Please note: I'm no longer coordinating these chats. That said, if you want to chat to one of these people, I'd still encourage you to send them a message with context on you and why you want to chat.

...

People might underestimate how willing others are to give advice or soundboard ideas. I made a quick list of people who told me they’d be happy to chat - some have more availability than others.

If you’d like to speak to one of the people below, please book a call at this link and I’ll try to connect you.

If you can't find someone relevant to you below, message me and I'll try to match you with someone not on the list.

If you haven't booked a career coaching call with 80,000 hours, I also strongly recommend doing so!

Caveats

I’m writing this post as an experiment. If there’s lots of interest and it's a good use of everyone’s time, I might make this into a more developed product.

While it’s exciting that these people are willing to give their time, the supply is still quite limited - nothing here should be taken as an obligation on their part to talk to anyone in particular, nor a guarantee that they’ll still have free slots at any point in the future. But if you are interested, use the forms below to request a call.

Note: I picked people I happened to have spoken to recently: this is not a hand-picked, exclusive club. If you’re also happy to speak to people, then feel free to post a comment below following the same format (similar to the “Who’s hiring” thread).

People

Barry Grimes

Communications Manager at Happier Lives Institute and "In Depth EA" programme facilitator. LinkedIn.

Ask about:

  • Global Health and Wellbeing
  • Communications

Request a call

 

Eirin Evjen

Operations associate at Forethought Foundation. Previously ran EA Norway. LinkedIn.

Ask about:

  • Careers in operations
  • Running an EA national group

Request a call

 

Eli Rose

EA community-building grantmaking and projects at Open Phil. LinkedIn

Talk about:

  • EA 101 questions
  • In-depth questions about longtermist cause areas

Request a call

 

Elika Somani

Deputy Head of Events at Atlas Fellowship, incoming Bioethics and Biosecurity Research Fellow at the National Institutes for Health, EA Programme Facilitator and Community Builder . LinkedIn

Chat about:

  • EA 101 questions and being a welcoming face to the community :)
  • Careers (or interest) in public health, disease control, and biosecurity
  • Careers (or interest) in operations and events
  • Community Building!!

There’s no dumb questions, I’m always happy to meet new people and talk about EA!

Request a call

 

Evan Hubinger

Research Fellow at Machine Intelligence Research Institute. LinkedIn

Chat about:

  • AI alignment careers

Request a call

 

John Halstead

Research Fellow at the Forethought Foundation. Formerly Head of Applied Research at Founders Pledge and researcher at Centre for Effective Altruism, DPhil in political philosophy from Oxford. Linkedin.

Ask about:

  • Careers in research
  • Climate change

Request a call

Sarah Cheng

Software engineer at Centre for Effective Altruism and Intro to EA facilitator. LinkedIn
 

Ask about:

  • Basic questions in EA
  • Software engineering careers

Request a call
 

Seren Kell

Science and Technology Manager at Good Food Institute. LinkedIn

Ask about:

  • Plant-based and cultivated meat science
  • Biochemistry
  • Europe’s sustainable protein research ecosystem
  • Research funding

Request a call

 

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New Comment
19 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:47 PM

I'd be happy to chat with anybody about charity entrepreneurship in the longtermist space. You can book a time here on my year-long, location-independent EAG calendly

Also feel free to book a time there for any other topic. I want to replicate the serendipitous meetings of an EAG year-round and I'm endlessly extroverted, so love talking to new people.

Thanks Ben for setting this up!

If there was some kind of Global EA directory/ year round Swapcard, this project idea could be rolled into it quite easily.

Thanks for putting this together!

The list of people on the google form and the list in this post don't match (e.g. Seren Kell is on the post but not on the form and vice versa for David Manheim and Zachary Robinson)

Thanks for pointing this out - I’ve updated this now.

Apologies to anyone who weren’t able to complete the form.

Cool! I’d love to join in! I’ve created a “conversation menu” (h/t to a friend for the idea!) on my profile. Here’s a copy-paste that I probably won’t update when I update the original on the profile.

I’m happy to do calls, give feedback, or go bouldering together, also virtually. You can book me on Calendly.

Some topics for potential calls:

  1. Impact markets
  2. Other market mechanism for public and common goods
  3. AI safety, especially to avert s-risks
  4. AI timelines and whether to still buy NMN
  5. Evidential cooperation in large worlds
  6. Any tensions or gaps in our world models that you’ve been thinking about
  7. MIRI-esque decision theory
  8. Moral cooperation and trade
  9. Any events that have been on your mind lately
  10. Proportionality of safety mechanisms
  11. Phonetics and phonology
  12. Improving collective decision-making
  13. Creating powerful quantitative world models for priorities research
  14. Software engineering – Python, TypeScript, Solidity, etc.
  15. Why I’m always so impressed by mathematicians
  16. Autism, anxiety, worry, guilt OCD, depression, fatigue
  17. Cultural effects on mental health
  18. Understanding people
  19. English-language literature
  20. Impostor syndrome, or how incompetent exactly am I
  21. Anything you would like me or others to understand about you
  22. Well-being of farmed and wild animals today and within the next 1m years
  23. Including invertebrates and micro-organisms of course
  24. Well-being of organisms other than animals
  25. Life optimizations
  26. Bouldering, Trackmania, Othello, and lockpicking
  27. World and space governance
  28. Automated, decentralized governance
  29. Trees of nested simulations and incentives to create them
  30. Emulated minds
  31. Intersectionality, genderlessness, and social anxiety
  32. Acausal trade across levels and with other branches in the simulation tree
  33. Incubators for EA and especially longtermist projects
  34. Trade-offs between entrepreneurialness and safety
  35. Turning the Long Reflection into a Hasty Reflection
  36. EA community strategy and health
  37. Longterm prediction markets
  38. Cute animals and plushies
  39. Vertical agriculture to reduce insect suffering
  40. Anything else you’re interested in discussing
  41. What you’ve been up to the past few days
  42. Dummy item to reach 42

Also note that I’m not necessarily expert in all of this stuff! I suck at Trackmania for example.

Thanks Denis. I am a fan of the variety of this list! :)

Hey!

Any chance you hear about problems that might be solved with software?

My top list contains:

  1. Impact markets obviously. :-3
  2. Creating a world-modeling ecosystem to quantify the impact of even highly uncertain interventions. Squiggle is the main effort in this space that comes to mind, but Aryeh Englander is also working on a unified Bayesian network approach to it.

Outside EA:

  1. I feel like it should be possible to improve note-taking in verbal conversations a lot with the sort of technologies we have now. The most effective note-takers I know still do it fully manually using magical multitasking skills. It feels like there’s a decent chance that that could be improved with speed-to-text + GPT-3-like summarization. Plus the user could be instructed to ask follow-up questions in a way that repeats something that the other said to add some redundancy.
  2. Less serious: Swiping keyboards seem oddly broken. Unless I don’t know of the best one. “Thank yurt”? Seriously? What sort of crazy swiping mistake of mine could’ve possibly overridden the >> 20k times more likely collocational prior that “Thank y-” ought to be completed to “Thank you”? I didn’t even know what a yurt is! xD

Seeing your post on impostor syndrome in hiring, I’m wondering whether you’re maybe well-positioned to start a think tank to solve hiring among altruists. How to invest our time seems to be about as big of a question as how to invest our money, so it may also warrant similarly much effort to optimize.

There has been a lot of research on the money side, but on the time side, there are only 80k and Probably Good. It seems to me that both give you good answers if you’re a particular type of person and wonder what, very broadly, you should do with your life. But they address questions such as efficient moral trade between orgs with different goals or optimal cooperation between orgs with similar goals only very superficially by comparison. Maybe that problem warrants a new dedicated think tank.

I don’t know if that’ll end up requiring software to solve though.

Thanks Ben, good idea.

  1. Am I right in thinking that if this takes off you take yourself out of the booking loop eventually? People can then do it directly by including a calendly link for example.
  2. I'd like to be added with the following description:

Eli Kaufman

Independent consultant with background in operations. Helping organizations be effective by making the most of their systems. LinkedIn

Ask about:

  • Bounce ideas about improvements/solutions to operational processes
  • If you're considering setting up / joining / using the expertise of an agency providing services to EA-aligned organizations, I might be able to connect you to relevant people
  • Salesforce related questions

Calendly

Awesome, thanks Eli.

1. Yeah something like this!
2. Great, thanks. I've added you to the google form but I think it will work better if other people who comment add their calendly so that people don't have to go through me.

This is a great idea! I don't currently have capacity for one-to-one calls, but I do hold monthly small group calls in an "office hours" format.

I'm a technical AI safety researcher at CHAI and PhD student at UC Berkeley, and I'm happy to talk about my research, others' research, graduate school, careers in AI safety, and other related topics. If you're interested, you can find out more about my research here, and sign up to join an upcoming call here.

A critical reading is that this seems that most of the people would motivate chatters to take careers steps which may advance some of the projects that they or others have in mind.

Is this the objective (definitely can be worthwhile), while other avenues should be found for discussing solutions to problems that these professionals focus on?

The two people who so far commented about being willing to chat seem interested in brainstorming solutions (and unstructured chatting) in addition to sharing more one-sided advice.

Before I noticed these comments I meant to suggest renaming the post to something like 'Not sure about your next career steps and getting bored? Book a chat with an EA professional!'. With the comments, the expectations in the chat should be covered by  the topics list.

EA 101 questions

Hi Ben, I'm not clear what this refers to. Could this be clarified in the post?

"<topic> 101" generally means beginner or introductory questions, taken from some universities where a class like MATH101 would be the first and most basic mathematics class in a degree. So, "EA 101 questions" here means basic or introductory EA questions.

Thanks Jay! @Quinn, this is what I intended it to mean.