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What are the best ways to improve world happiness?

Imperial College London

All plausible moral theories agree increasing the happiness of currently existing people during their lifetimes is intrinsically good. Despite, or perhaps because of, this agreement, surprisingly little work has been done to find out what the most effective ways to improve world happiness are. In this short talk, Michael Plant shares his current conclusions and […]

Measuring what matters

Seats2meet Utrecht

Michael Plant delivered a ‘prequel’ to his talk at EA Global: London 2017 to address theoretical concerns about the nature and measurement of wellbeing.

On measuring and maximising what matters

EAGxAustralia University of Sydney Business School, Sydney

Effective altruists want to do as much good as possible. But how should we measure how much good different outcomes do? So far, effective altruists have tended to use income and standardised health metrics (QALYs and DALYs) as the measures of what matters. This talk is primarily a plea for subjective well-being (SWB) - individuals’ […]

Finding the most cost-effective ways to improve mental health


Even though mental disorders account for a considerable burden of disease globally and appear to strongly impact individuals’ subjective well-being, the EA community has spent relatively little effort on identifying the best giving opportunities within the area of mental health. This talk provides an introduction to the Happier Lives Institute’s Mental Health Programme Evaluation Project […]

Are lockdowns justified? Evaluating the costs and benefits


In several countries, lockdowns have reduced the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and thereby of deaths from COVID-19. Despite this, they have been controversial.  Some claim that they violate basic rights or freedoms.  This seminar will focus on a different objection: do the benefits of lockdowns outweigh the costs?  Asking that question leads to others: […]

Back to Bentham? A discussion on the optimal distribution of wellbeing


Michael Plant provides a brief overview of the main approaches to aggregating individual advantage - utilitarianism, egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and leximin. Social scientists are not very familiar with this literature, even though you cannot use subjective wellbeing measures without (implicitly) making a choice. The use of subjective wellbeing measures is implicitly utilitarian: the best outcome is the […]

Panel discussion: behavioural insights in cash transfer programs


Panelists: Joel McGuire, Research Analyst at Happier Lives Institute Laura B. Rawlings, Lead Economist at Human Capital Project, World Bank Prof. Frank Schilbach, Associate Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Prof. Lisa Gennetian, Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University Moderator: Renos Vakis, Lead Economist at eMBeD, […]

The science of wellbeing: causes, consequences, and policies

Magdalen College Oxford

This hybrid workshop was held over two days at the University of Oxford to discuss topics covered in The Science of Wellbeing, the first textbook to be published on the subject. The textbook is co-authored by Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve and Prof Lord Richard Layard, and will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. The […]

Donating money, buying happiness


Joel McGuire presented our comparison of the cost-effectiveness of cash transfers and psychotherapy in terms of subjective wellbeing and mental health.

Moral Foundations of Progress Studies

The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX

The progress studies community has had a lot of discussion about technology, economics, history, and politics. However, there is no consensus on the moral basis for valuing or pursuing “progress,” and there are key open questions about how progress is to be judged and measured, who should benefit from it, and what type of progress we should pursue. The goal of this workshop is to reach a consensus on what major moral/ethical questions are at the foundations of a study of progress, and what broad answers to these questions have been proposed.


Examination Schools Oxford

EAGxOxford 2022 will bring together students and young professionals interested in EA to connect, learn, and explore how best to improve the world. We're excited to welcome over 400 people for a weekend of networking, workshops, talks and a career fair, and help them work out their path to impact.


Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Boston, MA

Back after a three-year hiatus, EAGxBoston welcomes members of the effective altruism community to our 2022 conference, featuring networking, speaker events, workshops, and mentorship. This event will be especially useful for students who want to learn more about effective altruism and make connections within the movement.

EA Global: London

The Brewery 52 Chiswell St, London

EA Global will bring together a wide network of people who have made helping others a core part of their lives. Speakers and attendees share new thinking and research in the field of effective altruism and coordinate on global projects.

Interspecies Comparisons of Welfare

The London School of Economics and Political Science

Comparisons across species are not straightforward because there are significant differences between animals with respect to their cognitive, affective, and sensory capabilities. Such comparisons require input from many fields, including animal welfare science, evolutionary biology, comparative cognition, neuroethology, ecology, economics, philosophy, and others. This breadth of perspective is essential to understand the differences between species, […]


Faculty of Arts Jan Palach Square 1/2, Prague

The event will bring together over 500 members of the EA community to connect with each other, and to explore the best ways to improve the world.

An axiological dilemma for longtermism

Trajan House Mill Street, Oxford

How can we make the future better if we can’t make it better for anyone in particular? Speaking at GPI's weekly lunchtime seminar, Michael raised an axiological challenge to longtermism, the view that positively influencing the long-term future is a key moral priority of our time.

Life, death, and WELLBYs

Harris Manchester College Oxford

HLI's Founder and Director, Dr Michael Plant, will present his latest thinking on determining the neutral point of wellbeing scales.

The pleasures and pains of interpreting life satisfaction scales

Trajan House Mill Street, Oxford

Global priorities research investigates the question, ‘What should we do with our limited resources, if our goal is to do the most good?’ This question has close connections with central issues in philosophy and economics, among other fields. This event will focus on the longtermism paradigm and general issues in cause prioritisation.