders private advice based on their own experience and independent view of the world."

"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."

The collective wisdom and voice of former global elder leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus, Ban Ki-moon, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Hina Jilani, Juan Manuel Santos, Ernesto Zedillo, and others have contributed to promoting dialogue, building peace, and supporting efforts to alleviate human suffering, caused by armed conflict, extreme poverty, injustice or intolerance.

As part of the organization 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 acting as Peace makers, Peace builders, Social Revolutionaries, or Pioneering women and more.

The Elders organization:

  • Seeks urgent action on existential threats.
  • Promotes global solutions to global challenges.
  • Encourages ethical leadership and inclusive government.
  • Supports the dignity and rights of others.

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 group works to promote Equality for Women & Girls and Eliminating Nuclear Weapons.






Find out more about the The Elders

Senior Programs
-Senior Contributions in General
-Senior Employment Programs
-Seniors Helping Seniors Programs
-Senior Volunteer Opportunities Abroad
-Intergenerational - Seniors Helping Youth
-Intergenerational Social Activities

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