It just may be that rock n roll/music will indeed save the planet. In 1999 Peter Gabriel and Richard Branson decided that we as a global village were missing the essential survival ingredient - the wisdom of our elders. So they set about to identify a few of them. It didn’t take long for them to approached Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel, both who have done amazing work beyond what I can even describe here in this brief blog post. If you’ve been under a rock for the past 20 years, you will want to read up on Mr. Mandela, but I would encourage everyone to please see the brief, but inspiring biography I’ve linked you to for Graca Machel.
While it took several years for them to put this group together, they launched these elders as facilitators of powerful global change last July.
“This group derives its strength not from political, economic or military power, but from the independence and integrity of those who are here. They do not have careers to build, elections to win, constituencies to please. They can talk to anyone they please, and are free to follow paths they deem right, even if hugely unpopular.”
Nelson Mandela, The Elders Launch Speech July 18, 2007
See Nelson Mandela’s speech from July 18, 2007
This is a potent list of global leaders who have reached a place in their lives and careers where they can shed imposing restrictions and focus on serious global concerns such as basic human rights, world health issues, climate change as well as share their valuable wisdom.
These leaders are not mere figureheads, but have the resources, seemingly boundless energy and drive to create change and movement on issues that other world and political leaders cannot seem to manage.
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Aung San Suu Kyi
Start with these brief biographies that live on TheElders.org, but I encourage you to read more about each of these extraordinary individuals and let yourself be moved beyond your immediate sphere of influence into the realm of courageous action or very simple (sorry in advance for the cliche) random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. It all makes a difference.