Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

Effective Altruism

Aimee Fenech
7 min readJan 24

By chance I was trying to find accommodation on Airbnb last summer when I noticed a nice room with a profile that said, “our son works at the local Effective Altruism office”. The day after, in my reading recommendations from pocket I saw a piece from The New Yorker about the very same subject so with my curiosity peaked I dug a bit deeper.

William MacAskill is one of the founders and seemingly it started as an inspired idea from reading Peter Singer’s 1972 paper “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,”.

If you have not read the paper perhaps you should, it reminds us that suffering and death that are occurring are not inevitable and not unavoidable. It calls and tugs at our moral duty to do better. It reminds us of how our choices reflect our values. It reminds me in a small way of how easy it is to look away.

From that idea Effective Altruism now controls thirty billion dollars.

William is writing a book called “What We Owe the Future” which apparently we should look out for. He’s a man born in 1987 that makes him a couple of years younger than me, has a long history of philantropy and giving away large proportions of earnings to charity and studied philosophy ta Cambridge. Like many young people he spent time looking for meaning. He supplemented his income doing nude modelling and later bachelorette parties.

Here’s an interesting realisation, he said that while attending some climate protest that this is basically against cap-and-trade and he was indeed for it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about…

Aimee Fenech

#permaculture practitioner, teacher and designer, co-founder of #ecohackerfarm, writer, project manager and activist get in touch