Students for High-Impact Charity Workshops in Vancouver

Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC) is a program for any student who wishes to make an exceptional impact on the world. The SHIC program challenges students to ask not only “How can I make the world a better place?” but also, “How can I make the biggest possible difference?”

Our program consists of group activities, videos and discussions, and are designed to challenge students to think critically about their impact using evidence and reason, across a wide range of causes.

 

To register your interest email Catherine Low on catherine@highimpactstudents.org.

SHIC educators are available to come to your Secondary School in Metro Vancouver to present the program to your students.

The first session of 1 to 1.5 hours will consist of the “The Giving Game”, where the students are tasked with selecting the charity they deem as having the biggest impact. This activity demonstrates that we can’t rely on intuition to choose a charity, and illustrates the huge impact we can have if we donate to evidence-based charities. This can be run with classes or groups up to 80 students.

If students and teachers are interested SHIC can present the remainder of our program (3 - 4 hours) in two or three sessions. This could be done in school time in a relevant class, or with interested students, in or out of school time.

The Program

Activities include:

  • Thought-provoking quizzes to bring out students misconceptions about the world.
  • Using an online app to calculate how rich they are compared to the rest of the world, with results that are surprising to most students.
  • Mind bending ethical puzzles to explore obligations to others.
  • Videos and discussions on some of the world’s pressing issues such as global poverty, our treatment of animals, and threats to humanity from future technologies.

Each session emphasizes what students can do now, and in their future career, to make the largest positive difference they can.

SHIC will be analysing the effect of the program on student’s perspectives on the world and how they apply critical thinking to charitable giving. As part of this analysis, students attending the full program will be given money to donate to any charity of their choice.

Why have SHIC come to your school?

With SHIC in your school, you’ll be joining a global network of students, teachers, and academic institutions who appreciate the importance of introducing students to a rational, evidence-based system for contributing effectively to society.

The SHIC program can be run with any group of students, and is a fantastic complement to courses about social studies, global citizenship, social responsibility, philosophy, or theory of knowledge.

How does the SHIC program benefit students?

  • Applying critical thinking and STEM skills to making the world better.

    SHIC takes students out of their comfort zones so they can see their cognitive biases and that their intuitions might not be as reliable as they’d like to think. Throughout the program, students learn key critical thinking skills that will allow them to question their preconceptions about themselves and the world. These critical thinking skills are useful for students in many aspects of their life, not just in the world of charity. SHIC incorporates scientific ideas (such as randomized controlled trials), statistics and economics to explain how global initiatives use evidence to improve lives and shows students how they can apply these ideas to their own lives.

 

  • Teaching the importance of prioritization.

    Young people can be bombarded by news reports about a multitude of serious issues in the world, so empathetic students can be faced with indecision about which problem to act on. SHIC provides a framework on how to prioritize causes, so students can decide the most impactful path for them.

 

  • Encouraging empathy.

    Through philosophical inquiry, students are exposed to new ideas about who and what they could care about, and are encouraged to develop their own ethical positions. Students consider how they could help those outside their immediate community, including those who live far away from them, animals, and those who have yet to be born.

 

  • Empowering students.

    Many courses introduce important issues in the world. But SHIC is unique in that it encourages students not only to consider many different global issues and actions, but also to effectively act to improve the situation using reason and evidence. Most students are surprised at just how great their impact can be.

 

  • Improving school fundraisers.

    The most effective charities are estimated to be between ten and a hundred times more effective at improving lives than the average charity. SHIC teaches students how to analyse charities and identify those that are outstanding. By focusing on high-impact charities, students can learn how to achieve a significantly greater impact with their fundraisers.

 

  • Guiding careers for good.

    SHIC contains activities dedicated to how students can heighten their impact through their studies and career choices. Often the most impactful paths are not all that obvious.

 

  • Make a difference.
    The most important reason to use SHIC in your school is that it changes lives. In the long term, this program may have a significant impact on your students beliefs and approaches to life, and collectively they could have a huge prosocial impact.

Get your school involved

To register your interest in having SHIC visit your school, contact Catherine Low, SHIC’s Manager of Community, on catherine@highimpactstudents.org.

Support the SHIC Workshop Experiment

SHIC is seeking funding to allow us to get out to more students, and conduct an experiment to measure our program's medium-term impact on students. Go to our funding page for more information and to donate.