Below are some of the causes I support.
Since 2007, I’ve primarily focused on innovation in education as a means of leveling the playing field. This includes K-12 and higher education, both in the US and abroad.
In roughly 2015, I added a separate focus on scientific research and clinical treatments of “intractable” conditions such as treatment-resistant depression, opioid addiction, anorexia nervosa, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research — I’m a co-founding backer of the largest psychedelic research center in the world (as of June 2020), which was also the first such center in the US. New York Times coverage can be found here and here. Current projects/studies can be found here.
- Imperial College London – Centre for Psychedelic Research — I’m a co-founding backer of the world’s first dedicated psychedelic research center. Current projects/studies can be found here.
- UCSF/Neuroscape — “Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults” Cover story of Nature, September 2, 2013 issue.
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Genome project since early 2011)
- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
- Donorschoose.org (National Advisory Board; sample classroom projects) – DonorsChoose.org makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.
- QuestBridge (West Coast Advisory Board) – QuestBridge is a powerful platform that connects the nation’s brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education and further opportunities. QuestBridge aims to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation’s best universities and the ranks of national leadership itself.
- BUILD (supporter and contributor) – BUILD’s mission is to use entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth from under-resourced communities and propel them to high school, college, and career success.
- Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)(supporter) – C-CAP empowers underserved youth through the culinary arts and has facilitated more than $12,000,000 in scholarships since 2009. Founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman and co-chaired by chef Marcus Samuelsson, C-CAP partners with 150 public high schools to support 15,000 students nationwide each year to develop their interest and skills for careers in the culinary and hospitality industries. For incredible real-world examples, see the documentary Pressure Cooker or see this NYT profile of graduate Carlton McCoy.
- After-School All-Stars (supporter) – After-School All-Stars (ASAS) provides free, comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life. ASAS is one of the largest free, school-based after-school program providers in the country.
- Room to Read (Schools in Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia; scholarships for girls) – Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.
Think you should wait until you’re rich to change the world? That might not be the most effective approach. Here are my thoughts on the subject.