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.
Gus is pursuing his PhD in machine learning at Monash. He is unsure which EA cause area to focus on, and is trying to keep his options open as he makes up his mind. In his free time he enjoys scuba diving, reading, and strategy games.
Lucie works in education and has an interest in science and philosophy. Her key cause area is working to end suffering for animals through the transformation of their use in the consumer goods industry.
Vanessa studies maths and computer science at Melbourne Uni. She's particularly interested in reducing extreme suffering, and is exploring the possibility of a career in mental health research in order to do that. When she's not working (but sometimes when she should be) she loves gardening, chocolate and learning about the world.
Kieren is a scientist most interested in cultivated meat/cellular agriculture technology as an avenue to decrease the harms associated with traditional animal agriculture. He likes service, debates and podcasts!
Ariel is a postdoctoral research fellow investigating consciousness at Monash University. He believes in extending aid to all moral patients, but would love more clarity on which creatures are actually moral patients. He enjoys spending his leisure time on books, food, hiking and wonky discussions.
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