May 2022 EDIT: This application form is still open, but we are now only accepting applications for specific events. If you are interested in organising events but don't have an event in mind, please contact ollie@eaglobal.org.

We, CEA, want to support more in-person conferences and events to help connect members of the EA community and build stronger local and professional networks.

As well as more EA Global conferences, which are organised by the CEA events team, we want to provide support to members of the EA community to run conferences and events themselves (community events).

Summary

If you want CEA’s support to run a conference or event, please apply here by 4 March 2022. You’ll be asked to provide some details about yourself and your event, along with a brief (100 - 500 words) case for why we should support your event. This form is also the one you should use to apply to host an EAGx conference, too.

If we approve your application, we will provide:

  • Financial support - we will cover the cost of your event. You and other core organisers will also be paid for your work on the event at standard CEA contractor rates (the default is $38 / hour);
  • Guidance on how to run the event effectively;
  • Assistance in identifying speakers and co-organisers;
  • Free access to event management resources (e.g. Swapcard and Zoho).

You can also apply to attend an events retreat

We are also planning an events retreat in March (likely in the US) to connect people interested in event organising. You can express interest in attending this retreat using the same application form. If you are applying for both events support and the events retreat, apply as soon as you can to give yourself time to prepare for the events retreat if you are accepted.

Why run an event?

Events often seem to have a huge impact by getting people more involved in effective altruism.

  • Open Philanthropy’s 2020 survey of people involved in longtermist priority work (a significant fraction of work in the EA community) found that about half of the impact that CEA had on respondents was via EAG and EAGx conferences.
  • More anecdotally, we regularly encounter community members who cite conferences as playing a key part in their EA journey.
  • Organisations associated with the EA community report that EA conferences are an excellent place to hire additional staff and launch new projects.
  • Events specifically for people looking for roles in a certain career path also have a good track record. For example, over half of attendees at CEA’s 2018 operations forum went on to take operations roles at EA-aligned organisations. In several cases, the organisation and/or attendee said this was because of the event, and we think this was the likely cause in many other cases too.
  • EA-themed conferences are in high demand - EAGxPrague received over 1,000 applications for an event that was originally planned to host 300 people.

Who should run an event?

You don’t need any specific experience to run an event, although organising previous events or your local EA group would make it easier. If you have an idea for an event or are from a community that’s underserved by our existing conference schedule, you could make something really valuable happen.

Organising an event is an opportunity for you to learn and demonstrate valuable career skills:

  • Event organisers can develop skills in project management, people management, hiring, operations and communications.
  • These skills are valued at a wide range of EA organisations and are the kind of broad, generalist skills that could help you stand out in application processes for jobs outside the community (e.g. consulting, start-ups, communications, operational roles, etc.).
  • Organising an event can also help you build your professional network - you’ll need to work closely with us (we often recommend people for roles based on their work running an event), other community builders and any speakers you invite to your event.

We think organising a community event could be a particularly good fit for:

  • People looking to explore full-time roles in events or operations;
  • Freelancers or contractors working in operations or events;
  • Students who can do this instead of other paid part-time work;
  • Full- or part-time community-builders looking for a project.

Who should not run an event?

Event organising isn’t for everyone:

  • Events are both time-consuming and time-bound. Organising an event means committing a few hours a week to the project for several months, setting aside 1 - 3 weeks to run the event and then rounding off the project. It isn’t a full-time role and often doesn’t work well with other commitments.
  • Event organising can be stressful yet invisible - everyone notices when something goes wrong but great execution can go unnoticed.
  • Your day-to-day will mostly consist of small, operational tasks. This can be draining or uninteresting to some people.

If these downsides seem very costly or concerning, you might not be a good fit for event organising. If you’re unphased, please apply!

Application details

The application form should take 30 - 90 minutes to complete if you have an event in mind, and less than 30 minutes if you just want to express interest in organising an event. This link will remain open - we will aim to respond to applications submitted before 4 March 2022 (23:59 PT) by 18 March 2022. If you apply after 4 March, there won’t be a schedule for responding to your application (but you’ll likely hear back within 1 month).

Historically, we’ve focused on supporting EAGx conferences; a locally-organised conference for anyone interested in EA. However, we’re also interested in supporting smaller events and events with a more specific focus. This could be an event for people working in a certain cause area (e.g. biosecurity) or an event to help people build a certain set of skills (e.g. journalism).

FAQ

I don’t have an event in mind but I think I might be a good fit for event organising - can I apply?

May 2022 EDIT: please now email ollie@eaglobal.org if you are interested in organising an event but don't have an event in mind.

Yes. Please select “No” on the question "Do you already have an idea for an event?" and just complete your personal details. Please consider expressing interest in our events retreat too, where we might be able to connect you with other organisers or an event idea.

I have an event in mind but I don’t have capacity to run it - can I apply?

Yes. Please select “No” on the question “Will you be the project lead for this event?” and just fill in the event details. We’d still like to see persuasive reasons for why we should support the event you’re proposing. If we think the event is a good idea, we’ll then help you find someone who might be a good fit for running the event.

Can I apply for funding elsewhere too?

Yes. For example, you can apply to EA Funds here. If you are an organiser of a local EA group, you can apply for CEA’s Group Support Funding here to cover common expenses for group events. Other funders in the community might ask us why we didn’t fund your application but they may be willing to support you anyway.

If I don’t get funding, can I still run an event?

Yes. If you don’t receive support from us but decide to go ahead anyway, we just ask that you avoid calling your event an ‘EA Global’ or an ‘EAGx’. This helps attendees distinguish which events are endorsed and/or supported by us and which aren’t.

Can I apply to run a virtual event?

Yes. This application and our support are shaped for in-person events but if you want to run a virtual event, please do apply.


If you have any other questions, please contact ollie@eaglobal.org and start your subject line with “CE application:”.

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8 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:16 PM
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Hey Ollie, I think it'd be valuable if you added a few more examples of the kinds of events that you'd be interested in supporting.

Sure! A quick caveat: I don’t want people to anchor too much on my examples. Please stay imaginative. We’d really like to end up supporting an event type we didn’t even think of at first.

Some more examples:

  • The first global conference for a new EA-aligned field (e.g. global priorities research, wild animal welfare research)
  • Events to connect people working in an EA-aligned field  (e.g. a conference for biosecurity policy experts in Europe)
  • Retreats for people to launch new projects in a certain space (e.g. a retreat for people working on a specific approach to AI safety)
  • Retreats to identify people early in a certain career path and connect them with opportunities (e.g. the operations forum, our events retreat)

A really cool thing I’d like to see happen is:

  • A subject matter expert proposes an event they’d like to see happen in their field but can’t run themselves (via the form)
  • Someone interested in event organising is from the same place and offers to make that event happen with our support (also via the form).

I hope this helps!

Specifically I'd be curious whether this is only for conference-style events or also smaller and more targeted things like running multi day retreats or workshops.

We're also interested in supporting smaller and more targeted things :) 

For EA group retreats, is it better to apply for the CEA event support you introduced, or for  CEA's support group funding?

I think CEA's support group funding for group retreats, just so your group's support is all with the groups team and not spread across CEA. If you're a city / national group supported by CEA, you should contact my colleague Rob Gledhill directly instead :)

I don't know what format the Operations Forum had, but I suspect that it was an example of a smaller multi-day retreat.