You may remember that at the beginning of 2015 I started up Effective Altruism Brighton to find like minded people in Brighton who want to do the most good they can. I thought that together we would be able to accomplish more, sharing experiences and providing motivation.
Well I think we’ve done just that.
Almost a year later I’ve made some wonderful friends that I see regularly (inside and outside of the group’s activities). We’ve run a few fundraising events for some really top charities, attended a global health conference, spoken at Sussex University and even supported the launch of the Effective Altruists society at Sussex University.
All this alone makes it totally worth the investment and the early days of worrying when I headed to the pub for a meetup that I’d be sitting on my own like a loner!
Taking the pledge
The full pledge is a commitment to give 10% of your income to charities that you feel will have the biggest impact. You can also try giving as Jacob is, where you commit to a percentage of your choice.
I was blown away by this.
Someone on the UK average income is still in the richest 4.2% of the world (even factoring in buying power in different countries!). They could buy 509 anti-malarial bednets or 2606 deworming tablets. Over a lifetime this is an amazing legacy of lives extended and improved across the world.
Hence why I was so excited.
Now these are compassionate people driven by rationality and effectiveness so I’m sure they would have got to the same place at some point but I like to think – and they are both kind enough to say themselves – that spending time with friends doing the same thing made a difference. You can read their own personal stories: Ali’s here and Jacob’s here.
This is the power grassroots organisations: connecting people with wider causes, stimulating debate, challenging thinking and building relationships.
This is why I’m so happy that also thanks to all our members the Brighton groups will continue after I move to Oxford.
RESULTS in Brighton
RESULTS are an international NGO that use advocacy and campaigning to bring about the end of extreme poverty. They have grassroots groups in towns all over the world who contact their MPs and call on others to keep important international development issues in the limelight.
Ali took over running the RESULTS group having only been attended a few RESULTS and Effective Altruism Brighton meetings. As I often do, I’d taken on too much and was struggling to run both groups effectively. He’s run a film screening, attended focus groups and taken us to meet a local MP.
A new supreme overlord
More recently, with my very recent move to Oxford, Jacob is now the ‘supreme overlord’ (we’re still working on the title) of the Effective Altruism Brighton group and has some great ideas for joint events with other societies. It’s going to be awkward when he pulls off bigger and better events than even those I’ve merely talked about all year but I’ll just claim he had a great teacher!
I’m very excited for this new chapter of Effective Altruism Brighton. I know it will go from strength to strength. I’ll be keeping in touch with my Brightonian friends and popping back every so often so to everyone in the area, see you soon!