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Effective Altruism Switzerland

  • Impact Through Rationality: Michael Moor at TEDxZurich
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  • Introducing Effective Altruism at the University of St. Gallen
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  • Peter Singer’s talk at TED2013 in Long Beach (California)
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About Us

Effective Altruism Switzerland (EACH) is committed to reducing and preventing as much unnecessary suffering as possible. We use science and reason to work out the most effective ways to improve the world. We aim to:

About Effective Altruism

Altruism is helping others for their own sake. Most humans are wired to feel empathy and compassion. We want to help – but some ways of helping are more effective (or rational) than others. We’ve all heard that phrase: “Give someone a fish and they’ll eat for a day, teach someone to fish and they’ll eat for a lifetime.” With some extra effort and forethought, we can help someone in a far more powerful way than simply handing them food.

The effectiveness of charities varies by several orders of magnitude. For example, some organizations use drugs to treat a person with malaria for $4,000, while others distribute bednets and protect one person over a year for $40. The latter option is at least 100 times more ethically cost-effective than the former option.

Subtracting speciesism, the point of the fishing phrase stands – and it’s just the first step down a very important way of thinking. Over the past decade, important changes have taken root in the altruist sector: Scientific charity evaluators like GiveWell and Animal Charity Evaluators are shifting the discussion of charity towards transparency and proven impact. And groups like Giving What We Can, The Life You Can Save and 80,000 Hours are encouraging people to incorporate philanthropy into their lives: A growing number of people are pledging to donate 10% or more of their income to the most cost-effective causes and organizations they can find.

Projects – Applied Ethics

GBS Switzerland is a think tank for the application of critical, rational thinking to the intersection of science and ethics. It has taken a lead in initiating new projects in the areas of charity, politics and research, and collaborates with other international organizations that aim to reduce human and non-human suffering in the world. We served as advisors in launching the following projects:

Sentience Politics
Sentience Politics intends to make politics for all sentient beings. “Sentience” is the ability to have feelings and conscious experiences, especially sensations of pain and happiness, suffering and joy. Besides humans, many non-human animals are sentient too – as evidence from behavioral biology and neurobiology has shown. Sentience is the reason why we can benefit from rights, and why the absence of rights harms us. It is what unites all humans, which incidentally is not the case for e.g. higher cognitive abilities, which therefore make up a bad foundation for basic rights. Sentience Politics launches political initiatives to increase the availability of plant-based food options.

Raising for Effective Giving (REG)
Raising for Effective Giving (REG) unites top poker-pros who want to maximize their positive impact on the world. They pledge 2% of their winnings – roughly 5% of their income – to provenly effective organisations. Scientific charity evaluators have shown that charities differ in their effectiveness by orders of magnitude, meaning that a given amount of money can save multiple times more lives when given to the right charities. As a meta-charity, REG promotes the idea of effective giving in the poker community and beyond.

Contact

info

Effective Altruism Switzerland
Efringerstrasse 25
CH-4057 Basel
SWITZERLAND

Support us

If you are interested in Effective Altruism Switzerland or wish to learn more about the projects we are running, we’d love to hear from you! We have many options for volunteering and also accept donations via bank transfer: