- Michael Plant, two years into his philosophy PhD at Oxford, gives a talk on the best ways to improve global happiness at Effective Altruism Global: London.
- He argues that the effective altruism community has overlooked the social science research on happiness and, as a result, important global priorities such as mental health and chronic pain have been unduly neglected.
- The talk generates little response. Michael realises that many people are sceptical, or at least unfamiliar, with the idea that we can measure subjective experiences in a scientifically valid way.
- Michael delivers a ‘prequel’ talk at EAGxNetherlands to address the theoretical concerns about the nature and measurement of wellbeing.
- He argues that impact should be measured using subjective wellbeing questions such as “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life, nowadays?” (0 – 10) rather than relying on objective indicators of health and wealth.
- This does spark interest. A group of volunteers begin the Mental Health Programme Evaluation Project to find the best charities working on mental health in low-income countries.
- We announce our official launch as an organisation in June.
- Michael finishes his PhD and goes through the Charity Entrepreneurship incubation program. He meets Clare Donaldson who becomes our Chief Operating Officer.
- As interest in subjective wellbeing grows in the effective altruism movement, Michael is invited to Singapore and Australia to give talks on measuring and maximising what matters.
- Joel McGuire joins the team as our first full-time researcher
- We estimate the moral weights of averting deaths and reducing poverty using WELLBYs.
- Michael publishes working papers on the plausibility of life satisfaction theories and the cardinality of subjective scales.
- We publish a global priority report on pain and a meta-analysis showing that cash transfers have a small but significant effect on subjective wellbeing.
- Our cash transfers meta-analysis was published in Nature Human Behaviour
- We run our second summer research fellowship with six fellows
- We continue to search for outstanding funding opportunities at three levels of scale:
- Micro-interventions – deworming, cataract surgery, mental health apps, and cement flooring
- Meso-interventions – lead regulation, immigration policy, and improving access to pain relief
- Macro-interventions – building a £10 million portfolio of philanthropic funding opportunities