This profile is part of the "People of Giving What We Can" series.
We recently spoke with Timeo Williams, a blockchain software developer living in Mexico City, Mexico. He told us about his passion for decentralisation, the causes he supports, and how it feels to "make giving a part of living."
I am very interested in combining leverage and ethical principles to solve societal problems. (By leverage, I mean leveraging the resources of computers to create value and perform computations, which helps me get the most out of the limited number of hours in a day. There are actually four different types of leverage -- capitol, labor, code, and media; as a software developer, I lean towards code!)
Lately, the dream of decentralisation and allowing people to have greater control of their data has been pushing me into the world of blockchains and crypto. For example, one of the projects I'm focused on is adding the titles for purchased homes onto the blockchain. Part of the process of home ownership in the United States is legally recognizing the “title” to the home you purchased as your proof of ownership. This ends up becoming a cumbersome process as you need a third-party company to be involved in verification and holding on to this title during the process of selling and buying a home. There’s an opportunity to really decentralise information regarding home ownership to be at much more easily accessible levels and get rid of the need for third party processes/lessen the financial constraints on local governments to maintain and regularly update databases.
Outside of that, I enjoy playing tennis, traveling the world and dancing some salsa/bachata.
My brother introduced me to the concept of effective altruism a few years ago, and I was left with the belief that If I did give money, I would give it to organizations that were effective with that money.
A few months ago, my dad reminded me of the importance of giving a tithe (10% of one’s income) to the church. I agreed with the concept of giving away a part of the wealth we’ve accumulated in order to give back to others, but didn’t agree with how the church would have used those funds. I knew I wanted any funds I donated to be used for causes that would have the highest impact on the world. Giving What We Can helped me to find those causes!
I give because I’m privileged to come from an extraordinary background of education and wealth. I want to help spread these resources to others.
I took the pledge because I believe in the lifetime commitment to continually give and to make giving a part of living; it makes me happy to know that I am living below my means and helping out others in need. And this energy of giving permeates throughout the businesses I’m involved with and the people I interact with on a daily basis. Giving to others truly makes you a happier person and that spirit of abundance begets even more wealth.
I’ve chosen to focus on donations to charities that are classified as low-risk by Effective Altruism Funds. I believe that solving the most primal issues with society — making sure everyone has access to basic health and clean water — are among the simplest steps to moving people up from Maslow’s hierarchy to allow for deeper conversations and thinking.
I give to the Effective Altruism Global Health & Development Fund, which has the stated intention to “improve the health or economic empowerment of people around the world as effectively as possible.” I donate to this fund because it makes me feel confident that my money is going to the highest-impact charities!
I’ve been blessed to be in the financial situation I'm in, so there usually isn’t any second guessing whether or not to give. There are times when the stock/crypto market looks rather low and I feel a little tempted not to donate as much this month so I can go “all-in” on crypto investments. I’ve been able to beat past these urges for the time being, though, since my motivation to continue a regular commitment to giving supersedes the allure of temporary monetary gain.
This post is part of the “People of Giving What We Can" series, which profiles a selection of the Giving What We Can community. The Giving What We Can community is comprised of people from all walks of life, with different perspectives and motivations for giving – all united by their desire to make a significant commitment to use their income to effectively help others.
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For more information about Giving What We Can, we recommend you check out our frequently asked questions, our effective giving recommendations, our giving pledges, and our homepage.