• Holly Muir

4 ways to have a positive impact on the world right now.


At Clearer Thinking, we think a lot about how we can positively impact the world. Most of the time, this involves researching effective interventions and building engaging tools, but other times we work with other organisations that share these goals and methods. Here are four ways you can have a tangible, positive impact on the world as a Clearer Thinking user:

(1) Donate to charity as a Clearer Thinking user through Giving Multiplier. Created by researchers at Harvard University, Giving Multiplier's aim is to help ensure that the $400 billion donated to charity each year in the USA reaches the places where it can have the most impact. By being a Clearer Thinking user, you can get up to 50% of your donations matched by Giving Multiplier using this link! You can read more about this organisation and their mission here. Giving Multiplier is based on behavioral science research into what causes people to give to effective charities. (2) Apply to the Annual Clearer Thinking Micro Grants Program with an idea for a tool that will help people improve their lives. Running for its second year, this program offers grants from $50 up to $595 to people who propose, design and build digital, educational modules that align with our mission to improve people’s lives. We encourage you to apply (individually or with a team) - it's fast and easy! If your idea is one of those selected, we'll guide you through our process of creating your own interactive program that will teach valuable concepts from psychology, behavioural economics, behavioral science, math, or economics. The final selected modules will be shared in our library of educational programs for anyone, anywhere in the world, to use. To apply, check out our application guide here and submit a short (~150 - 400 word) proposal for a program that will improve people’s lives using this form. We’re accepting applications until 5pm Eastern Time on May 17th, 2021, so apply now if you're interested! (3) Use our educational tools on how to increase your impact. Clearer Thinking has several programs designed to help you earn about effective charitable interventions and explore the ways that you personally might be able to positively impact the world. These tools include:

  • Leaving Your Mark on the World: this tool teaches five general principles that you can use to guide your altruistic activities to help them have the most positive impact. It also allows you to apply these five principles to a charitable cause of your choosing and provides customized recommendations for ways you can support this cause.

  • What Causes Match Your Values? Based on research by the Global Priorities Project, this tool tries to answer the question “how can you help the world the most, given your personal beliefs and values?” You’ll answer a series of questions about your priorities, learn which area of charitable work you might be a good fit for, and receive recommendations for taking action in this area.

  • Charity Effectiveness Quiz: this is a quiz about the effectiveness of various social interventions in the USA. Can you guess which charitable projects -- including drug substitution, home visits to elderly adults, and correctional boot camps -- had a positive impact, no impact at all, or did more harm than good?

(4) Listen to 80,000 Hours’ podcast series on Effective Altruism: An Introduction. The 10 episodes in this podcast series delve into Effective Altruism, a movement that advocates for the use of evidence and careful analysis to do as much good as possible. Episode 4 features Clearer Thinking’s founder, Spencer Greenberg, talking about updating your beliefs in the face of new evidence. This skill is essential when gathering information about charitable causes and ensuring that your efforts are truly improving the world. These are just several ways our users can have a positive impact using Clearer Thinking, and you might find that doing a combination maximizes your effectiveness. We hope these resources inspire you to go out and positively change the world today!

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