Video: What Does It Take to Be An Effective Altruist?

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Aug 03, 2016
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Video Resource, Generosity, Ethics

Sorry, but on a roll now with this theme of charitable giving (check out this podcast with Eileen Heisman, leader in the world of philanthropy). Here is a thought-provoking TED video with Peter Singer, ethicist from Princeton (Warning: the first 1:30 of this 17 minute video involves a car accident involving a young child is extremely difficult to watch for many reasons) :

What do I like about the video?

  • He addresses head-on many objections that people have to giving:
    • How much of a difference can I make?
    • Am I expected to abandon my career?
    • Isn’t charity/bureaucratic and ineffective anyway?
    • Isn’t it a burden to give up so much?
  • In the consumerist world we live in, his message is at the other extreme: less spending on goods, more spending on others
  • Provides a great jumping off point for discussion about altruism and charity and get different student perspectives on it from volunteer activities they complete to charities they have donated to.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.