Why effective altruism is central to rebuilding social capital and egalitarianism | Andrew Leigh MP

Over the past few decades, many advanced nations have become more disconnected. People have fewer friends, join fewer organisations, and are less likely to be members of political parties, churches and unions. At the same time, inequality is on the rise. By focusing on rigorous impact, effective altruism can boost the quality and quantity of philanthropy, helping to replace individualism and isolation with collectivism and cooperation.

Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Arts and Law. Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the ‘Young Economist Award’, a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best economist under 40.

His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything (2014), The Luck of Politics (2015), Choosing Openness: Why Global Engagement is Best for Australia (2017), Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World (2018), Innovation + Equality: How to Create a Future That Is More Star Trek Than Terminator (with Joshua Gans) (2019) and Reconnected: A Community Builder’s Handbook (with Nick Terrell) (2020). Andrew is a keen marathon runner, and hosts a podcast titled “The Good Life: Andrew Leigh in Conversation”, which is available on Apple Podcasts.

Andrew is the father of three sons – Sebastian, Theodore and Zachary, and lives with his wife Gweneth in Canberra. He has been a member of the Australian Labor Party since 1991.

This talk was taken from EA Global Asia and Pacific 2020. Click here to watch the talk on the Centre for Effective Altruism YouTube channel.

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