Our history

The World Dementia Council (WDC) was created in February 2014, following the G8 Dementia Summit in London in December 2013. The Summit resulted in a G8 Declaration, which set out an international response to dementia and a commitment to accelerate progress towards effective treatments and cures. Central to this was an ambition to identify a cure or a disease-modifying medicine for dementia by 2025 and a commitment to appoint a World Dementia Envoy to help achieve this goal.

Passing the mic

Sir Dennis Gillings CBE was appointed as the World Dementia Envoy and chair of WDC. Membership of WDC was drawn from a range of international experts from research and academia, industry, the NGO sector and people living with dementia. The Council’s aims were to stimulate innovation and coordinate international efforts to attract new sources of finance to fund vital dementia research.

In February 2016, WDC re-formed to become fully independent. At the first meeting of the re-formed Council, Sir Dennis Gillings handed over the post of Chair to Dr. Yves Joanette PHD, FCAHS, Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Ageing. Raj Long, Senior Advisor at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, became Vice-Chair. WDC became a charity in December 2016.

  • Our members

    The World Dementia Council has 24 members working across six continents. WDC’s members attend WDC meetings, vote on key issues and chair or participate in WDC's global teams.

  • Our associate members

    Our associate members help to ensure that WDC’s agenda aligns with other global dementia initiatives, providing the Council with important advice, guidance and intelligence. As they do not have full membership status, associate members don’t vote on issues such as the election of a new chair or new members, or on governance issues.