One New Year’s Resolution I really recommend

As the New Year approaches people are beginning to think about their New Year resolutions.  I still haven’t decided mine so I’d love suggestions in the comments.  I have weekly and monthly goals and a Day Zero List to keep up with so I already have a few resolutions to keep.

One thing I would thoroughly recommend as a New Year’s resolution is to pledge a percentage of your income to charity.   Last New Year I took the Giving What We Can Try Giving pledge and donated 5% of my pre-tax income to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative.

This felt like such a valuable contribution I soon took the full Giving What We Can 10% pledge and I’ve not looked back since.

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What would the Martians think?

Last weekend I saw The Martian in the cinema with my family.   It was a really enjoyable film.  At times entertaining, gripping and emotional.   Much more interesting than what I had feared might be a rather slow and self pitying one man show.  Matt Damon made a very compelling botanist and started to erase the image of him in my mind from Team America.

But I should make clear now; this is not a film review.  These are just the thoughts running through my head whilst watching the film about what our films, our stories and our heroes say about our ethics…

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Why I choose to give now

Each year more than six million people die from preventable diseases. 2.4 billion people live on less than $2 every single day day.

If your average person in the US just donated 10% of their income they could protect 700 people from malaria for at least three years with mosquito nets or treat 7,100 people for neglected tropical diseases that keep them from work and school.

But what if you could double or triple even those numbers? What if in the future we discover even more helpful ways to donate our money? Would we regret ‘wasting’ our donations on less effective interventions in the past?

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EA Global Oxford: Figure out the most good you can do and then do it

Last weekend I attended the Effective Altruism Global conference in Oxford. This was the third in a series that saw events in Melbourne and at the Googleplex in California. These events were the biggest in Effective Altruism’s short history.

Even two weeks later my mind is still buzzing with all of the fascinating things I learnt, my inbox and Facebook feed are going crazy with messages from the great people I met and I’m trying to keep up with all the exciting projects I could make a difference in.

This means I could probably write at least another ten blog posts based around things I got out of the conference. But today I want to share with you a simple yet powerful message.

If you care about helping others and making a positive impact in the world then what you need to do is quite straightforward.

Figure out how to do the most good in the world you possibly can.

Then do it.

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