The birth of Effective Altruism Brighton

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Do you want to make a difference in the world but with such a range of important issues out there you don’t know where to start?

Perhaps you donate to charity but feel you could be doing more somehow?

Are you looking for new ways to volunteer in your community?

If you’re reading this blog you have probably come across Effective Altruism.  It is about choosing the actions and charities that are going to make the most impact on the biggest issues facing the world.   If we start by focusing in the right areas we can make a huge difference.

What you might not realise is that you don’t have to work all of this out on your own.  Across the world there are Effective Altruism groups of all different types.  Why not have a look for effective altruism groups near you?

If you’re based in Brighton, East Sussex, UK or nearby look no further for Effective Altruism Brighton is here.

Recently I did something a little bit crazy.

While learning more about Effective Altruism I realised that there are a lot of fantastic groups out there of like minded people meeting to discuss effective altruism, debate the best interventions and get together to fundraise and campaign for change.

There’s a fantastic London group which I have been to but I can’t make it up there in time during the week.

I was surprised to find there isn’t a group in Brighton.

Brighton is a fantastic place.  We have a huge amount of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, a thriving vegan community, the first Green MP  and a huge array of meetups groups.  Brighton is an active, caring place.

I wish there was a group in Brighton.

Well if you want something you have to make it happen.  And so Effective Altruism Brighton was born.

Who are we?

barWe are people from in and around Brighton who care about making a difference to the big issues in the world.  Just like the Effective Altruism umbrella we are a broad church.  We have interests ranging from the environment to human and animal rights, gender equality to ethical consumerism.  We have different jobs, different political party affiliations, volunteer in different areas, support difference causes and have different favourite colours!

Most importantly we are united by the desire to make the most positive difference in the world that we can.  If Effective Altruism is a way we can do even more good then we’re keen to find out more.

Our Mission

We want to do good, better.

There are thousands of worthy causes and difficult issues in the world. If we had the money to tackle all of those issues we would. Currently we don’t have enough money but the more people we can encourage to donate the more people we can help.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel that the problems are too infinite to ever tackle. But we can make a huge difference to so many people’s lives. We just need to make a choice; with the resources we’ve got, where do we want to help?

Effective Altruists focus on the area where they can make the most difference.

In Brighton our three main aims:

1) Encourage everyone to give better.

Some charities do 1000 x more good with your donations than others. If we pick the best ones to donate to we can have a huge impact in the world.

For example the cost of training one guide dog for the blind verses the cost of  surgery to reverse the effects of trachoma in Africa and restore sight means you could chose to fund one guide dog or cure 2083 people of blindness! You can read more about this example in my post why effective altruism?

2) Encouraging others to give or raise more

Currently the world spend more on icecream than it would cost to provide education, sanitation and healthcare for ice creameveryone in the world.  If we can encourage people to give more we could end extreme poverty in our lifetimes.

 

3) Getting together to do more with our time.

As a group of passionate altruists we don’t just have the ability to give money but also time. This might be lobbying for more effective aid with RESULTS, supporting a Climate March, fundraising for one of the most effective charities or volunteering at a homeless shelter.

Why Poverty?

In our Brighton group we focus on poverty because of 7.15 billion people in the world 2.4 billion live on less than $2 per day, more than 1 billion lack access to clean drinking water, more than 800 million go to bed hungry each day and more than 6 million die each year from preventable diseases.

We can change that.

What does the future hold?

Effective Altruism Brighton is  in the early stages of life.  Today we’ve got about 35 local members across various social networking sites and we’ve had one meet up.

Moving forward we’ll have fortnightly meetups.  We’re still experimenting with the best days of the week for our members so if you have a preference let us know.   The meetups will be a mixture of friendly pub socials and campaign meetups.  These might be volunteering at a homeless shelter, lobbying parliamentary candidates on foreign aid or fundraising events.

Next fundraiser: Experience Poverty

povertyOur next fundraiser is Experience Poverty.  Participants have to spend at least three days living on only £1.50 a day for food.   Half of the worlds population live every day on less than $2.50 for all of their needs; food, water, housing, education, health.  Experience Poverty gives a very small glimpse into what that might be like and better yet raises money for the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative.

We’re going to try to spend five days (Monday 20th April – Friday 24th April) experiencing poverty. Please sponsor us.  £5 would treat about 10 people who are suffering from these awful parasites.

Come and see for yourself

You can find out more about our events and community through our Facebook group, Facebook page or Meetup group. Or if you would like updates direct to your inbox click here to sign up to our mailing list.

You can also email the group at [email protected] or comment on this blog post.

We’d love to hear from you whether you have questions, suggestions or just want to say hello.

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