Effective Altruism Introductory Course

The best way to get involved is to take part in the free Introductory EA program, where you will learn how to use your studies and career to have a positive impact on the world. The program runs over seven weeks and involves discussion groups about selected topics and personalised mentoring to help you apply these principles to your life and career.. Estimated time is three hours per week.

Next EA Introductory Course will take place in the autumn of 2024. Click below if you would like us to send you a reminder when the applications open.

Lühikursusele kandideerimine on avatud 8. oktoobrini ning lühikursus algab 16. oktoobril.


Information about the introductory course

The EA introductory course is an 8 week program with the aim of helping you figure out how you can have a positive impact on the world with your studies and your career. During the course you work through reading and video material. For better understanding there are weekly discussion groups in teams of 3-5 facilitated by a member of EA Estonia.
During the weekly meetups you discuss the principles of effective altruism, what are the ways to estimate the differences in impact, global existential risks and many other topics. The prerequisite of the course is that you have about 3-4 hours per week set aside for it - 2h to go through the materials and 1.5h for the weekly discussion with your group. The discussion groups take place in Tallinn, Tartu and virtually, as needed.

In addition to the weekly meetings you are able to also get to know the participants from other groups and get personal career advice.

The introductory course is free.


Week 1. The Effectiveness Mindset

We’ll explore why it's important to think carefully about how you spend your time and money to help others, and why a "scout mindset" is critical to finding the best opportunities.

Week 2. Differences in Impact

Some efforts to help appear to be much more effective than others. We'll share a tool for estimating impact, and look into one promising focus area: reducing global poverty.

Week 3. Radical Empathy

Should we care about the suffering of non-human animals, as well as humans? Alongside this question, we'll explain the ideas of expected value and impartial altruism.

Week 4. Our final century?

Humanity appears to face existential risks: the chance of a catastrophe that destroys our long-run potential. One such risk is from a future pandemic that is worse than COVID-19.

Week 5. What could the future hold? And why care?

What would the world look like if we took the interests of our grandkids' grandkids as seriously as our own? This week, we'll focus on longtermism, and look at a set of forecasting tools that might help us to predict the future.

Week 6. Risks from artificial intelligence (AI)

Expert views and several different lines of argument suggest that transformative artificial intelligence may be developed this century. How might this change our future, and should we be worried?

Week 7. What do you think?

The purpose this week is to reflect on the themes and arguments from previous weeks. You might uncover places where you disagree, or mistakes in the reasoning. And even if you don't you'll probably understand the ideas more deeply if you've thought about their weakest points. 

Week 8. Putting it into Practice

We’ll discuss ways to apply the principles of effective altruism to your own life, particularly through your career.