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New Elder Connect

This is a community of people on the New Elder Path. You can participate in community discussions, ask questions for others to respond to, create your own blog posts about things that interest you, and even establish your own group.

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New Elder Connect.

Elder Circles

Check out the Elder Circles section under Resources to find ideas on starting an Elder Circle, or keeping your existing Elder Circle fresh.

Or join the Elder Circles Group on New Elder Connect to share ideas with other folks involved in Elder Circles.


Paul Severance's seminar was both informative and inspiring. He awakened our sleeping sense of purpose. He grounded theory with practical ways to implement. It was a clear, concise clarion call to reclaim our role as elders in the family, the community, and the world

- John Gibson

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New Elder

The New Elder is one who has developed the qualities and taken on the wisdom-source role of the old elder (or sage) who used to be so respected in human societies.

New Elders are needed to lead us to creation of a global community which respects all humanity and respects the Earth we live on.

Third Age

After Childhood (Growth, Learning) and Adulthood (Family, Career, Security, Success):

Our increased longevity has created a Third Age: Elderhood. Possibilities. Reinvent yourself and your life. Growth. Retire or a whole new career? What do you want to experience, learn? What difference do you want to make on this Earth? Organizing principles: Fulfillment, Purpose, Legacy.


Sage-ing® is the term coined by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi in his book From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision of Growing Older. It refers to the process by which we develop and nurture our wisdom in our Third Age.

Passion, Power and Purpose in our Third Age

Paul Severance

About Paul Severance, Founder of
the Center for the New Elder

I created the Center for the New Elder to fulfill my retirement dream of helping myself and other third agers grow into our full potential as “elders of our tribe,” and to make a difference in the world we will leave for our grandchildren and their children.

My vision for the Center for the New Elder has grown out of four important threads in my life:

  • My thirty years experience with the huge difference dedicated elders can make in our world.
  • My long-term interest in and work on my own personal development.
  • My greatly increasing concern, as I have grown older, about the world we will be leaving for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.
  • My discovery of From Age-ing to Sage-ing by Zalman Schachter Shalomi, and my involvement with the Sage-ing Guild, which he inspired. I now serve the Sage-ing Guild as Chair of the Coordinating Circle (Board of Directors)


I spent most of my working life as a community organizer, helping people come together to address common concerns. I worked as Community Organizer and then Staff Director of North East Area Development in Rochester, New York; created the Steuben County Senior Federation in the Finger Lakes region of New York; and served as Executive Director of the Near East Side Community Organization in Indianapolis.

In 1978, I founded United Senior Action of Indiana and served as its Executive Director until my retirement in 2006. In that time, United Senior Action grew to an active membership of over 14,000, and was the primary voice for seniors in state public policy making on issues including long term care, health insurance, consumer protection, prescription drugs and utility rates.

I have served as Board Member and Public Policy Chair of the National Coalition of Consumer Organizations on Aging (NCCO), member of the Consumer Action Board of the Medicare Rights Center, Board Member of the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, and Board Member of the Generations Project.

I am currently Board Chair for the Sage-ing Guild, and Board Member of Earth Charter Indiana.


Sagamore of the Wabash (Indiana’s highest ciitizen award) issued by Governor Frank O’Bannon, 2004

Ron Hering Mission of Service Award, The ManKind Project International, 2005

Consumer Rights Award, The Prescription Access Litigation Project, Washington, DC, 2007

Citizens Action Coalition Consumer Rights Hall of Fame, 1991

Nominated by the Indianapolis Star for their “Citizen of the Year” Award, 1991