Effective Altruism means Effective Inclusion

“Are you earning to give?”

This is invariably one of the first questions I get asked when meeting new people at Effective Altruism meetings, and it always makes me feel guilty.

“No,” I explain “I’m training as a speech and language therapist. I’ll be working in education or the NHS. I’m never going to be earning huge sums of money.”

The response I’ve had to this has been mixed. While often I get a warm response (and often a nice conversation about linguistics thrown in), I have had instances of people suggesting ways I could change career, or feel dismissed by a slightly patronising ‘how nice for you’.

Earning to give – choosing a very well paid career path in order to give vast sums away to effective charities – is often presented as the ultimate in Effective Altruism. You only have to look at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their astonishing work towards malaria eradication to see how following a very lucrative career path, carefully exploring the best options for giving, and then following through on this with great compassion and generosity, can yield astonishing results.

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Why effective altruism?

So what is Effective Altruism anyway?  What is it that has inspired me to donate 5% of my income to a charity I’ve only just learnt to pronounce, to run a half marathon and to set up an Effective Altruism Brighton Meetups group?

Over the next 3 weeks I will be publishing three articles; Why Effective Altruism? Why Go Vegan? and Why Buy Ethically?  

Now that you’ve read how this blog started, I want to give you a bit more detail about the three main areas of ethics I am focusing on and why.

This is the first of that series: Why Effective Altruism?

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Brighton Half Marathon 2015

before race crowd

It’s the day after the morning before.  No hangover as a result of my birthday but I am very tired and my knees ache.

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday at the pub with some friends…oh and ran 13.1 miles. Two hours, 10 minutes and 20 seconds of pounding the pavement in Brighton as part of the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon Website.

Much more than that though, as things stand today together we’ve raised £730.18 for the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI).

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Sadly I don’t have much time to share with you all this week.  By day I am an event coordinator and I’m organising our largest national conference next week which is…mildly time consuming!

Therefore I share with you a simple yet poignant story of what Schistosomiasis does to a young mother, a sad story that repeats for her children and and her children’s children…

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative


I mentioned in my introduction that one aspect of this ethical journey that I am sharing is donating 5% of my income to effective charities.   At the moment my charity of choice is the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative.  I donate to them every month and recently ran a half marathon to raise money for them.

I therefore wanted to give a summary of what SCI do and why they are such a wonderful charity.

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