Ep130: The Rise of Effective Altruism, Or Generosity for Nerds

causetalk radio ep30

Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to William MacAskill, associate professor at Oxford University and author of a great new book: Doing Good Better

William MacAskill, Doing Good Better

William MacAskill, Doing Good Better

Will is one of the cofounders and leading voices of Effective Altruism, which he calls "Generosity for Nerds."

Effective Altruism is all about maximizing your positive impact on the world (through volunteering, charitable donations, etc.), and it's been getting a lot of traction lately.

Megan and I learned about Will from an excellent  article in The Atlantic. Both Bill Gates and Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein have both recently tweeted about Effective Altruism. 

On today's show, Megan, Will and I discuss:

  • What is Effective Altruism?
  • How did Effective Altruism get started?
  • Why Will is giving away 60 percent of his annual earnings to make an impactful difference in the world.
  • Why it's better to donate to help people in the third world than the first world.
  • Why you probably shouldn't quit your regular job and go to work for a nonprofit.
  • How donors struggle with "Psychic Numbing" when making giving decisions.
  • Can cause marketing be a form of Effective Altruism?
  • Disaster relief: the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • What can companies do to do more good better?
  • How can we turn Generosity for Nerds into generosity for everyone!?

Mentioned & Related to this Podcast

William MacAskill

William MacAskill on Twitter

Effective Altruism on Wikipedia

80,000 Hours

Doing Good Better

The Greatest Good (TheAtlantic.com)

GiveWell