Introducing GPI’s new research agenda

The Global Pri­ori­ties In­sti­tute has pub­lished a new re­search agenda, which aims to re­flect our cur­rent re­search fo­cus ac­cu­rately.

GPI’s mis­sion is to con­duct and pro­mote what we call ‘global pri­ori­ties re­search’: re­search into is­sues that arise in re­sponse to the ques­tion, ‘What should we do with a given amount of limited re­sources if our aim is to do the most good?’ This ques­tion nat­u­rally draws upon cen­tral themes in the fields of eco­nomics and philos­o­phy.

Thus defined, global pri­ori­ties re­search is in prin­ci­ple a broad um­brella. Within that um­brella, this re­search agenda sets out the more spe­cific re­search themes that GPI is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in at the pre­sent time.

The re­search agenda is struc­tured as fol­lows:

  • Sec­tion 1 out­lines what we call the longter­mism paradigm. This paradigm cen­tres around the idea that be­cause of the po­ten­tial vast­ness of the fu­ture por­tion of the his­tory of sen­tient life, it may well be that the pri­mary de­ter­mi­nant of which ac­tions are best is the effects of those ac­tions on the very long-run fu­ture, rather than on more im­me­di­ate con­sid­er­a­tions. Be­cause these ideas seem plau­si­ble, seem likely to have fairly rad­i­cally re­vi­sion­ary im­pli­ca­tions if cor­rect, and are cur­rently quite ne­glected, this is the main fo­cus of GPI’s own re­search (at the time of writ­ing and, we pre­dict, for at least the next two years). We are par­tic­u­larly keen to hear from other re­searchers who share this in­ter­est.

  • Sec­tion 2 con­cerns gen­eral is­sues in cause pri­ori­ti­sa­tion. This cov­ers is­sues that are not spe­cific to a longter­mist point of view, but that arise for agents en­gaged in an ex­er­cise of global pri­ori­ti­sa­tion.

The in­tended au­di­ence for this doc­u­ment is aca­demics (es­pe­cially, but not only, in eco­nomics and philos­o­phy) who are po­ten­tially in­ter­ested in work­ing with GPI, whether as GPI re­searchers or as ex­ter­nal col­lab­o­ra­tors, or who are oth­er­wise in­ter­ested in the same mis­sion.

We in­vite you to read the new re­search agenda here.