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William MacAskill: Want to make a difference? Don’t Work for a Charity


William MacAskill makes a clever plea to those young graduates who want to improve the lives of others: Want to change the world for the better? Here’s the case for working in finance, rather than for a charity.

William MacAskill is a Research Fellow in Moral Philosophy at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He’s the cofounder of non-profits Giving What We Can, which advocates for people to pledge 10% of their income to the most cost-effective charities, and 80,000 Hours, which provides advice and coaching on how to choose a career with the biggest social impact. Between them these organisations have raised over $10 million for charity, with a further $370 million pledged. He is the author of Doing Good Better, to be published August 2015 with Penguin Random House (Gotham imprint) in the US and Guardian Faber in the UK. This book presents a philosophy he calls ‘effective altruism’, explaining how to do the most good though where you give, what you buy, where you volunteer and what career you pursue.

[Video and text source: TEDx TalksYouTube channel]