Effective Altruism Workshop
Our workshop will be conducted at private high schools. The reasoning behind this is that students at these institutions often have more resources and opportunities at their disposal, which can be leveraged to make a greater impact in the world. Additionally, these schools tend to have a culture of achievement and excellence, which aligns with our mission to empower future leaders.
However, we understand that targeting high-achieving high schools may be met with criticism that our program only caters to privileged students and doesn't address issues of systemic inequality. To address this concern, we plan to make our resources and materials available to a wider audience through online platforms and community outreach programs. Additionally, we will actively seek out partnerships with organizations that work with underprivileged communities to ensure that our message and resources reach a diverse group of individuals.
Furthermore, we have a mentorship program called 'Proxied Giving Mentorship Program' that allows students from all backgrounds to participate and learn about effective altruism and social responsibility.
EA Workshop Syllabus
During the initial segment of the workshop, we delve into the fundamental principles of effective altruism. We draw upon a range of sources, including "Doing Good Better" by Will MacAskill and the Effective Altruism Handbook created by the Centre for Effective Altruism.
01. Introduction to Effective Altruism
Here are some principles that we touch upon:
Evidence-based decision-making: Using data and research to determine the most effective ways to make a positive impact.
Cause prioritization: Identifying the most pressing global issues and focusing resources on those that can be most effectively addressed.
High-impact giving: Supporting organizations and initiatives that have a clear and measurable impact, rather than those that simply make people feel good.
Long-term thinking: Considering the long-term consequences of our actions and focusing on issues that will have the greatest impact in the future.
Leverage: Identifying ways to maximize the impact of our resources, such as by supporting the development of new technologies or by supporting effective organizations.
Transparency and self-reflection: Being open about our actions and decision-making processes, and constantly evaluating and re-evaluating our approach.
Collaboration: Working together with others to achieve common goals and leverage collective resources.
Global perspective: Taking into account the needs and perspectives of people from all over the world, rather than just focusing on those in our immediate community.
Personal growth: Recognizing that personal development and self-improvement can be powerful tools for making a positive impact on the world.
Empowerment: Empowering individuals and communities to take ownership of their own development and make a positive impact in the world.
In this segment, passionate experts from various fields, such as climate change, animal welfare, AI safety, global poverty, and Earning to Give, speak in front of the class about the importance of their respective causes.
02. Exploring different causes.
In the third part of the workshop, we delve into the topic of career choices and strategies. One approach discussed is Earning to Give, where students learn about choosing a career with the goal of donating a significant portion of their income to effective charities. We also introduce students to resources like 80,000 Hours, a non-profit that conducts research on high-impact career paths and offers counseling based on their findings. Additionally, we challenge common misconceptions about the impact of certain professions, such as doctors or working at a non-profit, by discussing the concept of marginal utility.
03. Maximizing Impact through Career Choices.
This part of the workshop is designed to help the students make sense of their motivations in life and to invite them to think more critically about their career goals to lead a more purposeful, meaningful, and fulfilling life. We refer to motivation theories proposed by Abraham Maslow and Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman to demonstrate the need to incorporate purpose in one's life/career. Of course, financial security/monetary wealth, and self-development are crucial for one's well-being. But having a purpose greater than the self is equally important for one's growth and life satisfaction. We don't have to choose either self-development or self-sacrifice, but at the highest level of human potential, we show a deep integration of both. In that light, we urge the students to think more purposefully about their career choice.
04. "The New Science of Self-Actualization"
The last part of the workshop consists of closing remarks aimed at empowering the students to be socially responsible: with great power comes great responsibility. Lastly, we conclude the workshop by inviting the students to sign a pledge to donate a portion of their future income to effective charities through Giving What We Can.
The unique aspect of Inspire Altruism's workshop is our innovative "Giving Exercise" and "Proxied Giving Leadership Program." Similar to Giving Games and Charity Elections hosted by Giving What We Can, we provide students with real money to make a donation to a charity of their choice. However, what sets our exercise apart is the added element of agency. In addition to the option to donate, we also give students the choice to keep the money for themselves. This allows for a more realistic simulation of the trade-offs involved in giving and helps students exercise their "giving muscles" in an authentic environment. Before the Giving Exercise, the students are taught the principles of effective giving and provided resources like GiveWell to guide their donation strategies.
The rules of the exercise go as follows:
Each student is given around $100 and they can choose to either donate the money to a charity of their choice or keep the money for themselves.
If more than 20% of the class decides to keep the money, the students who chose to keep the money will split 20% of the total sum of money amongst themselves. For example, if 50% of a class of 30 chooses to keep the money, those 15 students will split $600 (20% of $3,000) which comes out to $40 per person. But if only 2 students decide to keep the money, each student will walk away with $100.
Students who decide to keep the money for themselves are informed after they've made their decision, that they must volunteer 1 hour for every $10 they decided to keep. For example, if a student decides to keep $50, they must volunteer 5 hours at a local charity of their choice before they are able to claim the money. This ensures that even if students decide to keep the money for themselves, they are still contributing to the community and being exposed to real-world socioeconomic disparities.