André Kirschner

Manager Innovation
7 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)


My name is André, having a economy background (studied management) and started in strategy. However, joined Innovation soon after. Then I learned EA and came to the conclusion that I want to help changing the building/construction industry. As innovation is THE place for it, I try to push sustainable projects that really matter within my possibilities. However, now, after 3 more years I struggle as our management and the industry in general are very resitant. So... how should I go on? My short term solution is to become more rigorous and to dig deeper into EA (e.g. in courses and here in the Forum)

How others can help me

When they help me in helping changing the construction industry

How I can help others

project management, innovation and special chemical industry


Good question I also think about! 

After being only for a few months deeply into EA I already realise that discussing with non EA-people makes me emotional, since I "cannot understand" why they are not getting easily convinced of it as well. How can something so logical not being followed by everyone? At least by donating? I think there is the danger to become pathetic if you don't reflect on it and be aware that you cannot convince everybody. 

On the other side EA is already having a big impact on how I donate and how I act in my job - so in this regards I do feel much more impactful which certainly makes me happier and more relaxed in other parts of my life as ambitions shifted. Does that make any sense? 

Would also be interested on research if anyone has!

Totally agree! For all that are not familiar with microbiom:

Imagine a forest that is watered every few days with acid or poisened water. The ecosystem will change, will adapt, will get less strong against pests and parasites or other invasive plant species and herbivore. The plants will be weaker, but also the animals living inside, the worms, insects, ... 

This is our gut that has to deal daily with unclean water. 

We have more bacteria in our gut than cells in our body. My assumption is that (as in the last 10 years) we will learn alot about our intestine ecosystem in the following years. And I assume that these learnings will answer at least in parts your "WHY" Nick. 

Well written and inspiring. Thanks Nick.

Thank you for sharing your story! I am working already for 5/6 years after graduating. Now I am getting more and more into EA and tried to find a meaningful job. It turns out that changing into a really meaningful position in another company is really hard.. Maybe comparable to your situation. As I have a specific experience now and most meaningful companies are having specific requirements of experiences (of course different than the ones I have) I got rejected in the first round some times already. So, rather than changing the job, I try to work on my bosses now so that I can deal with impactful things.

The donation is at least something that is giving me the feeling of having an impact.

When reading your text I remembered the career capital chapter in the 80,000hours book. Maybe that helps you to value also smaller impact now. As we have 80,000hours you don’t have to have the extraordinary impact now and live a perfect frugal live as in later stages of your career you will have a much higher impact. And knowing that you are preparing for that might get you through this situation in a better mood?

All the best!!

Making an image with generative AI uses as much energy as charging your phone - MIT Technology review. 

Should the EA forum still recommend to use an AI generated picture for a post's preview image?


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Hi Adam and thanks for sharing. Do you know if there is a similar thing in Germany? 

Hi Huw and thanks for sharing your approach towards offsetting. 

I am wondering if these 35$ are giving us the impression that being the reason for co2 emissions is ok, as it is so cheap to offset. Shouldn't we, as people believing in EA, still use higher pricec per ton Co2 to be reminded, that the climate cost per ton are higher currently, and even if we chose to take an effective organisation to offset, it doesn't mean that we can emmit Co2 without caring?

The point is, emmiting (and therefor offsetting) shouldn't be "cheap enough", should it? Shouldn't we really feel our emmissions (on our bank balance) in order to caring / start caring?

Hi Ian, thanks for your thoughts. I think we are on the same page. My proposal is to NOT buy the normal offsets but just calculate the amount of money you would have to spend for the cost inefficient offsets (or using even the 237€ per ton above) and use this money for cost effective donations for GiveWell / effectiv-spenden recommended charities. 

Hey there, I am new to the forum but already reading through post after post :)

I first came across the topic through th 80,000 hours website which was recommended to me by a friend when I asked him: How can I find a job that matters? I still owe him alot for that hint :)

Actually at that time I was quite a bit frustrated with my job, as I didn't feel like having an impact. But with my learnings from 80,000 I shifted my focus and now try to push innovations in the construction industry as an innovation manager. However, it is still hard, as there is "crisis" every year and the (so much) profitoriented management cuts budgets all the time and makes it hard to really achieve great things. So now I increased my donations to not feel so helpless. And dig deeper into EA, e.g. here in the forum. And try to be more rigorous in my job to push sustainable innovations more that the last 3 years. Wish me luck :)

Bio in short: André from Germany, Ruhr Area looking for opportunities to have an impact

First wrote a comment and now my bio. Thanks for the guideline!

Also have a topic in my mind which I try to turn into a post :)

Hi AIM-Team,

I completely agree, that using high-profit start-ups can generate extraordinary high donation potential. However, it must be assured, that money that is invested into these for-profit stat-ups isn't coming from investors/institutions that would have invested into your newly founded NGOs instead. There is no guarantee that this new idea is developing into a more effective way in doing good than the start-up NGO. 

Wouldn't dragging money from effective NGOs to a for profit organization that might have REAL for profit and dominating shareholders something "net bad" with a high risk? Even if 4/10 of your for-profits are successful you might drag money from effective NGOs with all 10 of them. 

How do you mitigate the risk, that the effects of the donations from the successful for-profit founders could smaller than

  • the money that was invested by investors that would have invested into effective NGOs instead 


  • The extra effort you have put into this program instead of 
    • pushing, founding and helping effective NGOs
    • convincing for-profit investors to become EA investors


  • the potential bad effects of the successful unicorn. It might not be NET-bad but it decreases the positive impact of the donations! I imagine that even if the business case is ethical and morally acceptable there might be downsides in a for profit organization that are not controllable: Profit orientation results into a management (and when being a unicorn the good minded founders will have a management influenced by highly capitalistic principles) that could decide FOR e.g 
    • the cheaper electricity, 
    • an org-chart avoiding the rise of a strong works council, 
    • cheap import from inhuman production with long transport with a high Co2 impact,
    • for working service providers that HAVE a net-negative impact, ....


So: Did you do an extensive analysis of the opportunity costs? How do you mitigate these risks?

Wishing you all the best for founding a great number of unicorns!!

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