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May, 2017

Charlie's Short Takes

  • What Do Columbia University Students Think the World's Most Critical Issues Are?

    Last week I gave a talk on "Effective Giving" at Columbia to an audience of 75 students, primarily under-graduates. On a Wednesday night during exams, this seemed like an incredible turnout and their energy was infectious. I told the audience that in the late 60's, when I was an undergraduate, the only way we could have gotten that many students in a room other than to protest the War in Vietnam was if there were lots of drugs available :)  The event was arranged by two wonderful young Israelis, juniors Nadav Steinmetz & Uri Padan, who are promoting One for the World, an organization working to spread the practice of effective giving among university students worldwide and with which The Life You Can Save is partnering.

    I had an interesting takeaway from the evening, besides being inspired by the many caring, engaged students who are committed to fighting global poverty. At the start of the talk, I asked the audience which of four issues they deem to be the most critical: extreme poverty, nuclear weapons, racism, or climate change. Interestingly and surprisingly to me, not one person raised their hand to say nuclear weapons, despite the North Korean-Trump saber-rattling going on that week. Seems like a generational thing, but I was shocked. Certainly Noam Chomsky would not agree with the audience, whose votes primarily went to Climate Change, nor do I.  But I found the concern about extreme poverty and global warming uplifting and wanted to share the experience and anecdote with you, our readers.

    Good Giving and Good Living!

Charity Voices

Highlights from Our Blog

  • by José Oliveira
    TLYCS Volunteer  José Oliveira, an art teacher in Portugal, reflects on items he gave up, like a few coffees and beers each week, allowing him to donate more towards addressing extreme poverty. Try out his "Personal Luxuries" calculator with items from your own "plate" and see a video displaying growth of the Effective Altruism movement.

Team Picks

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