The Virtual Observatory (VO) is the vision that astronomical datasets and other resources should work as a seamless whole. Many projects and data centres worldwide are working towards this goal. The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) is an organisation that debates and agrees the technical standards that are needed to make the VO possible. It also acts as a focus for VO aspirations, a framework for discussing and sharing VO ideas and technology, and body for promoting and publicising the VO.