How to assess employment impact
Assuming I am seeking employment for the purposes of Direct Impact, how does one assess the Impact of a job which does not directly fall under the 80,000 Hours recommended causes.
For example, let’s consider my current employment as a Data Scientist for Emagin Clean Technologies Inc. Emagin creates software for water management systems. The primary feature of the software creates forecasts for water demand and recommends control schedules accordingly. Other features include asset monitoring.
Basically, the water industry has been understandably slow to adapt new analysis technology to leverage the tons of monitoring data they have accumulated.
Evidence for Impactfulness
As climate change increases the amount of extreme weather events and populations grow, the typical laissez-faire approach to water management becomes unfeasible. The effect of misaligned incentives becomes catastrophic, as shown by the droughts in California and South Africa. Having accessible analytics allows for a better understanding of the system being examined. Thus, assuming political will, incentives can be restructured, plans/investments can be made and human suffering mitigated.
Evidence against Impactfulness
There may be other forms of reactive climate change mitigation which are more impactful? The effects of climate change on municipalities who can buy the software are minimal compare to other causes? The skill set required to complete this work is easily transferred to a different, more impactful domain?