Social impact starts with philosophy
If you asked me a question like, “What are some things that would make a positive impact in the world?” I might answer you with some or all of the following:
Generating electricity with no pollution. Working to have a 100% literacy rate. Persuading other to eat less animal protein. Increasing access to green spaces. Developing a cheaper model for child care. Fostering better managment practices so that work wasn’t stressful for anybody. Fixing and maintaining roads so that potholes don’t cause flat tires or wake up sleeping babies.
Others might say that colonizing Mars would make a huge positive impact even if most people wouldn’t even consider that even close to the realm of “impact.”
Further still, others might say that providing every family a free copy of the Holy Bible would make a positive impact.
All these suggestions can be true, because how one answers that question of what creates positive impact is biased by one’s own morals.
Some might consider positive impact to hinge upon what reduces the most suffering. For others it might be based on what allows people to become self-reliant and pursue their own dreams. For those who support colonizing mars, what drives them might be what prevents the extinction of our species. For others positive impact might be anything that makes us more spiritual creatures.
None of these are unreasonable stances to hold.
Why I bring this up, is that we don’t usually discuss the moral underpinnings of our thoughts and how they bias our opinions about social impact.
Fostering collective action to make the world a better place would probably go much smoother if we talked about and tried to understand each other’s philosophies first.
As for my own philosophy I think it’s something like - what makes the world a better place are things that help people become virtuous and put their time & talents to good use.