What do we do?
80,000 Hours was founded in October 2011 to help people like you use the 80,000 hours you’ve got in your career to make a difference: we provide life-changing one-on-one career coaching to exceptional individuals, produce in-depth research on the careers that do the most to solve the world’s most pressing problems, and have a global community of like-minded world-changers.
We want to change the world. And we think the best way to do that is to help you change the world.
What problem are we solving?
Many people want to make a difference with their careers, but they don’t have enough information about the social impact of their different options. Is it better for the world to become a researcher or to work in start-ups? Is it better to work in global health charities or education charities? There’s no organisation to help with these decisions.
But they really matter. To give one example, there’s evidence some health interventions are 100x more effective than others. Ignoring this kind of data could mean squandering 99% of your impact. And we’ve found many problems with the advice that’s already out there.
Where will we go?
We are working to become the world’s number one source for advice on pursuing a career that truly makes a difference in an effective way.
By doing this, we’ll enable thousands of talented, dedicated people to fill the most pressing talent gaps in the world, with the aim of accelerating the solution of the world’s most pressing problems.
We aim to embody the following values in carrying out our work.
Evidence - Ask: “Is this true?” “Why do we believe it’s true?” “What data is there?”
Agile - Update our plans based on the evidence.
Execute - Get stuff done.
Quality - We want to be as professional as your doctor.
Transparent - We want others to know about our mistakes so they can learn from them.
Fun - If there’s a way we can make something more fun, we’ll take it.
Caring - We’re motivated by our desire to help people, and we bring that into all we do.
Ambitious - We want to change the world.
Where did we start?
80,000 Hours was started by six friends – Will MacAskill, Benjamin Todd, Richard Batty, Matt Gibb, Robbie Shade and Niel Bowerman – who wanted to make the most difference with their careers. As a sister organisation to Giving What We Can, we wanted to bring GWWC’s twin ideas of “giving more and giving better” into choosing careers that make a difference. In October 2011 we launched as 80,000 Hours and were featured in the BBC. By the end of the year, we had recruited over 140 members. By summer 2012 we became a registered charitable company as part of the Centre for Effective Altruism and Ben Todd became our first full-time employee.
Since taking paid staff on July 4th 2012, we have had incredible success, far beyond our expectations. We have experienced exponential growth, moving from 100 to 300 members in the first 6 months, and from 300 to 800 in the second six months, and seen a significant proportion of these people commit to dedicating their lives to doing the most good. We have received major international media attention from The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, CNBC, NPR, Quartz, and Peter Singer’s TED talk. We’ve spun off a whole new charity, Effective Animal Activism, which now has paid staff and secured external funding. We’ve seen individual 80,000 hours alumni in their first year alone donate over $80,000, and enter jobs at Google, McKinsey, Jane St and Rothschild. We’ve done substantial research, producing over 200 blog posts and one academic article that has been published in a major philosophy journal. We’ve refined and improved our career advising service, and have given one-on-one advice sessions to over 100 people. In 2013, we expect to have a budget of over £150,000, 3 full time employees, and 4 full-time interns.
Who’s with us?
We see ourselves as part of a family of effective altruist organisations, which take an evidence-based approach to doing good. This includes our sister organisations, Giving What We Can and The Life You Can Save, which are part of the Centre for Effective Altruism, as well as organisations like Givewell.
We are affiliated with and share offices with Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute - which does research into the biggest problems facing humanity - and are affiliated with Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics - which aims to enable practical ethics to develop and more effectively guide human choice.
How can you help?
- The vast majority of our funding comes entirely from individuals who believe in our mission, and who expect us to deliver a large positive impact with their donations. Find out more about donating to us.
- Show your support by becoming a member of our community.
- Interested in working with us? Find out about our volunteer and paid positions.