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How we’re embracing effective hedonism to do more good in the world (and how you can too)

Feb 6th 2024

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At Humanitix, we take our own and your pleasure seriously, and we strongly believe that living a pleasurable life and making the world a better place doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. Does it require some sort of alchemy to be a pleasure-seeker and a good person? We don’t think so.

There is a whole load of research and anecdotal evidence that people feel good when they do good. In fact, this is seen from a young age. In Joyful Toddlers and Preschoolers, parenting coach Faith Collins writes that research supports the idea that  “People'' as young as toddlers “feel both energised and grounded… when they are contributing to something greater than themselves.”

A smiling woman with glasses and curly black hair on a white background

What do we mean by effective hedonism?

One of our partners, Charlie Bresler, co-founder of The Life You Can Save, has coined the term “effective hedonism” by which he means that one can pursue pleasure — and an important part of that can include making the world a better place. We like the term effective hedonism because pure hedonism can sometimes lead to self-destruction and harm to others. Something we definitely want to avoid!

We all want to do what feels good right now. But our automatic reactions are often inconsistent with what is best for us or with our core values. Fortunately, our cerebral cortex enables us to use cognition to override our instincts and socialisation, and to align our behaviour with our goals and values. Therefore, we can avoid dysfunctional hedonic decisions (aka those decisions that can be harmful or do not maximise our wellbeing).

Most of us would be able to make a list of all the things we do to seek short-term pleasure or choices we make that are convenient at the expense of what we know is good for us. Perhaps even more destructive, many of us end up following life paths that go directly against our satisfaction or values.

Man contemplating while looking our over a lake at twilight

We chose a different path. When we co-founded Humanitix, we realised that using our skills could help us build a business model that could align with our desire to improve the world — save lives, reduce unnecessary suffering and empower livelihoods. To be able to, along with our team, create a fortune of good in the world while simultaneously earning a good living (albeit not generating outsized wealth due to the nonprofit structure of Humanitix), to us is the most rewarding path. This has been life-enhancing for us and does not feel like a sacrifice.

At the same time, with Humanitix, we’ve found a way to enable others — the hosts that use Humanitix and the ticket buyers that attend their events — to embrace effective hedonism without even trying! They can have a good time, host and attend events knowing that with Humanitix dedicating 100% of profits to charity, they are also doing good.

This model has proved that doing good and making a profit are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can, and should, be complementary aspects of a sustainable and impactful business model.

Ready to embrace effective hedonism for yourself?

So what are the key steps to becoming an effective hedonist? First, shed your guilt. Guilt is not a long-term motivator. You may feel guilty about having that second piece of cake, getting inappropriately angry with someone, or not giving more money to charity. But does that guilt help you change? No. Even if it does occasionally promote positive behaviour, it is corrosive, it gets in the way of living a pleasurable life — and eventually unhappiness interferes with doing good things.

Next, try to become more intentional. Being more intentional requires keeping our values front and centre in our consciousness. Why? Because if we are not aware in the moment, we often rely on instinct or socialisation, which causes us to veer from what is most important to us. We might get on the “hedonic treadmill,” when we pursue material pleasures beyond the point that they feel good. Another example is trying to “get ahead” by taking a job we don’t like because of the money or status. We make matters worse by working too hard at a job we shouldn’t be doing in the first place.

Man in a baseball cap breathes deeply in front of a blue sky.

Becoming more intentional

Here’s a couple of suggestions on how to become more intentional that worked for us:

  1. Enhance your moment-to-moment awareness through mindfulness meditation. You can do this while you’re undertaking your daily activities. Simply breathing in and out slowly while paying close attention to your breath is an easy and very useful strategy for becoming calmer and more aware of your surroundings. Focusing your attention on daily tasks — like washing the dishes, walking, listening carefully to whomever is talking — helps you learn the difference between being distracted and being aware. Awareness is a critical step on the path to intentionality.
  2. Do a regular values-clarification exercise. This involves asking: what’s most important to me? Does my current behaviour help me align with my core goals? If not, what do I need to change? Don’t try to change too much at a time, but rather to aim for your “personal best.” This means setting a goal that is a stretch, but achievable. Once you achieve it, set a new one that is a little more difficult, always aiming for your “personal best”.

Join forces with us!

Humanitix is now a thriving, financially successful social enterprise and we are growing quickly with offices in Sydney, Denver, Auckland and soon Edinburgh. As committed effective hedonists, we’ve now donated $6.5M to our charity partners. We do this by choosing to dedicate 100% of our profits to organisations that are improving the lives of people who need help; those who didn’t win the “birth lottery” by being born into a country and family with access to food, shelter and the other basic necessities like drinking water that sadly some parts of the world struggle to meet.

The best part is, you can start your effective hedonism journey right now, just by choosing to use Humanitix for some of the regular transactions you already make! Here’s how:

  1. Host your event on Humanitix - If you’re an event host, ticketing your event with Humanitix is an easy way to do good and feel good. Your attendees will love you for it and you’ll have all the features, real-time support and low fees you need to sell out.
  2. Buy tickets to events on Humanitix - Do you love the idea of good times for a good cause? You’ve come to the right place! Search for events near you on Humanitix and feel awesome knowing that while you’re having a great time, your booking fee is doing good.
  3. Encourage the organisers of your favourite events to switch to Humanitix - Ticketing with Humanitix is a win-win – we offer all the same features as other ticketing platforms, but with low fees and the best human support - AND 100% of profits are dedicated to charity. Making the switch is a no-brainer.

Adam & Josh

Co-Founders of Humanitix


Humanitix is the ticketing platform that dedicates 100% of profits to charity. With tickets for good, not greed, Humanitix takes the booking fees we all hate paying and dedicates the profits to charity. Your booking fees help provide access to education, healthcare and life’s basic necessities to millions of humans across the world.

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