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How to (actually) change the world

Course by Peter McIntyre

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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
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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.

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This course is

Short

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

Interactive

Answer quizzes and consider fascinating real-world scenarios

Free

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

You'll Learn

Core concepts for critical thinking

Impartiality

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

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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

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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.

Lessons

What's at stake

    1

Making the most of your career

Start
    2

You can save lives without a medical degree

Start
    3

Most attempts to help fail

Start
    4

We radically improved the world, and could again

Start

Clarify what you mean by impact

    5

Identifying and tackling prejudice

Start
    6

How to be irreplaceable

Start
    7

How to manage uncertainty in impact

Start

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

Course

How to (actually) change the world

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