Innovation Fellow

Marc Freedman Portrait

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ELLY KATZ

Founder & Executive Director, Sages & Seekers
Breaking down stereotypes, diminishing ageism and building empathy through authentic conversation between teens and older adults

Elly Katz is the founder and executive director of Sages & Seekers, a nonprofit working to develop empathy while combating social isolation and ageism. Sages & Seekers’ eight-week intergenerational program has changed the lives of thousands of older and younger adults who have been paired to share their varied life experiences.

With a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology, Elly spent most of her adult life as a graphic designer until she heard a speaker on NPR use the word “apocalypse” in describing the state of the planet. The founding of Sages & Seekers was a response to the speaker’s belief that if everyone chose something that they were passionate about and donated time in that arena, we could turn the world around.

Elly spent countless hours speaking with Senior Center Activity directors, professors of gerontology and high school teachers before designing a program to bring generations together in a meaningful, profound way that destroys the myths and stereotyping that keep people apart.

Elly has spoken at the Massachusetts Council on Aging Conference, Global

Gathering: Schools of Purpose, the SCAAP Conference, as well as the American

Society on Aging, sharing the Sages & Seekers program and stressing the

Importance of connecting older adults to a younger generation.

Elly founded Sages & Seekers while living in the Boston area. She now lives in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles with her husband.