Effective Altruism: Doing Good Better

What Is Effective Altruism?

It is not enough to be compassionate — you must act.” — The Dalai Lama

Food For Thought

What Is Effective Altruism?

In what ways can we give back to and improve society most effectively? How can we find the industries, projects, and charities where our time, money, and energy will go the furthest?

This week’s Mission Daily interviewees are thought leaders at the forefront of a growing movement called effective altruism. Together, they will help us answer these questions and more. 🤗

Effective altruism uses evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective way to create the maximum positive impact on society. This mode of thinking is different from other types of charity because it focuses on scientifically and quantitatively comparing causes with the hope of creating the largest possible impact.

Despite how it may sound, our interviews this week do not focus solely on charity — instead, we use the mindset of effective altruism to reframe how we think about our actions today. We attempt to answer big business, political, and societal questions from a scientific and analytical perspective that considers how the past and present will influence the future.

We all have talents, interests, or resources that, if used effectively, can simultaneously minimize our suffering footprint while moving humanity and the planet forward toward a more positive future.

Deep Dive

Doing Good Better

William MacAskill has devoted his life to figuring out how to effectively help improve the world around him. As one of the earliest proponents of the effective altruism movement, he has helped create non-profits and movements to target and understand some of the biggest issues in the modern world.

In this episode, Chad and William discuss the basics of effective altruism and how you can start to be more effective with your charitable efforts.

🎧 Listen to the episode. 🎧

Deep Dive

Introduction To Effective Altruism

“Irena Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children from the Holocaust by providing them with false identity documents and smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto. Norman Borlaug’s research into disease-resistant wheat precipitated the ‘Green Revolution’; he has been credited with saving hundreds of millions of lives. Stanislav Petrov prevented all-out nuclear war simply by staying calm under pressure and being willing to disobey orders.
These people might seem like unrelatable heroes, who were enormously brave, or skilled, or who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. But many people can also have a tremendous positive impact on the world, if they choose wisely.”

Read the article.

Watch This

The Why And How Of Effective Altruism

Peter Singer popularized the philosophy of effective altruism with his book, The Life You Can Save. In this TED talk, he shares what effective altruism is, what it looks like in practice, and why it is so important.

Watch the video.


On This Day In History

On this day in 2005, the very first YouTube video was posted. It was a short clip called “Me at the zoo” and shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. Today, 300 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every minute, and the total number of people who use YouTube is 1,300,000,000. 📹

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This was originally published on April 23, 2019 as the Mission’s daily newsletter. To subscribe, go here.

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