So far, the focus areas we have selected fall into one of two broad categories: Global Health and Wellbeing (GHW) and Global Catastrophic Risks (GCR). We summarize the key differences between these portfolios as follows: 

  • While GCR grants tend to be evaluated based on something like “How much this grant reduces the chance of a catastrophic event that endangers billions of people”, GHW grants tend to be evaluated based on something like “How much this grant increases health (denominated in e.g. life-years) and/or wellbeing, worldwide.”
  • The GHW team places greater weight on evidence, precedent, and track record in its giving; the GCR team tends to focus on problems and interventions where evidence and track records are often comparatively thin. (That said, the GHW team does support a significant amount of low-probability but high-upside work like policy advocacy and scientific research.)
  • The GCR team’s work could be hugely important, but it’s very hard to answer questions like “How will we know whether this work is on track to have an impact?” We can track intermediate impacts and learn to some degree, but some key premises likely won’t become very clear for decades or more. (Our primary goal is for catastrophic events not to happen, and to the extent we succeed, it can be hard to learn from the absence of events.) By contrast, we generally expect the work of the GHW team to be more likely to result in recognizable impact on a given ~10-year time frame, and to be more amenable to learning and changing course as we go.


Global Health and Wellbeing focus areas


Further reading



Global Catastrophic Risks focus areas


Further reading



Other focus areas

There are other areas where we don’t have full-time staff and don’t make as many grants, but which we have still funded historically: