World pressing problems

80,000 hours describes world-pressing problems as positive impact as promoting welfare over the long term on a large scale'.

The following are problems that an individual can have the greatest impact on the margin.

  • Working on emerging technologies

  • Reduce the risk of global catastrophes i.e. pandemic, nuclear war, global warming

  • Research and capacity-building for future work

How to find a problem to work on:

  • Neglected - problems that aren’t being worked on may just be neglected and if more resources were applied then progress would be made.

  • Important - is it a pressing problem

  • Tractable - there are foreseeable ways at solving a problem like double-blind studies.

Here is a list of potential problems to work on.

Broad directions to work on these

  • Research

  • Government and Policy in an area relevant to a top issue

  • Work at effective non-profits

  • Apply an unusual strength to a needed niche