For the Future of Longevity
Since 2012, there has been a global initiative to institute March 1 as an international “Future Day” dedicated to envisioning and working for a better future. We at the International Longevity Alliance proposed to make “Longevity” the special theme of that day in this year, and mark this theme by conducting meetings and study groups in different countries, dedicated to discussions of longevity, on that day. I am happy to report that this first of kind international action in support of longevity research was a success. People from over 20 countries organized events, ranging from meetings with a few like-minded friends to mini-conferences and seminars, through lobbying actions to online communications. This is just a first drill and further actions of this kind will take place in the future. Preparations have already started for concerted international actions in support of longevity research that will take place on October 1, the day officially declared by the UN, as the “International Day of Older Persons” . Please consider joining and contributing to the preparations. Such events can (and likely will) be a very positive and unifying force both for the local and international life-extensionist communities and organizations, and ultimately for the social acceptance of our cause. Notably, the celebrations of the Future Day were not (and could not) be restricted just to the topic of longevity, and many organizations, besides ILA, were involved and organized events – Humanity+, Heales, LongeCity, various national transhumanist and life-extensionist associations, such as British Longevity Society, the Russian Transhumanist Movement, the Brazilian Transhumanist Association, the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and many more – with members often belonging to several allied organizations at one at the same time. Below I list all the events celebrated on that day that I am aware of, regardless of their “official” affiliation and emphasis. Yet, essentially, in all of these events, people expressed an optimistic and proactive attitude toward the future, in which the promotion of longevity is an indispensable component, moreover the promotion of longevity almost automatically brings in its train the advancement of other positive life-preserving and life-enhancing tasks: peace, science, education, quality of life, equality. It is to be hoped that all our joint efforts will contribute even minimally to their achievement.
And here are the reports from around the world:
1. Russia. Maria Konovalenko and Daria Khaltourina report: We celebrated Future Day yesterday. Actually, even twice) Alexey Turchin, Peter Fedichev and Mikhail Batin discussed the possible future scenarios of our civilization at Expert Online round table. Life extension and its social implications were the main topics of this stimulation conversation. Later in the evening the Russian Transhumanist Movement celebrated Future Day under the sign of radical life increase. Valeria Pride, Danila Medvedev, Maria Konovalenko, Daria Khaltourina, Viktor Zykov, Elena Milova, Igor Kirilyuk, and others gathered together to celebrate and to share their plans in fighting aging for the following year.
In the picture, celebrations by the Russian Transhumanist Movement (left to right): Maria Konovalenko, Viktor Zykov, Igor Kirilyuk, Daria Khaltourina.
In the picture: Round Table at Expert TV, including: Alexey Turchin, Maria Konovalenko, Peter Fedichev, Mikhail Batin
2. Ukraine Elen Obabkova, Andrey Vergazov and Anton Kulaga report: An open conference was organized on the Future Day in Smart Cafe Bibliotech in Kiev, by Ukrainian Transhumanists. The program included presentations by Alexander Koliada “On the way to personalized medicine,” Vania Pasechnik “Hacker space – the community of the future” Evgeny Sluzko “Venus project – future without politics, poverty and war”, Anton Rzhevsky “Ecology and technology: How do we influence the Future”.
In the picture, the future day organizers and presenters: Elen Obabkova, Anton Kulaga, Evgeny Sluzko, Andrey Vergazov, Alexander Koliada, Anton Rzhevsky, Vania Pasechnik
In the picture: the attendees of the Kiev Celebration of the Future Day.
3. Venezuela: Greetings and mutual support were kindly and generously shared among different countries during this day. Thus the Ukrainian event was greeted by Jose Cordeiro – President of the Venezuela branch of the “Millenium Project”, professor at the Singularity University, and an active promoter of radical life extension in South America and around the world. Here's the video greeting. On March 1, Jose was preparing a documentary about Radical Life Extension for the History Channel.
4. Republic of Georgia, Jaba Tkemaladze reports: On March 1, students and professors of the International Black Sea University interested in Transhumanism, as well as students of Grigol Robakidze University, Tbilisi, gathered at the conference hall of Grigol Robakidze University to celebrate Future Day. Ministers of health and of education were invited, but did not attend. The newspaper “Asaval - Dasavali” interviewed the organizer, Dr. Jaba Tkemaladze. After the meeting at Grigol Robakidze University, an additional meeting took place at the Club of Young Scientists with the representative of Shota Iamanidze Foundation – Irina Iamanidze, and editor of the cultural-philosophical journal “Homli” Nino Sadgobelashvili. There was reached an agreement to cooperate. Technical details of the cooperation were considered. There emerged the idea to create an educational internet portal for those who wish to live in the future-oriented civilization, and are even now ready to change their habits of life.
In the picture: Dr. Jaba Tkemaladze conducts a Seminar on the Future Day at Grigol Robakidze University, Georgia.
5. UK. Dr. Marios Kyriazis reports: The activities in the UK went very well. We concentrated mostly on targeted political information, specifically: - We contacted members of the UK Parliament with information about longevity, life extension and the need for dialogue and funding. - We discussed issues of longevity and politics at a meeting with senior members of age-related organisations in the UK, and planned a way forward. For example, we planned a major meeting at the House of Lords in 29th October 2013. For the 1st October we will be organising meetings in Cyprus as we will be there for some weeks.
6. Israel. Ilia Stambler (myself) reports: On March 1, Future Day dedicated to the pursuit of longevity, a seminar was held in Bar Ilan University. The program included a lecture on the “Past and present of life extension”, a report about activities of the “International Longevity Alliance”, and then a brainstorming session on the ways Israeli pro-longevity activists can make a practical impact. Several long time veterans in the fight for healthy longevity were present: Dr. Yaakov Ben-Shaul, Dr. Rafael Marilus, Dr. Amit Fliess, Dr. Tal Galili, Dr. Eli Eshed, as well as participants from all walks of life – students, soldiers, workers. Some of the potential actions may include cooperation in collecting and processing data related to aging, social promotion of preventive medicine, and creating study groups.
In the picture: Bar Ilan University, Israel, the venue of the Future Day seminar. In the heat of discussion, i forgot to take pictures of the meeting. So here is a picture of Bar Ilan university, that people believe i was there (not perfect). The picture goes to all those who did not take or did not send pictures…
7. France. Edouard Debonneuil reports
I held a meeting in Café el Sur in Paris. It was a nice first try, there were good friends of mine as well as people I had not met yet. The discussion was great and covered a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on associations (ILA, Heales, Longévité & Santé, Sceaux Longévité Santé, Association Française Technoprogressiste), projects (Quantified Health and incitative pedometers, Linking Researchers, next conferences in France, an ongoing thesis), PR (longevity & health, aging as the root of most diseases today), organizational structures (fonds de dotation lié à une association reconnue d’intérêt général), health data collection and law (CNIL, données minimales requises et possibilité de travailler avec des des données non personnalisées), promises of ongoing research (in worms, in mice, NBIC) and how society gradually integrates longevity increases.
In the picture: Dinner on Future Day at Café el Sur. Paris. (Edouard - second from right)
8. Japan. John Leonard reports: The Longevity Alliance Japan had our first meeting on March 1st (Future Day) 2013 in Akihabara, Tokyo. Our group was small but I think it was a very big step! Meeting with each other in person created inspiration and motivation to really pursue longevity causes. And Miriam Ji Sun (Miriam Leis) adds: Mainly we discussed our interest in future-oriented topics (incl. robotics, biostasis research, biotech, regenerative medicine and longevity research) and how we came to got to know about them. It turned out that we all have similar networks in common. Some next steps would focus on growing our network in Japan.
In the picture (left to right): Miriam Ji Sun, Erico Narita, John Leonard
9. USA. Utah. Lincoln Cannon reports: The Mormon Transhumanist Association sponsored a Future Day lunch at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. All enjoyed casual conversation on such subjects as news of brain-to-brain interfacing between mice, comparisons of libertarian socialism and benevolent authoritarianism, and release of a new edition of Mormon scriptures by the LDS Church. A particularly passionate debate arose around the topic of maintaining identity during radical longevity or shared consciousness. We look forward to continuing these and related conversations at the 2013 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association on 5 April in Salt Lake City. In the US, further meetings on Future Day (as far as I am aware) took place at Stanford University, California, and San Jose, California.
10. Portugal. Vanderlei Martinianos reports: A meeting was held at Café A Brasileira in the heart of Lisbon, and after gathering everybody, the participants headed to have dinner at Fabulas Restaurant. At Fabulas the participants celebrated the day as well as discussed about "The Evolution: The Future", a novel written by Marco Santini (Foreword by Vanderlei Martinianos) that was freely distributed. Mind uploading and longevity were also discussed.
According to Vandelei Martinianos: This is a picture related to the Future Day's celebration in Lisbon. Note that I have created the F sign made with hands to recall the word F as in FUTURE. So I asked everybody to do it in order to celebrate the day.
11. Brazil. Vandelei Martinianos together with Leo H.M. Arruda, Isabel Alves and Gustavo Rosa Diego Caleiro and João Lourenço coordinated two meetings that were held on Future Day in Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo. A third meeting took place on that day in Brazil in Santa Maria (in the Southern part of the country): Mateus Stein reports about the meeting in Santa Maria: We had a great conversation about longevity, transhumanism, emerging technologies and our expectations about the future for almost three hours. It was worth it to have had this meeting because of our conversation and friendship, but I'm still disappointed because it would be better if more people could be with us.
12. Belgium. Didier Coeurnelle reports: A meeting was held in Brussels, on 1st of March, in the Café ‘A la mort subite’. We had an interesting conversation during two hours among other things about · The most important progresses that we expect/hope to see concerning longevity in the next decades · The biggest risks related to (opposition to) life extension technological progression that we are afraid to see in the next decades
13. Canada, Edmonton. According to Kim Solez: University of Alberta Campus featured music by Joel Crichton, two student presentations by Damon Monroe - Plight of Globalization of Technology, Vanessa Rogers - From Sense to Intelligence: Enhancement of the Human Mind.; Excerpts from Doug Wolens The Singularity documentary with some fun interruptions, Three more student presentations, by Matt Herman - The Future of Freedom and Security. Peter Wood - Echocardiography: The Future of Cardiac Imaging. Diane Laverty - Genomics: Letting the Gen(i)e out of the Bottle. More Joel Crichton music, dancing and merriment!
14. Australia. According to Adam Ford, Future Day was held in Melbourne as a joint project of Amplify, Second Tree, Humanity+ and Singularity Summit AU. The program included: Welcome by Adam Ford, Director Humanity+, and presentations by Peter Ellyard on "Rapid prototyping the Future" (extremely participatory), a presentation, by Mark Ciotola (formely at NASA) on“The Future of Space Exploration”, and by James Newton-Thomas (Engineer, Field Roboticist) on “Automation, and The Future of Work.”
15. China Special thanks to Adam Ford for providing this interview with Dr. Ben Goertzel (currently researching AI in Hong Kong, China) -- the man who originated the idea of the Future Day. And now Ben joined in the celebration of Longevity on that day. Watch the video of Ben Goertzel on Longevity
16. India. According to Siddartha S. Verma
A meeting was held in Ranchi, Jharkhand, India. Attention and awareness to this day will let the younger generation to understand the hidden potential behind emerging technologies and rapid technological acceleration.
17. South Africa. According to Belinda Metlitsky Silbert
"Since 2012, there has been a global initiative to institute March 1 as an international “Future Day” dedicated to envisioning and working for a better future.” In honor of that day, Belinda Metlitzky Silbert gave a free talk on Healthy Longevity at Marina Da Gama, SA. 18. Finland. The future day was celebrated in Tampere, Finland, by Longevity Finland.
19. Romania. According to Mihai Cirimpei
A meeting in support of longevity was held in Bucharest at the CUGET research group. 20. Korea. Kyung-Jin Min delivered a lecture on aging research at the retreat of Incheon Central Church.
In the picture: Prof. Kyung-Jin Min with a group of students at the spring camp of Incheon Central Church.
21. The Netherlands. On March 1, Amanda Stoel organized "Health and Longevity Day" for a narrow circle in Bussum, near Amsterdam.
22. Italy. David de Biasi reports (according to Massimiliano Maidano): We met at the Galleria Alberto Sordi (A gallery dedicated to a famous Italian Actor ) in Rome. We talked about cryonics, politics and technology for a couple of hours.
23. Germany. Daniel Wuttke organized the submission of two proposals for longevity research to develop the Denigma (Deciphering the Enigma of Aging) platform (http://www.denigma.de/): "Quantified Self Intelligent Collective Platform For More Healthy Life Years" as a Commitment to the Action Plan of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA) and another entitled "Crowdsourcing for the Biological Sciences: Open Distributed Science for Ageing Research".
In several more countries there were efforts to organize events dedicated to longevity on the Future Day: Egypt, Mexico, Poland, Denmark, Ireland, Uganda, Philippines. Yet, it was still difficult to gather the initial support. This is not at all discouraging, for the mere fact that such efforts take place is the best hope for the international movement for healthy longevity for all.
Looking forward to more and even stronger initiatives of this kind!