For me, one of Bob’s key messages was that anything was possible, if it helped to further the cause he fought for all his life – a better life for older people and an end to the negative attitudes and discrimination they often face. He believed that we should always celebrate the unprecedented triumph of living in an ageing society. This message was always incredibly strong and permeated all his work.

He could also make others believe they could do anything, as he did me in persuading me to describe best practice across Europe to special Congressional and Senate Committees, each in seven minutes with no preparation. When I expressed some doubts about being able to do that, he said ‘of course you can do it Sally, just tell them what you know’. Somehow I managed, because Bob inspired me, as he did all of us. He was the best mentor ever.

Hearing him inspire audiences across the world was a privilege and he achieved momentous changes in policy and practice. Not only did he coin the word ‘ageism’ but also ‘shortgevity’ and his work was renowned.

But outside work, Bob was one of my dearest friends. He and Myrna first stayed with us in London when Alexandra was two and a half. Last year she and her fiancé returned to London, where a happy reunion reminded me of Bob’s delight in his family, such as, when in London with two charming grandsons, we all climbed to the top of Big Ben.

He was a determined walker covering huge distances, sometimes with me desperately trying to keep up. My husband Alan mapped out many historic walks across London for him. His insistence in maintaining physical and intellectual energy ensured, I believe, that he was able to remain fiercely active, even publishing a book a few days before his death.

My tribute to Bob, and that of my colleagues from the ILCs across the globe, will be to develop, expand and progress the work of the ILC Global Alliance. I am proud to have been involved sine the early days with Bob, Shigeo Morioka from Japan, and Francoise Forette from France, because if Bob’s message to recognise the economic and social force of older people is heeded, the world will surely be more balanced and more humane. The strength of Bob’s call to action demonstrates how future society can benefit from being, in all senses of the word, more mature and through the work of the ILCs we can ensure that Bob’s spirit and leadership will continue to inspire the world.

We owe him that at the very least and that, I promise, we shall do everything in our power to achieve.

Baroness Sally Greengross
Chief Executive, International Longevity Centre – UK


Are you looking for a short-term paid role in a think tank over the summer?
The independent think tank the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is seeking a summer intern to start on Monday 23 July. The intern would work 4 days a week for a period of 4 weeks, with the possibility of extension.

New research ‘An Economic Analysis of Flu Vaccination’ paints a picture of lives saved and costs averted, but more needs to be done to increase uptake

Ben Franklin, Assistant Director of Research and Policy comments on the role of public policy, industry and consumer bodies in assisting the regulator to protect consumers.

On 19th June entries opened for the Innovating for Ageing initiative, a competition to identify solutions to the challenges facing vulnerable consumers.

The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) and Just Group have analysed the submissions and created a shortlist to take forward that helps deal with ageing issues such as cognitive decline, failing physical health, loneliness and digital exclusion.

We are looking for an experienced, flexible and proactive candidate to support the Senior Management Team in managing the financials of the organisation.