Posts Tagged ‘SENS’
Monday will see the end of my role as Executive Vice President of SENS Foundation. I’ll say more about that in a moment, but I think it’s important to understand that the Foundation is a lifetime commitment for me. I’m a co-founder, after all, and I can’t imagine a world in which I’m not extolling the virtues of the organization, its mission, and the wider concept of rejuvenation biotechnology; whatever else I’m doing, or whatever environment surrounds me.
Why am I stepping down? Because I have a personal project which I wish to pursue. And given the criticality of rejuvation biotechnology, you should get a feeling for just how important I consider this next project, but also how hard it has been to reach this decision.
Why can I step down now? Because the team which we’ve built at the Foundation over the past two-and-a-half years is so very, very talented and capable. Under the leadership of Mike Kope the executive team has gone from strength to strength. Tanya Jones joined us and has built an amazing Research Center facility in Mountain View, where our team of researchers continues to expand as we attract top-notch candidates to new positions. Aubrey de Grey’s role as CSO has been augmented by the expertise of those researchers, particularly our principal investigators. At the same time, our outreach activities are starting to fall to a widening circle of Foundation communicators. Our Academic Initiative, now under Daniel Kimbel, looks set to do great things in the coming year, as he builds a scalable framework for our interactions with the student community. Maria Entraigues, in LA, has taken our success at hosting ‘chapter’ meetings in the city and transformed it into a focused fund-raising effort which is growing our presence and supporter-base there, and which looks set to be a model for other locations in the US and beyond.
I could fill a many more paragraphs with similar observations: I haven’t even mentioned the development of our Board, or the expansion in our funding and external collaborations. I urge you to visit the Foundation’s website to see what we’re doing, and meet our team: I couldn’t mention everyone by name here, but they all deserve your time and attention, I assure you.
And on a personal note, I’m going to miss their company, a very great deal.
(There’s a blog post by Mike Kope on this subject, too.)
In one of those moments which life occasionally delivers to the unsuspecting, I found myself in LA on Sunday, sitting on a couch with Edward James Olmos (yes, that one) and Maria Entraigues, watching Mark Wexler’s new film, How to Live Forever. (Thank you, Mark, for having your DP lend us a pre-release copy at such short notice.) Read more about the film.
Midday on Sunday. My left sock, which started the day white, is being darkened by the small trickle of blood running down my leg. There are an awful lot of small lizards in the undergrowth, and the rustles of their darting back and forth is the only sound I can hear. About a mile away, at the other end of the island, there are hundreds of people, but I wouldn’t know it if I hadn’t walked past them about half an hour ago.
More after the break.
SENS Foundation has just made its Research Report from Q4 2010 available on-line, with an accompanying post by our CSO. It’s a great snapshot of our position towards the end of last year. Since then we’ve finished our move to a new Research Center in Mountain View, gained funding for a major project on AGE-breakers, confirmed our 501(c)(3) status as a public charity… The list goes on. Our 2010 Year End Report has been drafted, and we’re just completing the necessary accounting before that becomes public. Watch this space. (And the Foundation’s site, of course.)
One of the Foundation’s achievements last year was our Research Center‘s moving to a larger laboratory space, in Mountain View, California. Earlier this month we held a small opening event. It gave us a chance to thank our Research Operations Manager, Tanya Jones, and her team, for all their work in yet-again increasing the capabilities of the Foundation to pursue its core research interests. Anyway… I took some snapshots during the afternoon, and thought I’d share them. Snapshot slideshow after the break.
Last night SENS Foundation held a meeting in the ‘volume’ at Giant Studios (where the motion capture for Avatar, and the upcoming Real Steel, amongst others, was performed). I spend most of my waking hours immersed in (bio)tech, so you’d think I’d show a little reserve when handed a replica machine gun covered in ‘markers’ which enable it to be used as a virtual camera. Not so much, it turns out. More, less artillery-related, details...
It’s 7.23pm. I’m talking to Jason Hope, a philanthropist, with Aubrey de Grey, whilst Mike Kope, our CEO, prepares backstage at the Palace of Fine Arts. I know what time it is because I’m glancing at my watch, as surreptitiously as possible. In 7 minutes the show begins, but I think we’re going to be able to announce a major donation. If we can finalize some details and I can get backstage to edit our speech. Read more about 'Breakthrough Philanthropy'...
I’ve had a lot of positive responses to my recent blog post about the SENS Foundation, but I’m slightly worried that I may have failed in my attempt to emphasise that this, isn’t about reprioritization, renunciation, or disenfranchisement. It is about recognizing the value of all our stakeholders, and of all the consequences of our activities. Continue reading...
Playfulness, toasters, negative space, Gatsby (and no witchcraft or Egyptian archaeology): last night was the TED Salon in London, down at the Unicorn Theatre, near Tower Bridge. The topic for the evening was “Re-framing” with 15 speakers over 5 hours (including the usual networking breaks that are de rigueur at such events ). As ever, each talk delivered something of interest, but their effectiveness to me was increased by SENS Foundation‘s current re-framing of its mission and message (see posts passim). I have a small programme for the evening with more pencil scribblings on it than original ink. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of some of the talks, in as much as they resonated with me, with links where appropriate. A whistle-stop tour, you say? Lead on...
I want to write a little (on reflection, quite a lot) about SENS Foundation. Over the last few days we’ve been working to change some of the content of our website, and this seems like a good time to contextualize those changes in a broader discussion of the Foundation: who we are, what we want to achieve, why we want to achieve it, and some things we need to do in order to get there. I’ll also address some of the misconceptions about us which I think exist. Read (a lot) more...