The fundamental goal of effective altruism is simple: to do the most good possible. We all have limited resources - be those financial, motivational or time resources - which we can devote to trying to improve the world. Effective altruists try to answer the question, given our limited resources, how should we make use of them in order to improve the world the most?
Effective altruism invites people to think strategically about how to use their resources in order to do the most good. It also invites people to think big. Saving lives, improving the health of many, and helping to safeguard the future of humanity are more within reach than many of us ever suspected. Making a real, measurable difference in the world is possible, with the aid of evidence and research. That's an amazing ability to have.
There's no single cause that effective altruism advocates for. At an effective altruism meetup, you'll meet people who care about global poverty, people who are working on animal welfare, and those who are doing research into how to protect the earth for future generations. The defining feature of effective altruists is that they try to use evidence and careful reasoning to arrive at their goals, and to work out how to best meet them.
If you want to make the world a better place, and if you're curious about how you can use rationality in order to do that, effective altruism is a perfect fit for you. To find out more, get started with the following links, or watch philosopher Will MacAskill's Ted talk about effective altruism below.
Effective Altruism Melbourne was started when small groups of people in Melbourne decided to meet up to talk about how to improve the world. From these humble beginnings, the organisation has grown substantially. It was incorporated in 2015, in order to ensure its future sustainability, and also to allow it to best represent the views and needs of all effective altruists in Melbourne, through the democratic processes enshrined in its constitution.
Effective Altruism Melbourne's aims are:
To increase awareness of effective altruism ideas
To provide support for effective altruism causes
To serve as a local representative body for the global effective altruism movement
To provide a forum for people to learn about the ideas of effective altruism
To foster a welcoming and diverse community
Throughout Effective Altruism's history, it has engaged in many different activities in the course of pursuing these aims. Hundreds of effective altruists have attended dozens of Effective Altruism Melbourne's events, public lectures, discussion groups and social events. Effective Altruism Melbourne has twice hosted the annual EAGx Australia conference, featuring speakers such as Peter Singer AC (Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University), Catherine Hollander (Senior Research Analyst, GiveWell), Rob Wiblin (Director of Research, 80,000 Hours), and Dr Meredith Doig (President, Rationalist Society of Australia). Other activities have included fundraising for highly effective charities, a 2017 submission to the Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, and assisting effective altruism-related university clubs with their projects.
Kieren is a scientist working on quantifying the characteristics of seafood for the purpose of helping the alternative protein industry mimic them in cultivated/plant-based meat. He hopes that this technology will decrease the harms associated with aquaculture and ravaging the ocean. He likes service, debates and podcasts!
Since discovering Effective Altruism, Annabel's main focus has been on reducing extreme global poverty. While working full time, she is researching other potential cause areas for a high impact career. Annabel enjoys music, discussing philosophy, and reading in her free time.
Sam is a computer science student. You'll likely find him doing statistics or coding in obscure programming languages in his free time. He enjoys making databases, finding cruxes, learning, and automating things.
David (Noosh to most) works in data science in the medtech space. He still can't choose between global development, animal welfare and mental health research as his top cause area, so instead is focusing on helping to build vibrant welcoming communities. Behind the scenes he likes getting up to music, festivals, meditation and flow arts
Ethan (EJ) Watkins
EJ is a chemist by training but has recently switched career direction to study AI safety. Though working in the longtermist space, he still believes strongly in the value of the global development and animal welfare cause areas. In his spare time he enjoys playing boardgames, camping, creating toy coding projects, and going to the beach.
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