ALTER
The Association for Long Term Existence & Resilience

About Us

ALTER, the Association for Long Term Existence & Resilience, is an academic research and advocacy organization, based in Israel which works to investigate, demonstrate, and foster useful ways to improve the future in the short term, and to safeguard and improve the long-term trajectory of humanity.

Since our founding in 2022, we’ve worked to promote research and policy that will build a better future for the coming generations. Israeli research and policy have a wide effect on the current and future lives globally. We work to ensure that this effect is for the better.

At ALTER we believe that we have a moral duty to build a livable, decent world for people both today and in future generations. We believe that there are concrete and identifiable ways to engage in projects which can have a positive impact, and that these should receive more attention.

We recognize that we have limited time, money, and effort that we can work and as such recognize the need to prioritize between the various ways to ensure a decent future. We use various tools to help us identify high traction topics, including: expert opinion, forecasts, expected value, thinking on the margin, the INT framework (importance, neglectedness, tractability).

Decisions made today impact the future. While we hope that these decisions and advances will be to the mutual benefit of all living beings, we also acknowledge the existence of potential downsides and risks. The world includes bad actors, unexpected consequences, and catastrophic events. We advocate actively acknowledging the potential benefits and risks, and finding robust strategies to maximize the benefits while mitigating the potential risks.

We recognize that science evolves and that we may err in our decisions about priorities or tractability. We welcome constructive criticism and feedback and have built in mechanisms to periodically reevaluate our organizational focus areas.

Our Guiding Principles

Our People

David Manheim
Founder, Director of Policy & Research
David is a public policy researcher specializing in biological and technological risks and the impacts of new technologies. He has done research on topics from COVID-19 to the future of pandemic response and monitoring to forecasting risks of AI at the World Bank, the Council on Strategic Risks, and Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute. In addition to dozens of academic publications in journals ranging from Technological Forecasting and Social Change to Clinical Infectious Diseases, and from Health Security to PLoS Computational Biology, his work on the implications, risks, and management of novel technologies has appeared in Foreign Affairs and TechCrunch.

Asher Brass
Standards fellow

Asher is a researcher focused on artificial intelligence through a standards and cybersecurity lens. His work with ALTER is in conjunction with his work at the Institute for AI Policy and Strategy (IAPS) where he is a researcher on the compute governance team. Asher previously served as the Head of the Cyber Analysis Team at Cynerio, a medical device cybersecurity start-up. He also previously served as a cybersecurity officer in the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate (Unit 8200) and was a Senior Technological Researcher at the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. Asher has a BA in Political Science and International Relations from The Open University of Israel.
Naham Shapiro
Operations
Naham ensures that ALTER’s day to day runs smoothly. He also works on wide-ranging projects, especially those to which he can bring his public health expertise and background. Before joining ALTER, Naham worked building community health projects and primary care systems in India, Uganda, and Israel. He also conducted research on public health education and data-collection for planning municipal services. He holds a BA in Arabic Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters of Public Health (MPH) from the Hebrew University.

Board of Directors

Our Partners

University of Haifa I Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Effective Altruism Israel
Transformative Futures Institute
Transformative Futures Institute

Institutional Memberships

We are proud to be institutional members in the US Artificial Intelligence Safety Consortium (AISIC) of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as in the Pandemic Action Network.

Our Supporters

The Survival and Flourishing Fund has graciously provided funding for our operations, planned conferences, and grantmaking for the coming 2 years. Prior to this, the Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund provided initial startup costs for ALTER, as well as suggestions for the organization. We also received support from the Long Term Futures Fund for the ongoing research of David Manheim and his time spent on the administrative overhead in starting the organization.

We previously received funding from the FTX Foundation. We strongly condemn the fraudulent actions of FTX and returned the majority of the grant, as per an agreement with the FTX Debtors.

As a registered Israeli non-profit organization (Registered Nonprofit No. 580738219), our annual via financial reports are publicly available on the Guidestar.org.il website. Please note that the website and reports are in Hebrew. 

Tranparancy