There's an "I" in Altruism

Archive Events & Talks (24 February 2014, 7.00pm - 9.30pm)
Have you ever had a truly free lunch? Are acts of kindness ever really random? And is being in debt actually virtuous rather than a bad, sad state of affairs? Five speakers explore how generosity and self-interest might be inter-dependent, rather than polar opposites. Join us for what we’re sure will be a fascinating event on a topic that truly affects us all. Co-hosted by Marek Kohn and Liz Whitehead (Fabrica Director).
Is nature what we are here to rise above?

Marek Kohn writes about the implications of scientific thinking for human nature and society. He is the author of seven books including Trust: Self-Interest and the Common Good (OUP, 2008), and has written for publications ranging from Nature to the Guardian. Marek has a BSc in neurobiology from the University of Sussex and a PhD from the University of Brighton.

Is being in debt good for us?

Alinah Azadeh’s artistic practice spans performance, textile, sculpture, the digital and writing. In recent years much of her work has been focused on ideas of gifting and debt. Her current project, Burning the Books explores the relationship between measurable, financial debt and other forms of indebtedness, and asks if debt might actually be good for us.

Who wants to help?

Dr Tom Farsidesis a social psychologist at the University of Sussex where his research is concerned with the factors that facilitate or inhibit activism, altruism, campaigning, charity, citizenship, courtesy, donating and a variety of other prosocial behaviours. He wants to understand the causes and consequences of people caring about and trying to serve others' welfare.

What motivates Wikipedians?

Software developer Tom Morris has contributed a substantial amount of time, knowledge and energy to Wikipedia on an unpaid basis. Since 2002 he has made over 55,000 edits and contributed 55 articles, and since 2010 has taken on admin tasks such as: handling complaints, dealing with copyright-related issues and weighing up competing arguments in Articles for Deletion debates.

It’s better to give than receive

Sussex vicar Peter Owen-Jones is also an author and TV presenter. In his documentary How to Live a Simple Life (BBC 2009) Peter took inspiration from St Francis of Assisi by trying to live for a year without money.
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