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Stanford University
April 8th-9th, 2015

Sponsored by:
The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
The McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University

Keynote Speaker:
Peter Singer (Princeton University and University of Melbourne)

It is widely acknowledged that global poverty is a matter of great moral concern, and that efforts to alleviate it ought to be pursued. But there is a great deal of disagreement about a range of ethical and empirical issues concerning aid. The purpose of this conference is to explore these issues and to foster ongoing discussion and collaboration.

Possible questions to be addressed include (but are not limited to):

• What values ought we be aiming at in our efforts to aid the poor?
• What are appropriate or inappropriate means of promoting these values?
• Which types of aid efforts are most effective?
• If we should be focused on certain kinds of efforts rather than others, is this for fundamental moral reasons, or because of more “pragmatic”
considerations (e.g. certain approaches will motivate more people to contribute, or to contribute more, or the beneficial results can be more easily
• What should efforts to increase giving by others focus on, and why (e.g. should the primary aim simply be to alleviate poverty as much as possible, or
does this aim need to be balanced against others)?
• Which strategies for increasing giving by others are most effective?
• What explains why many well off people don’t contribute to poverty relief at all, and why others don’t give more than they do?
• Should we focus more on increasing giving to the most effective existing efforts, or should we prioritize efforts to develop new mechanisms for
alleviating poverty?
• How demanding are our obligations of aid (as individuals, collectives, states)?

Please send an abstract of approximately 500 words to Brian Berkey at bberkey (at) Abstracts should be formatted for blind review. Your name, affiliation, and e-mail address should appear in the body of your e-mail. The deadline for submissions is January 15th, 2015. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by January 30th.

Speakers will have 30 minutes to present, followed by 45 minutes of Q&A.

Grants will be made available to help offset the costs of attendance for participants traveling from outside the Bay Area.

Questions can be directed to any of the conference organizers:

Brian Berkey: bberkey (at)
Alex Levitov: alevitov (at)
Brad McHose: bradmchose (at)
Emma Saunders-Hastings: esaunder (at)
Claire Zabel: czabel (at)


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