In this episode, Bill interviews Aaron Gertler from the Centre for Effective Altruism.
Aaron runs the EA Newsletter and EA Forum. He is experienced in freelance positions throughout the EA community. He received a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science from Yale University, where he wrote a thesis on how charities can improve their communication with donors.
What is Effective Altruism?
Effective Altruism is using evidence and research to determine how we can best use our resources to help others.
What does the Centre for Effective Altruism do?
The Centre for Effective Altruism is a community of students and professionals that act based on their EA principles. It is a high-quality discussion space that connects students and young professionals with experts to help consider personal values and find an effective way to contribute to our community.
Here are some resources discussed in the interview:
For people who want to find good charities:
- GiveWell looks for the best opportunities to improve the lives of people in the developing world
- Animal Charity Evaluators recommends effective charities that work to help animals
- Founders Pledge conducts research in many promising cause areas, and recommends a wide range of charities
- Effective Altruism Funds lets you give to teams of expert fund managers who will make grants in a particular area
For people who want to learn more about the ideas of effective altruism:
- To get familiar with basic ideas, they can try CEA’s introduction to effective altruism (a free article) or Will MacAskill’s book, Doing Good Better
- One of the top areas of focus in effective altruism is “existential risks” — dangers that pose a serious threat to our civilization, or even our species. Toby Ord’s The Precipice is an excellent summary of this topic.
- People in effective altruism often use a particular framework to evaluate the importance of different global problems. The charity 80,000 Hours has a great guide to this framework, which can help people understand where the above recommendations come from.
For people who want to get involved in the EA community:
- The Centre for Effective Altruism runs a few different conferences each year: learn more at eaglobal.org
- You can find groups in your area on the Effective Altruism Hub. Groups typically engage in a mix of serious discussion and casual social activities.
- The Effective Altruism Forum is the main space for online discussion of EA topics. Some of the material is pretty advanced, but there’s a broad range of writing, and newcomers are welcome to ask questions and share ideas.
Finally, if you have questions about anything related to effective altruism, you can email Aaron: firstname.lastname@example.org. If the question falls outside his areas of expertise, he can refer you to other people who might be more helpful.
Visit the Centre of Altruism: https://www.centreforeffectivealtruism.org/