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What we do

The Centre for Effective Altruism acts as a springboard for the effective altruism movement. It aims to:

  • promote and strengthen effective altruism as an idea and a community,
  • help figure out how best to advance the wellbeing of all, and
  • inspire people to take action based on that knowledge.

Current and recent projects

For more detail, see our 2016 retrospective.

EA Global 2016 Group Photo Arms Up (1)
Participants at Effective Altruism Global 2016 conference

What we believe

Our vision:

An optimal world.

Our mission:

  • to create a global community of people who have made helping others a core part of their lives, and who use evidence and scientific reasoning to figure out how to do so as effectively as possible; and
  • to make the advancement of the wellbeing of all a worldwide intellectual project, doing for the pursuit of good what the Scientific Revolution did for the pursuit of truth.

Our values:

Moral Commitment: We care deeply about the well-being of others. We take moral argument very seriously, and take seriously that current ‘common-sense’ morality may be very badly wrong, just as it’s been very badly wrong in the past. We’re willing to make personal sacrifices or make unconventional decisions if we believe that’s how to best increase others’ wellbeing; and we’re concerned about ensuring that others’ lives are made better, rather than with us getting the credit for doing so.

Epistemic Humility: We are acutely aware of how little we know and how difficult doing good is. We aim to avoid overconfidence, to engage in continual self-scrutiny of our views, to be open to unusual ideas and to take alternative points of view seriously.

Cause Neutrality: We are open, in principle, to any way of helping others. We actively investigate cause areas other than those we currently support, and we actively seek criticism and feedback of our current choices.

Integrity: Because we believe that trust, cooperation, and accurate information are essential to doing good, we strive to be honest and trustworthy.

Ambition: Our aim for an optimal world is not mere hype: we’re really trying to figure out how we can make the most progress on the most important problems in the world, and we suspect that the power of individuals to improve the world is far greater than is commonly supposed.

Our history

  • 2009: Giving What We Can, a community of effective givers, is founded in Oxford UK
  • 2011: 80,000 Hours founded to help people lead high-impact careers
  • 2011: Centre for Effective Altruism is founded as an umbrella organisation for Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours
  • 2012: Giving What We Can incubates The Life You Can Save, which later spins off
  • 2012: 80,000 Hours incubates Animal Charity Evaluators, which later spins off
  • 2014: Good Done Right conference hosted by CEA in Oxford
  • 2014: Global Priorities Project formed as a collaboration between CEA and the Future of Humanity Institute, project closed 2016.
  • 2015: CEA trials EA Ventures to fund experimental projects, project closed in 2016.
  • 2015: 80,000 Hours team participates in Y Combinator startup accelerator
  • 2015: CEA begins hosting the EA Global conference series
  • 2015: Doing Good Better published
  • 2016: CEA helps local organizers run the first EA Global X community conferences
  • 2016: CEA restructures
    • Giving What We Can merged into CEA
    • Special Projects division formed to include Philanthropic Advising and Fundamentals Research
    • Global Priorities Project discontinued and merged into Future of Humanities Institute and Fundamentals Research
  • 2017: Subteam from CEA participates in Y Combinator startup accelerator and launches Effective Altruism Funds