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We're Lincoln Quirk & Ben Kuhn from Wave, AMA!

Hello Ben,

I have a question about your cost competitiveness and scale, a hypothesis about your counterfactual impact, and additional questions.

Are the fees lower than those of other providers, such as MoneyGram? The last time I checked, the total for a $100 transfer was lower for MoneyGram. The difference should be greater with larger transfers since Wave charges a percentage whereas MoneyGram a flat fee.

I may be mistaken, and it may depend on the country, but I never saw Wave in Kenya. I saw Western Union and MoneyGram frequently at banks and elsewhere. I also saw M-Pesa and Safaricom agents at every corner.

Your impact competitive advantage can be the coverage of otherwise unbanked clients. This seems to me based on the TechCrunch+ article (francophone market). However, I am not sure about your unbanked (e. g. rural) vs. transfer density (e. g. outcompeting providers in cities) decisionmaking.

Even if it is unwise to seek to make money by significantly serving remote locations, an important argument for investing into Wave as opposed to other payment providers is your funding of non-profit development specialists.

In addition, your marketing seems to be gender inclusive and focused on helping people send money for a good price. This can be compared to the marketing of your competitor Paga, which may seem to perpetuate prospects of reflecting power structures that do not aim for inclusive advancement. Assuming positive personal intentions may prevent conflict at places where such is based in suboptimal/rejecting/aggressive interpersonal relationships. This speaks further for investing into Wave.

Is any of this accurate?

Also, what is your perspective on fiduciary duty? Can shareholders agree to maximize metrics other than profit (e. g. social benefit)?

Also, what do you think of 100% for-good investments? People are 'hired' to work on a venture (e. g. business ideas in East Africa) and advance normative change to resolve locally identified fundamental problems (in addition to their primary focus). For example, an agricultural products processing business can also remind people to buy nets, take preventive healthcare measures, keep learning to innovate local efficiencies and gain global job market skills, consider animal welfare, address and report bullies, and invest profits wisely.

Is it accurate that for most ventures in emerging markets, the Founders Pledge report does not hold true: it is that if a particular investor does not fund an SME (e. g. <$10,000), the venture is not advanced, since the innovators are not trained in Silicon Valley/'Western' pitching and have limited connections to affluent persons?/It is always possible to find counterfactual opportunities?

What do you think of working with governments on proposed investments adding conditions that should extend to entire industries, for example, safety standards in mining (p. 19) or shifting the national dynamic comparative advantage from potentially negative externality industries, such as a slaugterhouse for export (p. 39), to neutral or positive ones, such as a fruit factory (p. 41)?

Reading this report, you may be also interested in Micropay (U) Ltd. (p. 79) and the Agrikatale Mobile App (p. 82).

Major UN report discusses existential risk and future generations (summary)

(Sidenote) Is the "inflection point in history" (p. 3) both from convex to concave and vice versa since humanitarian and environmental progress can be measured in addition to GDP (p. 4)?

Informing the "Emergency Platform to respond to complex global crises" (p. 65, para. 101) could be valuable. What are the requests? Develop skills to respond to crises that are impossible to prevent since funding by a multilateral system can be agreed upon?

What are the investments into "resilience and prevention" (p. 55, para. 77) constrained by? Is this decisionmaking of large players, such as G20 governments? Is there a way to inform such, for example by tech giants' (Google, Facebook) advocacy? How would one best make sure that such resilience includes all across geographies and roles? Is this a matter of compiling data on past emergencies and viable responses and pre-negotiating cooperation?

From the report it seems to me that a complex global crisis is already occurring. Concretizing this to what I am familiar with, 1) multinational corporations fail to consider labor and environmental standards alongside value chains beyond potentially relatively unimpactful PR measures, 2) media fail to consider users in addition to advertisers, 3) conflict zone actors understand power by economic not development metrics scores, and 4) human health is lacking the One Health benefits.

Based on my thinking, a potentially valuable addition could be 1) a PR organization that would score companies based on their GVC policies/counterfactual impact, 2) regulation of the media market based on accuracy and users' freedom (e. g. not addicted), 3) conflict zone structures' assistance in greater and better power over all, 4) One Health normalization across signatories.

Together, this should reduce stakeholders' willingness and ability to act without solidarity and effectively address issues that may jeopardize a working multilateral system.

With any requests, feel free to contact the new organization High Impact Professionals that gathers professionals willing to work on high-impact projects pro bono or submit your requests to the EA Impact CoLabs.

Digital People Would Be An Even Bigger Deal

That is so cool! It seems that humankind has a real near-future potential to expand intragalactically.

I am wondering how digital people would be differentiated from digital things. For example, I can imagine that people would want their taxes to be done by robots or enjoy cruelty-free burgers. How would national quotas play into that?

What are some historical examples of people and organizations who've influenced people to do more good?

Is this a random yet captivating and intellectually sounding text automatic generator test?

Effective Giving Advocacy Challenge

For sure, if you want to get a bit serious about this, please join the EA Lobbying Discussion next Thursday (November 5, 2020) at 5pm UK time at We should have an overview of negotiation basics and policy advocacy insights from two government officials. Maximize your leverage by institutionalizing a 'giving' policy.

Data Analysis Involvement Opportunity (~10 hours)

Hi! This one should be taken care of. I can let you know about other opps.

Effective Altruism is a Question (not an ideology)

But I am an Effective Altruist, Helen -- 😓 By definition, as a member of the Effective Altruism community, no matter what I do or what I ask. Of course, engaging with the movement, I am more likely to expand my moral circles, gain knowledge and motivation to do great, et cetera, just like the other Effective Altruists. Held accountable by the institution itself, I enter, remain, or exit freely.

A counterfactual QALY for USD 2.60–28.94?


I found the dataset that I thought I saw before: the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) Disability Weights. Disability weights are the changes of Health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) due to a condition. I re-ran the calculations and found the cost-effectiveness of the mobile clinics project as 26.63 USD/QALY, with a low estimate of 184.14 USD/QALY and high estimate of 6.33 USD/QALY. I used the same data to estimate the cost-effectiveness of AMF and found 56.07 USD/QALY (low 112.14 and high 11.21). The Business Insider AMF number is about 49.76 USD/QALY. Thus, these updated calculations may be more accurate. Still, the calculations do not take into account the preventive care outcomes, deaths averted due to the Ebola outbreak response, and economic benefits (e. g. of deworming) that may lead to further health improvements, leave alone the positive long-term virtuous cycle of improved health and wealth - but that may apply to other health-related programs too.

Data Analysis Involvement Opportunity (~10 hours)

OK. I can see it on and download it from Google Drive. Perhaps this link:


I can also send via e-mail, feel free to message.

Guidelines on depicting poverty

When one is portraying reality accurately (people living on standards far below those of advanced economies), there may seem to be no problem (people living peacefully on the fields or in slums, disabled people asking for funds, sick persons resting at home). It is just the reality; these people are just a part of the picture. They are accepted by the society, although perhaps not as much catered to.

I am actually thinking that both portraying someone's negative emotional appeal (that does not allow the addressee to reject donating to the acceptance and end of relationship of the appealer) and portraying an opportunity to make a great impact put the intended beneficiaries into a subordinate position. The latter only necessitates different emotional work of the portrayed - exhibiting joy and proudly grateful performance as opposed to hatred and feeling of injustice. Since those in relative power may wish to feel that they are appreciated/loved by independent persons, the latter may be a better 'customer care' for the donors.

The best case would be perhaps sincere reality, with all its benefits (e. g. good relationships) and economic donation opportunities. No emotions directed to the audience. This would also enable donors to make independent decisions, doing good for absolutely nothing in return.

Now the question is how effective the portrayal of just people living somewhere be in soliciting donations. I hope that highly, because providing unconditional love is what makes people feel truly well.

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