Advocacy – 80,000 Hours
The issues that 80,000 Hours focuses on are extremely pressing. These include fighting extreme poverty, animal suffering, and improving the long-term future. The organization conducts research into how talented individuals can maximize their impact, produces online advice, and connects people with mentors and job openings.
Despite their importance, the problems are not easily solved. Moreover, career choices that maximize impact can be highly inaccessible for those without the means or social connections to make them work.
80,000 Hours is an organisation that helps people choose careers with the most impact. They research which career paths have the most social impact and help people find work that fits their skills and preferences. They also operate a community and publish books and other resources on effective altruism.
Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions many of us will make, and it’s understandable that people want to ensure their decision is as impactful as possible. However, the way that 80,000 Hours moralizes this choice is worrying.
They suggest career options such as government policy, AI or climate research, and grantmaking, which can be inaccessible for those without access to higher education or the social resources needed to change careers. These paths often require significant investment of time and money, and may take decades to achieve a noticeable effect.
Against Malaria Foundation
Malaria is one of the world’s most deadly diseases. It disproportionately affects people in poor countries and kills a significant number of children under five. Yet it is a completely preventable disease.
The Against Malaria Foundation provides funding for the distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to protect against malaria in developing countries. It identifies countries with gaps in bed net funding, finds in-country partners to distribute the nets, and monitors the impact of these interventions.
GiveWell, a charity evaluator, rates AMF as one of the most cost-effective charities in terms of lives saved per dollar. AMF was founded by Rob Mather and is based in London.
The ornately colored sea anemone (uh-NEM-uh-nee) is a close relative of coral and jellyfish. These stinging polyps have an adhesive pedal disc, a cylindrical body, and tentacles surrounding a mouth that they can fire at helpless prey. They can pierce the skin of a fish in about a hundredth of a second and inject a paralyzing neurotoxin.
Anemone flowers contain several medicinal compounds with sedative, analgesic, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. They are also used in traditional folk medicine worldwide. This paper reviews ethnomedical knowledge and recent progress in uncovering the chemical and pharmacological diversity of Anemone medicinal plants and their emerging molecular machineries.
Bella works on movement building and research at 80,000 Hours, and was previously on the management team for Run to Better Days and Effective Altruism Oxford. She studied Classics and Philosophy at university, and has done cause prioritisation work for the Future of Humanity Institute and GiveWell. She loves jiu-jitsu and is interested in animal ethics.
Huon is a family business in Tasmania that has grown from a small local fish farm to one of Australia’s leading aquaculture companies. Their team works to ensure that they produce high-quality sustainable seafood. They believe that the future of global food security depends on our ability to cultivate, grow, and distribute the world’s seafood in a sustainable way.
Before joining 80,000 Hours, Cody worked in the civil service on a variety of policy areas, including science and the environment. He has also written on issues in politics and public policy. He studied physics and philosophy at Oxford and graduated summa cum laude. He now does career advising at 80,000 Hours and spends his spare time climbing and playing table tennis. He’s particularly interested in the long-term effects of effective altruism.
Elika has worked in global health for over a decade, including working at the CDC on hand hygiene and malaria prevention. She also worked in Sierra Leone on COVID-19 testing and triage systems. She has worked on global health issues since she was sixteen, and says that it’s her “first love.” Elika believes that advocacy is more likely to be successful if you have expertise in the area you’re advocating for.
While 80,000 Hours is an important front page for Effective altruism, it may not be the best way to grow the EA community or increase the number of people who work on long term causes. However, it is a great place to get people’s first exposure to the idea of EA. As such, it’s still worth supporting.