We have reported here on what Effektiv Spenden has achieved so far and reported here on our plans and the funding gaps of our core business. This article will focus on how we can go beyond that to support the Effective Altruism community and what we need to do so. Specifically, we see two areas where we are particularly well positioned to create impact with additional funding:
 

1. EA-Hub-Berlin: Up to 164.000 euros

In May 2021, we opened the EA coworking space TEAMWORK in Berlin and are very happy with the response despite limited funding and the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the past year, representatives from more than 20 EA-aligned organizations have already used the space to (net)work.[1] We have received positive feedback from them and a number of ideas on how our space could potentially make an even greater contribution to the EA community. Specifically, we believe the following investments would create a lot of impact:
 

1.1. Optimize the space: 50,000 euros

In addition to optimization for already existing members, there is a lot of untapped potential creating a more flexible space. Especially for hosting events, facilitating workshops and catering to members of the EA-Community who are only looking for a place to (net)work in Berlin for a couple of days or weeks.

1.2. Fiber optic internet: 18,000 euros (6,000 euros / year)

Germany is unfortunately a developing country when it comes to the internet. Although we already operate two technically completely independent networks (DSL and 5G), there are frequently connection problems. The only reliable solution seems to be a fiber optic line laid especially for us (approx. 500€ / month with a minimum term of 36 months).

1.3. Focus on impact, not running a business: 96,000 euros (48,000 euros / year)

Currently we are forced to charge rent from (almost) all members, guests, organizers, etc. and provide only limited amenities. With additional funding, we could focus on making TEAMWORK the most productive place to (net)work without us worrying about additional investments coming at the expense of our core business.

 

2. Head of German EA-Content: 120.000 euros (60.000 euros / year)

Currently, there is very little EA content in German. This represents an unnecessarily high barrier to entry for people who could be interested and excited about EA. Besides anecdotal evidence one indicator that we are currently not reaching as many people as possible is the percentage of people who prefer international movies or series in a dubbed version (61% in Germany, higher than in almost all other countries, including France). We assume that the situation is similar for the written word, and even those people for whom this is not the case generally use German search terms for internet searches, which naturally deliver German pages only. 

 

Since there is very little EA content in German so far, enormous potential remains unrealized in one of the financially strongest countries in the world with around 100 million native speakers. In contrast, critical voices on EA are disproportionately represented in German-language media and therefore offer the unbiased interested party a distorted picture of the discourse. Exemplary for this are the search results for "longtermism" in Germany: The first three hits are German-language articles portraying longtermism as a dangerous ideology (see here, here and here). Two of them from some of the highest-circulation German news magazines ZEIT and DER SPIEGEL.
 

 

Results in German that could correct this negative view are hardly available. To publish  slightly adapted translations of some of the best EA content on longtermism and and other EA core topics seem to be enormously valuable. We would be happy to use the website effektiveraltruismus.de, which we maintain anyway, for this purpose and to hire a Head of German EA Content.
 

From our point of view, the promotion of an EA Hub in Berlin and the creation of German-language EA content offer promising levers to further spread the cause of Effective Altruism in German-speaking countries. 

If our presentation convinced you and you are interested in funding one of the projects proposed here or if you think of a potential sponsor for us, please feel free to contact us:  sebastian.schwiecker@effektiv-spenden.org

We also appreciate critical feedback on which projects you think we should not implement or at least implement differently. If you don’t have time to sugarcoat it feel free to give anonymous feedback through this form.

Suggestions on how we want to expand our core business, the raising of donations for EA-aligned charities, and on which support we are dependent in this regard can be found here.


 

  1. ^

    During the first year we have already had representatives from Centre for Effective Altruism, Founders Pledge, OpenAI, High Impact Athletes, Charity Entrepreneurship, Family Empowerment Media, High Impact Professionals, Momentum, Altruisme Efficace France, Czech Association for Effective Altruism, Effective Altruism the Netherlands, Training for Good, Spark Wave, Future Matters Project, Fish Welfare Initiative, Effective Altruism and Consulting Network, Effective Altruism Belgium, Effective Altruism Kyiv, GiveDirectly, Allfed, One for the World, Animal Charity Evaluators, Legal Priorities Project, WirklichGut, NEAD und Future Cleantech Architects work with at TEAMWORK. 

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Just want to mention that I'm going to work on this part time the next months and my first project is going to be to translate some content on longtermism. Still, I think further work, ideally original German texts, would be highly desirable. Though I think we especially need to think about how to promote the ideas in Germany. Please get in touch with me if you have any ideas!

Thank Konstantin for you pushing the idea (translate/create great German EA content).


In case other people reading this are confused: Konstantin and I are in close contact and are convinced that more than one person should work on this for the foreseeable future (especially if you also want to make sure that this content can be found easily via SEO etc.).

I'm excited about the success of Effektiv Spenden, and excited about the idea of producing German EA content (if executed well). I'm unconvinced by the coworking space and sent you some feedback/input via email.

Thanks for your feedback. Just created an anonymous feedback form for people who have spent time at TEAMWORK to get more critical input (will put it on our website, in our handbook etc. as well).

I think some of your concerns could be addressed with more funding. Others probably only if a bigger player like CEA goes all in and opens up its own EA-Coworking/Event-Space in Berlin. As far as I know no such plans exist, but if I’m wrong please let me know. Happy to completely focus on our core business.

Compared to the situation in Berlin before we opened up TEAMWORK I still have a very hard time not seeing our Space as a huge improvement.

As a user of the coworking space, I think it's immensely valuable (OFTW already pays for our space there). I think developing the space further would be excellent and would also provide a model for other people interested in creating EA coworking spaces.