Not long ago, there were zero organizations focused on effective altruism. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of interest in the topic. More and more of us are finding each other to ask not only “How can I help?” but “How can I help better?”
There’s a new organization asking these questions: The High Impact NetworK, THINK’s goal is to introduce people to ideas and skills that will help them do good more effectively.
This fall, THINK meetups will be starting at universities and in cities around the world. THINK is developing a curriculum of presentations and activities that can be picked up and used by anyone who wants to lead such a group. The modules cover areas of interest to effective altruists: charity assessment, paths to impact, making science better and more. (You can take a look at the sample modules currently on the website.) The modules are designed to teach newcomers about the basics of effective altruism, but also to offer self-improvement tools that can help participants reach their chosen goals.
Of course, 80,000 Hours and THINK share many of the same goals. In the coming months, THINK meetups will provide venues for speakers and written material from 80,000 Hours. Its modules will refer interested people to 80,000 Hours for more information on high-impact careers.
The key difference between the organisations is that THINK focuses on helping people all over the world to set up group meet-ups, while 80,000 Hours focuses on online content, careers advice via Skype and events in Oxford, Princeton and Yale.
As THINK gears up to launch 20 to 30 groups this fall, I remember how it felt to realize I wasn’t alone. I remember the excitement of meeting other people who not only wanted to change the world, but were trying to do it in a way that might actually accomplish something. I heard ideas I thought were nuts and ideas I wished I had thought of. I met people I could debate with, collaborate with, think things through with.
This fall, a new wave of people will get the chance to have those life-changing encounters.
Erratum: This post was originally misattributed to Jacy Anthis