How I Give: Existential risk with John Halstead

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Philip Kasumu
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From Founder to Philanthropist

How I Give is a Founders Pledge podcast about entrepreneurship, philanthropy and social change. We talk to founders, philanthropists and social innovators about what drives them, how they are rethinking social impact, and how we can do philanthropy better.

Episode 5

Existential risk with John Halstead, Head of Applied Research at Founders Pledge

The COVID-19 pandemic is showing us that preparing for – and proactively addressing – risks that perhaps seem far-fetched and unlikely is more crucial than ever. For all the devastating consequences of the current crisis, there are greater risks out there that threaten humanity’s long-term prospects. In this episode of How I Give, we talk to John Halstead, Head of Applied Research at Founders Pledge, about existential risk and why philanthropists should focus on safeguarding the welfare of future generations.

John joined Founders Pledge in 2017 from a background in policy think tanks and academia. He has a doctorate in political philosophy from Oxford and taught philosophy at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford. Following that, he moved to the Global Priorities Project, working as a researcher on global catastrophic risk.

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Philip Kasumu


Philip joined Founders Pledge as Growth Lead for Europe in January 2020. He has spent the last few years building health and wellness tech products in both London and New York. He's extremely passionate about tackling the global issue of obesity and diabetes in particular the impact of fizzy drinks. In addition to his passion for health and wellness reform Philip truly does drink the startup kool-aid and regularly nerds out on his weekly podcast Startup Handmedowns where he sits down with successful founders.

Philip studied Accounting and Management at the University of Essex.