AMA: Luke Freeman, ED of Giving What We Can (GWWC)

I’m Luke Freeman, and I currently serve as the executive director of Giving What We Can (GWWC). You’re welcome to ask me anything! I’ll start answering questions on Thursday June 15th.

Logistics/​practical instructions:

  • Please post your questions as comments on this post. The earlier you share your questions, the easier it will be for me to get to them.

  • Please upvote questions you’d most like answered.

  • I’ll start answering questions on June 15th. Questions posted after that are less likely to get answers.

  • I’m excited about this, but can’t commit to answering all the questions. If you want to share many questions, consider sharing and/​or upvoting which ones you’re particularly interested in.

  • (This is an “AMA” — you can explore others here.)

Some context:

  • I’ve been leading the team at Giving What We Can since 2020.

  • I’ve been giving based on EA principles myself since about 2011 (pledger at both GWWC and Founders Pledge) and actively engaged with the EA community since 2016.

  • GWWC is a community of effective givers who are on a mission to create a culture where giving effectively and significantly is a norm.

  • GWWC hosts several giving pledges (best known for The Pledge to give 10% of lifetime earnings to effective charities), hosts a multi-country cause-diverse donation platform, provides advice on effective giving, and hosts popular tools and resources such as the How Rich Am I calculator, Giving Games and Charity Elections.

  • GWWC does work to help support the broader effective giving community (e.g. information sharing, coordination and incubation of projects, research projects like evaluating the evaluators).

  • GWWC helped to found the EA community and what is now called Effective Ventures Foundation (formerly Centre for Effective Altruism). I can speak about my experience running a project housed within EV.

  • Read more about GWWC’s direction and strategy

  • I’ve advocated for “big tent” effective altruism.

  • I feel that EA could learn a lot from other sectors and could benefit from engaging more deeply with them.

  • I feel strongly that effective giving should be a key part of effective altruism and likely has a broader appeal and accessibility.

  • Prior to GWWC I worked predominantly in tech entrepreneurship and marketing (across private and public sectors) with a focus on growth.

  • Outside of Giving What We Can I’ve been in leadership positions in Effective Altruism Australia, EAGxAustralia (organised two conferences) Good Ancestors Project & Good Ancestors Policy, Global Shapers Community (Sydney chapter), EA Sydney, Heart for the Homeless, Australian Skeptics, advised or volunteered with various other social-impact focused projects, and once ran for parliament.

  • My academic background is in media and communications (did my thesis on political communication focusing on deliberative democracy and voting reform).

  • Other than these things I’d be happy to talk about:

    • Managing or working in a remote international team (based outside of EA hub cities) based in Australia.

    • My experience going from employee #1 to larger teams (multiple times in different contexts).

    • My experience volunteering and/​or managing volunteers

    • My experience in for-purpose entrepreneurship.

    • Challenges and strategies for mental/​physical health and wellbeing (e.g. recovering from and mitigating burnout, managing EA/​non-EA life, starting a family etc).

    • My experiences coming from a non-typical academic background for EA leadership (e.g. not a major in philosophy, economics, or science).

    • My views on EA topics/​cruxes.

    • Dropping out of school at age 15 and pursuing non-traditional career paths

    • Anything else that takes your fancy based on GWWC’s work, my post history, my LinkedIn or personal website.

This post is part of EA Strategy Fortnight. You can see other Strategy Fortnight posts here.