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More about the program

Effective Altruism as a project

Effective altruism (EA) is an ongoing project to find the best ways to do good, and put them into practice.

Our core goal with this program is to introduce you to some of the principles and thinking tools behind effective altruism. We hope that these tools can help you as you think through how you can best help the world.

We also want to share some of the arguments for working on specific problems, like global health or biosecurity. People involved in effective altruism tend to agree that, partly due to uncertainty about which cause is best, we should split our resources between problems. But they don’t agree on what that split should be. People in the effective altruism community actively discuss and disagree about which causes to prioritize and how, even though we’ve learned a lot over the last decade. We hope that you will take these ideas seriously and think for yourself about which ways to help are most effective.


Finally, we give you some time at the end of the program to begin to reflect on how you personally can help to solve these problems. We don’t expect you’ll have an answer by the end of the eight weeks, but we hope you’re better prepared to explore this further.

What the program involves

Each part of the program has a set of core readings and sometimes an exercise.

We think that the core posts take most people about 1-1.5 hours to get through, and the exercise another 30-60 minutes. We have matched the readings and exercises so that, in total, we think it will take around 1-2 hours per week to prepare for the weekly session.

The exercises help you put the concepts from the reading into practice.

Beyond the core posts, there are more materials each week in ‘More to Explore’ — these are all optional and explore the themes of the week in more depth and breadth.

Approximate reading times are given for each of the posts. Generally, we’d prefer you to take your time and think through the readings instead of rushing.

This curriculum was drawn up by staff from the Centre for Effective Altruism, incorporating feedback from others. Ultimately we had to make many judgement calls, and other people would have drawn up a different curriculum.

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