We are excited to announce a new co-funding partnership with Ben Delo, co-founder of the cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX and a recent Giving Pledge signatory. In his Giving Pledge letter, Ben said his ambition is to do the most good possible with his wealth, in particular by funding work to safeguard future generations and protect the long-term prospects of humanity. He explained the reasons for his focus:
I believe that all lives are valuable, including those of future generations. I expect that a vast and extraordinary future lies ahead if we can navigate the challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies in the upcoming century. And I am confident that we in the present generation can act prudently to safeguard that extraordinary future for our descendants. Indeed, we may be at a critical moment to do so.
Human wellbeing has increased dramatically over recent centuries. Violence and extreme poverty have declined. Prosperity, literacy, and longevity have all increased. If these trends continue or accelerate, our descendants could outnumber us millions to one, enjoy an unprecedented quality of life, and achieve remarkable things.
Ben will be providing funds (initially in the $5 million per year range as he gets started with his giving) for Open Philanthropy to allocate to our long-termist grantmaking, which assesses giving opportunities by how well they advance favorable long-term outcomes for civilization. This work includes reducing potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence, furthering biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, and other initiatives to combat global catastrophic risks, as well as much of the work we fund on effective altruism. Example grants in this category include the UC Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute.
This partnership is possible because we feel closely aligned with Ben on some core values, including our shared belief that people have equal intrinsic value regardless of the circumstances of their birth, and because we have significant common ground on philanthropic goals, as we do with our primary funders, Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz.
This partnership grew out of Ben’s work with the non-profit Effective Giving UK,1 which was his first point of contact in the effective altruism community. Effective Giving helped Ben to think about maximizing the impact of his philanthropy and to identify the long-term future as his top philanthropic priority. Effective Giving also works to source and evaluate high-impact giving opportunities for Ben and others, and initiated and helped to establish this partnership.
At the same time Ben signed the Giving Pledge earlier this year, he also joined the Giving What We Can community, whose members pledge to support effective organizations.
Close partnerships of this type (beyond Cari and Dustin) have so far been rare for Open Philanthropy, and pursuing them is not currently a major organizational priority. However, we aspire to eventually work with many donors in order to maximize our impact. We want to be flexible in terms of relationship structures, and can imagine a variety of different forms. Depending on structure and donor preferences, we may or may not announce some relationships, though we will continue to publish in our public database grants that are the result of the Open Philanthropy process.
We’re excited to be partnering with Ben, and look forward to collaborating with him over the coming years.
- 1. Effective Giving UK has since changed its name to Longview Philanthropy.