Photo courtesy of Bryce EvansThe “Closer Takes” section offers longer, more detailed pieces about ideas and issues relevant to the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. These essays are meant to be thought-provoking, evidence-based and timely. Our goal is to bridge academic scholarship with professional practice and public policy by making research accessible to wider audiences. Some pieces are written by faculty associated with the MPNL program, some by other scholars and sector thought-leaders, and some by the exceptional MPNL students and alumni. We welcome your feedback:

What can the philanthropic sector take from the downfall of Samuel Bankman-Fried and his ties to Effective Altruism?

The downfall of Samuel Bankman-Fried, the former cryptocurrency billionaire, has intensified criticism and suspicion of Effective Altruism, the approach to philanthropy with which he was affiliated. And this reaction has encouraged leaders of the EA community to reflect upon and possibly revise their ideas and methods.

Calum Carmichael believes that such reflection and reconsideration is something that should extend to the philanthropic sector as a whole. To support that wider process, he’s preparing a five-part series for PANL Perspectives. Parts 1 and 2 review major criticisms of EA linked to Bankman-Fried and provide an overview of EA, thereby setting the stage for a closer look at the criticisms, their rejoinders, and what the sector could possibly take from them. Parts 3, 4 and 5 provide that closer look as it applies to the philosophical foundations, analytical approaches, and ultimate effects of EA.

Throughout, Carmichael’s goal isn’t simply to summarize the contended demerits or merits of EA, but rather to derive from them questions for the philanthropic sector as a whole – so that regardless of our different connections to the sector, we can each learn or take and possibly apply something from the downfall of Bankman-Fried and his approach to philanthropy.

Photo courtesy of Bryce Evans.