Written by Jørgen Ljønes, managing director of Gi Effektivt and co-founder of the Norwegian effective altruism movement.
Eirik Mofoss was recently named “Young leader of the year” by the largest business newspaper in Norway. He is the co-founder of the Norwegian effective altruism movement and—as a member of Giving What We Can—donates 20 percent of his income to organisations that, through documented effectiveness, make a positive difference in the world. The award provided lots of valuable attention and traffic to EA Norway and Gi Effektivt, our donation plattform. We wanted to share and celebrate this, not only as a recognition of Eirik, but also for all the Norwegian EAs who has made this possible.
Dagens Næringsliv (Norwegian for "Today's Business"), commonly known as DN, is the third-largest daily newspaper in Norway. Every year, DN nominates 30 people under the age of 30 who, through good ideas, entrepreneurial or leadership skills, represent guiding figures for others, and want to make the world more sustainable. First, DN’s readership nominates a selection of people, then an independent jury picks the final 30, based on the UN's 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). The jury, together with readers, then selects a single winner, among people whose accomplishments have yielded some kind of measurable impact in the realm of sustainable development.
The nomination of Eirik as a candidate for the award
Eirik Mofoss co-founded the first Norwegian branch of the Effective Altruism movement at NTNU in 2014, and has remained true to his ideals ever since. Eirik has committed to donating 20 percent of his income for the rest of his life, and has—through his nomination—imparted his mode of working and living on a readership of over 150 000 people. He has also widely publicised his altruistic ideals through his earlier work, as adviser to both the Conservative Party in Parliament, as well as adviser to Norad (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation). According to the jury:
Eirik Mofoss examines our fundamental assumptions about what aid currently is, and our vision for what it could be; how one can—and should—contribute, as a private citizen.
DN’s first interview with Eirik Mofoss quickly became their most read “30 under 30”-interview ever, and the newspaper’s most read piece in 2022.
Eirik Mofoss is 29 years old, born in Tromsø, in the north of Norway, and has a master's degree in industrial economics and technology management from NTNU. Mofoss has previously worked as a political and financial adviser for the Conservative Party of Norway, and as a business development manager for Visma. Almost ten years ago, he became a member of Giving What We Can, and committed to donating 20 percent of his income for the rest of his life. Mofoss co-founded the first effective altruism group in Norway in 2014 while studying at NTNU, and has later co-founded the foundation Gi Effektivt that fundraises for charities recommended by GiveWell.
The jury’s reasoning for naming Eirik "Young leader of the year"
Eirik Mofoss shows us that our direct actions still yield impactful results during a time when many feel increasingly powerless. Mofoss builds bridges, and has skillfully integrated his personal and working lives. He seeks, through his activism and modes of thinking, to elevate the discourse around sustainability—away from individualistic critiques, and toward systemic ones.
Mofoss’ generation has been raised in the global labour aristocracy. Despite this, some of them have recognized the extent to which their privileges and positions can be used for good. Mofoss challenges how we as individuals can contribute, and works to deflate the myth that impoverished people spend economic transfers inefficiently. Furthermore, his rhetoric serves as an antidote to political division, contributing to the widening conception that the climate crisis, endemic poverty, and public health are, in fact, bipartisan political challenges.