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Annual Symposium: Markets, Social Entrepreneurship, and Effective Altruism

November 18, 2022 @ 8:00 am 6:00 pm

Hariri Building, Room 160.

Effective altruism’s motto might be, “If you want to help people, it’s not the thought that counts. It’s the helping.” At base, effective altruism advises us to use evidence-based methods and the tools of microeconomics to assess and critique our beneficent actions. At base, social entrepreneurship concerns using business and markets to try to do the work or accomplish the goals traditionally associated with governments, NGOs, and charities. Yet both approaches are controversial. How much of this controversy stems from misapplications of the core ideas? How much results from bad theory? How much is simply resistance to good ideas that challenge convention? What is good and bad about markets, effective altruism, and social
entrepreneurship? This symposium brings together thirteen notable philosophers, political scientists, and business and legal theorists representing a spectrum of ideological and intellectual perspectives to explore questions like these.


8:15 – 8:30 a.m. | Welcome
John Hasnas, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics
8:30 – 10:15 a.m. | Panel I – The Strength and Scope of Duty
Peter Jaworski, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

Ryan Davis, Political Science, Brigham Young University, The Moral Status of Beneficence
Amy Berg, Philosophy, Oberlin College, Why Ten Percent?
Brian Berkey, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Effective Altruism, Global Justice,
and Individual Obligations

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Panel II – Challenges to and Inside EA
Jason Brennan, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

Jeff Sebo, Environmental Studies, New York University, Esoteric Altruism
Joshua Stein, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Effectiveness and
Longtermism under Uncertainty

Bob Fischer, Philosophy, Texas State University, How to Express Improvements in Animal
Welfare in DALYs-Averted

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. | Lunch Recess

1:45 – 3:30 p.m. | Panel III – Applied Beneficence
Sahar Akhtar, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

Christopher Freiman, Philosophy, College of William and Mary, Is It All for Nothing: On the
Futility Objection to Environmental and Political Advocacy

Emily Skarbek, Political Theory, Brown University, The Power of Association: Philanthropy,
Competition, and Democracy

Kathryn Joyce, Princeton School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Assessing Evidence of Effectiveness for Purposes of Effective Altruism
Brandon Warmke, Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, Saving the World Starts at

3:30 – 3:45 Closing Remarks
John Hasnas, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics

McDonough School of Business

3700 O St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20057 United States
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