Prometheus’ Problems | Doing good: Check your charity

Recording: Prometheus’ Problems | Doing good: Check your charity

“Impact for a better society” is Delft University’s strategic motto: we aim to overcome the challenges of our world through research into technological solutions as wells as policy and governance. But there are many more ways in which one can have a positive impact on society, for instance through social movement, activism and good old-fashioned charity.

Charity knows many forms and flavours, and has itself been the topic of much debate and research. How do you achieve the best outcome? Do you trust large organisations to decide how to effectively spend your money, or do you simply hand out cash to individuals and let them spend it where they feel it is most needed?

The greatest good for the greatest number of people sounds like a sensible approach for making a positive impact on society. But do the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the few, or are there other values and human rights at stake? Who decides what a ‘good outcome’ is?

Kritika Maheshwari is Assistant Professor in Ethics & Philosophy of Technology at the TPM Faculty of TU Delft. Kritika’s research interest and work lays at the intersection of moral and political philosophy of risk. She’s particularly interested in how societies ought to tackle and mitigate existential risks keeping future generations in mind.

Eduard Nazarski was director of Amnesty International Netherlands from 2006 to 2020. He remains committed to  peace and human rights, and is currently president of the supervisory board of peace organisation PAX.

Jan Wehner is currently in the second year of his master’s degree in Computer Science, specialising in artificial intelligence. He is a founding member of both Effective Altruism Delft and the Delft AI Safety Initiative.

Moderator Udo Pesch is associate professor in ethics of technology at the department of Values, Technology and Innovation of the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at the TU Delft. He is chair of the human research ethics committee  of the university and member of the TPM Energy Transition Lab.

Prometheus’ Problems

At this quarterly event, students, professors and external experts will exchange thoughts about philosophical and ethical themes related to engineering, modern technology and its impact on society. Importantly, the themes are based on questions put forward by students themselves. A discussion in a comfortable setting, with a drink at hand. 

Are you interested in continuing the conversation on doing good and exploring the unconscious biases and blind spots that may stand in your way? Visit SG x Fringe | Doing good: Here to save the day? at Royal Delft later this evening!

Visit the location's website here.