Sign up

How to (actually) change the world

Course by Peter McIntyre

Start learning
7 lessons

Updated 31st August, 22

For you if you want to...

  • Find your path to making the biggest difference in the world
  • Apply big-picture ideas from science and philosophy to make smarter decisions
  • Learn the foundations of effective altruism - a philosophy and community focused on doing as much good as you can
hero image

This course covers the foundational toolkit to work out how you could make a large and lasting difference in the world.

You'll learn core concepts for understanding the world like how to make decisions under uncertainty, informed by fascinating data on questions like how many lives a doctor saves (it's fewer than you think). And you'll learn interactively by answering quizzes and contemplating intriguing real-world scenarios.

hero image

This course is


5-10 minute lessons so you can learn whenever, wherever you want.


Answer quizzes and consider fascinating real-world scenarios


We're a non-profit, so all our lessons are 100% free.

You'll Learn

Core concepts for critical thinking


Counterfactual impact

Expected value

Diminishing marginal returns

Moral patienthood

Human history and our future

Whether we’ve made moral progress

Which innovations caused our life expectancy to double

How our wealth grew exponentially

How billions were lifted out of poverty

Evidence and data

How many lives a typical extra doctor saves

How many charities actually make a big difference

Which evidence-backed programs help the global poor

What you could accomplish by donating money

What you'll do

Learn in 5 min, interactive, text-based lessons

Reflect on your values and life goals

Answer quizzes to check your understanding

Consider what you should do in real-world scenarios

blue image

I spent 7 years studying to be a doctor before realising I could help more outside of the hospital. I wish I worked out my direction earlier.

Peter McIntyre

Founder of Non-trivial

Course creator

waving arm

Peter McIntyre

Founder of Non-trivial

I've started 2 non-profits that raise millions of dollars per year, ran operations at one of the most successful crypto startups, and advised hundreds of graduates from top universities on how to find a fulfilling, impactful career.

Before founding Non-trivial, I spent most of the last 5 years at 80,000 Hours, a non-profit that provides free online research and personalised career advice to talented undergraduates and young professionals.

I started out in medical school. After I discovered the ideas in this course, I realised I could have a much more scalable impact outside of seeing patients but by that point, I'd spent 7 years studying to be a doctor. I created this course so you don't have to make the same mistakes I did.


What's at stake


Making the most of your career


You can save lives without a medical degree


Most attempts to help fail


We radically improved the world, and could again


Clarify what you mean by impact


Identifying and tackling prejudice


How to be irreplaceable


How to manage uncertainty in impact


We’re a non-profit helping problem-solvers learn what they need to make a large, positive difference.


How to (actually) change the world


© 2022 Non-trivial. All rights reserved.