This forum post was co-authored with Emma Abele. (Edit) Aaron Gertler also helped us with copyediting.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen many fellowships and discussion groups transitioning away from physical meetups to virtual ones. Many of us also found that there are economies of scale when we can bunch geographically distant groups together into one virtual batch.
For example, Stanford EA and EA Oxford opened up their Intro Fellowship and In-Depth Fellowship (respectively) to people anywhere in the world. That was how the EA Virtual Programs got started last year — we helped these groups with their virtual fellowships and soon, these fellowships transitioned into our current setup.
We wanted a place for people anywhere in the world to intensively engage with effective altruism ideas through readings, videos, podcasts, and weekly small-group discussions. As long as you have a stable internet connection and an intermediate fluency in English, you’re able to participate in this program.
So far, we’ve had a total of 959 participants from the first half of 2021. We also have 289 participants in the July-to-August round which we are currently running with Stanford EA. Our post-program survey response rates are generally quite low at 30%, but feedback for two prior rounds has been positive: the average likelihood of recommending the program to a friend was 9.15 out of 10.
Now, we (Yi-Yang Chua and Emma Abele) will be organising the Introductory EA Program, In-Depth EA Program, and The Precipice Reading Group every month. The next round will be happening from August 2nd to September 26th, with Sunday, July 25th as the application deadline.
How to get involved
- If you’re still new to effective altruism, apply to the Introductory EA Program.
- If you’re already familiar with the content in the Introductory EA Program, apply to the In-Depth EA Program.
- If you’re interested in existential risks, apply to The Precipice Reading Group.
- If you have already participated in any of the above programs, consider applying to be a facilitator. Getting more great facilitators allows us to accept more people into our program. You’re also likely to reinforce what you’ve learned previously by reengaging with the content as a facilitator! The facilitator application deadline for this coming round is tomorrow, July 18th (Sunday). In general, you need to apply at least two weeks before the round you want to facilitate for.
- Remind your group members to apply to the virtual programs as participants or facilitators.
- We highly encourage you to apply to the In-Depth EA Program to familiarise yourself with more complex ideas in effective altruism. That way, you’re able to communicate effective altruism ideas clearly and with more nuance, as well as run a wider range of discussions.
- Apply as a facilitator to practice guiding discussions and communicating EA ideas. This experience can prepare you to organise an in-person program for your group in the future — we highly recommend this!
Speaking of which, we’ll be publishing a post about deciding between EA Virtual Programs and running your own local programs in the next few months. Look forward to it!