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I am currently exploring ways to increase participation in pro-social work and I think I found a promising project. But before I got in too deep, I wanted to get some community feedback on my reasoning and any alternatives. Also, this is my first forum post, so any meta-advice would be welcome as well!


My initial strategy involves working on an open task backlog. This approach stems from a significant gap between the number of active Effective Altruists (EAs) and the broader pool of all EAs. According to the 2019 EA Survey, there are approximately 7,500 active EAs compared to the 150,000 subscribers to the 80,000 Hours newsletter. Subscribing to the newsletter suggests an interest in EA concepts and potential alignment with EA-related work. While not everyone from this group will engage, there are still only about 700 job postings on 80,000 Hours. So it seems that the community needs a more efficient means to engage individuals who might lose interest without sustained momentum.

Potential alternatives that would address the labor mismatch:

- I could explore the possibility of supporting EA organizational development, which could result in the creation of more job opportunities.

- ??? Would love any community ideas.

Project Progress:

I've reached out to the individuals responsible for maintaining two existing task backlogs to see if they are active:

If the community already likes these pre-existing solutions, I will focus on promoting them to volunteers and organizations that can contribute additional tasks.




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I am not consciously aware of any centralised EA meta backlog. I am a little confused as to the connection between working on this and the number discrepancies between highly engaged EAs and subscribers on 80,000 hours. From what I know anecdotally 80,000 hours is although funded by CEA, many from other conventional NGO actually use the job board without realising this was part of an EA project, this might result in an inflated count.

Will the open task backlog be meta focused or cause areas focused, if cause areas focus, you might probably get more traction by joining a local org or professional org say High Impact Engineers?

  1. I'm treating the number of subscribers on 80,000 hours as the total pool of people at least somewhat interested in EA. I'm planning to do work on a task backlog because there's such a large difference between the total pool and those that are actively working on EA-adjacent projects. It seems like having a good onboarding process that could include some volunteer work for those that are just getting started would help drive more engagement down the line. 
  2. I think it would probably start out as meta-focused, but I could imagine orgs from specific cause areas could post one-off projects to the backlog as well. That would be a good way for someone interested in AI safety, that isn't currently able to directly work on it with their career, to contribute.
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