At the beginnings of the 21st century, with the advancement of biology of aging and of the Internet, research goes outside of the lab and is discussed online. Various forums and mailing-lists emerge that are related to life-extension. The Methuselah Foundation Forums, that later becomes the SENS forum. The Immortality Institute, that later becomes the LongeCity forum. Some groups take place at specific locations. The Gerontology Research Group in Los Angeles, the Healthy Life Extension Society in Brussels, and others.
In summer 2012, with the advancement of social networks, a facebook group for the science of life extension grows exponentially. Debates on how to position it with respect to the mainstream ideas of the time, and whether to be non governmental organisations, lead the group to be called Longevity Party and another yet similar group to be called International Longevity Alliance. The International Longevity Alliance is mostly lead by several core activists from different countries, who gradually build groups in various countries, links with existing longevity networks, and projects that require crowd-action.
No matter the name, the longevity activists join forces to carry out conferences, meetings, round tables and public events worldwide, dedicated to support longevity technologies. In the end of 2013, the core group of regularly working activists has formed, which becomes the ILA board in 2014. After a long period of discussion and research on the best conditions for registering, the ILA is registered as a foundation in France, Paris, in September 2014. Four main fields are chosen as the ILA priorities:
- Supporting the scientific research in the domain of biological aging and geroprotective technologies.
- Facilitating professional networking within the research community, building connections with decision makers, business and general public.
- Improving the regulatory policy for geroprotective technologies.
- Educating general public on the matter of scientifically grounged methods of life extension.
The ILA became unique in the global longevity space in that it supports and builds up public longevity advocacy around the world at both the massive grass roots level and high governmental and supra-governmental level. Thus, it has been uniquely successful in leveraging longevity advocacy both to create and network activist groups and NGOs in dozens of countries, and successfully develop and bring to adoption prolongevity policies in several countries and internationally.
The ILA success stories speak for themselves:
- Since 2013, longevity groups affiliated or connected with the ILA appear in over 50 countries, with thousands of online supporters.
- In October 2013, Longevity Events are organized in more than 30 countries.
- Since 2013 to the present, every October, the ILA leads the global campaign in support of aging and longevity research – first called the “International Longevity Day” (October 1) which later expanded to the “International Longevity Month” during the entire month of October. This traditional campaign has combined the activities of many organizations and individual activists working to promote research, development and application for healthy longevity around the world. During the years, hundreds of events, publications and other promotional actions were organized in dozens of countries in the framework of this campaign. These activities help build up the longevity activism into a massive global grassroots movement.
- In October 2014, the ILA chooses a symbol: sparklers. The LightSpan” campaign is run, dedicated to focus public attention on aging as a healthcare problem.
- Since 2014 through 2016, the fundraising campaign for the ILA scientific project Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) is conducted to gather resources for large geroprotectors testing program in mice.
- In 2015 the ILA initiates a number of events, dedicated to support the development of longevity technologies, and takes part in public discussion of the WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging.
- In 2017, ILA is one of the leading organizations in the global campaign to include healthy aging and longevity into the 13th WHO work program for 2019-2023. The campaign was successful and the issue of healthy aging was for the first time included in the WHO work program thanks to longevity activism.
- In 2018, the ILA makes yet another impact on global health policy. Largely thanks to the efforts of ILA experts and advocates, aging is included as a modifier into the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases ICD-11 system, which may encourage investment and focus for addressing aging-related ill health.
- ILA also advances policies in support of healthy longevity at the national level. Thus, in 2019, an ILA federated member – the Israeli Longevity Alliance – was instrumental for introducing the topic of “Research, Development and Education for the Promotion of Healthy Longevity and Prevention of Aging-related Diseases” into the Israel National Masterplan on Aging.
- In 2020, the International Longevity Alliance organized the first of its kind prize Competition to support longevity activism, advocacy and raising public awareness about longevity research. 11 excellent contributions arrived from around the world – Russia, Germany, Spain, Pakistan, Nigeria, Morocco, India, Brazil, USA. With all the difficulty to select, the winners were announced, and additional commendations provided. Indeed, the aim of this competition was not to “select the best”, but to encourage more longevity activism. The ILA hopes this prize has contributed to this aim and we hope this tradition will continue.
- In 2020, the ILA grew to include 23 registered non-profit associations from 20 countries as federated members.
With your support, the ILA will continue to advance longevity advocacy around the world, at both the grass roots and high level, to achieve the goal of healthy longevity for all through scientific research!