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Introduction

This project has been formulating in my mind for some time, prompting me to finally commit it to writing. As I am set to begin a Master's program in September, my capacity to develop this initiative further over the next year will be limited. I am seeking feedback to determine whether it merits additional investment of my time in the future. Additionally, I am making this concept public now to enable others to possibly initiate it sooner. I am open to sharing further ideas with interested parties.

Summary

"The Impact Path" is a novel initiative designed to enhance career guidance and foster a community among high school and young university students within the EA framework. By leveraging social media, influencer sponsorships, and an engaging online platform, "The Impact Path" aims to fill critical gaps in current career guidance frameworks and extend the reach of EA.

Challenges Identified in Existing Frameworks

In exploring the foundations of 80000Hours and the broader EA community, I've identified several areas where enhancements could be beneficial:

  1. Awareness and Reach: Despite my interest in utilitarian principles, I was unaware of the EA movement and 80000Hours until recently. This suggests a potential gap in outreach and visibility.
  2. Target Audience: 80,000 Hours is targeted at students who are already further along in their studies, which is evident from the academic nature of the content. However, crucial career decisions often occur much earlier in one's academic journey. High school students choose their fields of study, and undergraduate students can still shift their academic focus, particularly in the early semesters. Thus, there is a significant need for career guidance that targets younger students, providing them with relevant information and support at the very beginning of their educational paths.
  3. Inclusivity: Criticism has been directed at 80000Hours for primarily serving students from prestigious universities, with PhDs or those with substantial financial resources or career capital. This might drive away potentially interested individuals because of perceived elitism.

Website and Projects

While the goal is to ultimately guide the students to an altruistic career, this will be achieved by creating a lifestyle approach to EA. The website will serve as a central hub for information and community interaction. Key features will include:

  1. Career Advice and Quizzes: Researched career advice tailored to young students, including a personalized career quiz that offers insights into potential career paths aligned with EA principles. The quiz will provide personalized results, detailing suggested study programs, potential career opportunities, estimated costs, and life satisfaction comparisons.
  2. Community Engagement: A forum or chatroom for students to discuss topics, share experiences, and interact with EA volunteers. This will also include integration with external social platforms such as Discord or Stack.
  3. General Advice for young students: Content covering productivity, social relationships, and mental health, offering practical tips and guidance for young students. This content is important because it addresses a gap in basic guidance resources and also funnels students seeking such advice directly into the EA philosophy.
  4. Online Seminars: Periodic seminars to provide deeper insights into various subjects, featuring guest speakers and experts from the EA community.
  5. Resource Links: Links to other EA organizations with brief explanations to guide users in understanding their focus and how they might contribute within the EA framework.
  6. Volunteer Opportunities: A database of charities, volunteering opportunities, and student initiatives to help students find local engagement opportunities that align with their interests and values.

Outreach Strategy

"The Impact Path" will focus on a comprehensive outreach strategy that includes social media campaigns, influencer sponsorships, and university presentations.

Social Media Campaigns

  1. Platform Utilization: Develop engaging content, including short-form content for Instagram, YouTube Shorts, TikTok, and other platforms. This content will be designed to be quick, catchy, and informative, aimed at capturing the attention of the younger audience. This will include:
    • A mix of educational, motivational, and entertaining content to keep the audience engaged. This includes infographics, short videos, testimonials, and success stories from individuals influenced by EA principles.
    • The use of interactive features such as polls, Q&A sessions, and live streams to foster community interaction and engagement.
  2. Collaboration with influencers: Partner with popular YouTubers and influencers from other platforms to introduce EA principles and promote "The Impact Path" to their audiences. This will include shoutouts, dedicated videos, and integration into educational content. While sponsorships are typically the norm, some influencers, particularly those focused on educational and philosophical content like "Kurzgesagt" and "The School of Life", may be inclined to collaborate for free due to the nonprofit and altruistic nature of this initiative.

University Presentations

There are many different EA groups at numerous universities. In Germany, where I studied, professors are often happy to signal-boost startups or student initiatives. By instructing EA groups on how to present our ideas in a few minutes at the start of lectures, we can reach large audiences—sometimes more than 500 students in a single session. This approach will enhance our presence in universities and help create connections with faculties and professors. These connections will further signal-boost our message and increase our credibility within the academic community.

Anticipated Positive Outcomes

The initiative is designed to yield multiple benefits:

  1. Expanded Influence and community building: By engaging students in discussions about EA, the movement's reach and influence can be significantly increased.
  2. Planting a Thought: Introducing EA principles early in a student's academic journey is important because ideas take time to mature. This early exposure plants a conceptual seed that can grow over time, making it more likely for students to pursue this path. In contrast, individuals who encounter these ideas later in life might feel locked into their current career paths and be less inclined to change direction.
  3. Efficient Outreach: Utilizing online platforms, especially social media, allows for reaching a large number of young individuals simultaneously, enhancing efficiency.

Initial Challenges and Potential Solutions

  1. Lack of Initial Credibility: Building relationships with influencers and leveraging personal connections to establish initial trust.
  2. Creating Career Advice Content: Partner with EA organizations or create new content with community members' help. Much of the content can be adapted from existing EA resources and simplified for younger audiences. This approach facilitates easier content creation and allows the project to launch quickly.
  3. Mentorship and Support: Seek guidance from seasoned EA community members, particularly those affiliated with established organizations like 80,000 Hours, LEAF, and Atlas, to leverage their expertise and insights.
  4. Funding and Personnel Constraints: Recruit key team members, including a web developer, social media specialist, operations manager, and statistician. If feasible, consider hiring individuals with the versatility to handle multiple roles to optimize resources.

Measuring Impact

To ensure that "The Impact Path" is making a tangible difference and reaching its intended audience, we will implement a comprehensive analytics framework. This will involve monitoring various metrics across our website and social media platforms.

Website Analytics

We will use tools such as Google Analytics to track key performance indicators (KPIs) on our website. Important metrics include:

  • Visitor Traffic: Number of unique visitors, page views, and session duration to gauge overall engagement.
  • User Demographics: Age, location, and other demographic information to ensure we are reaching our target audience of high school and university students.
  • Bounce Rate: Percentage of visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may indicate issues with content or user experience.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who complete desired actions such as signing up for newsletters, taking career quizzes, or registering for seminars.
  • Engagement Metrics: Interaction rates with various features such as quizzes, forums, and resource links to understand which elements are most effective.

Social Media Analytics

We will leverage built-in analytics tools from social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to monitor engagement and reach. Key metrics include:

  • Follower Growth: Tracking the increase in followers over time to measure the expanding reach of our content.
  • Engagement Rates: Likes, comments, shares, and saves to determine the level of interaction with our posts.
  • Content Performance: Views and watch time for videos, particularly those featuring EA principles and career guidance.
  • Hashtag Performance: Effectiveness of specific hashtags in extending the reach of our posts.
  • Influencer Impact: Metrics related to posts from our partnered influencers, including engagement rates and traffic referrals to our website.

Feedback and Surveys

In addition to quantitative metrics, we will gather qualitative data through surveys and feedback forms:

  • User Feedback: Collecting feedback on user experience and content quality to continuously improve our offerings.
  • Impact Surveys: Periodic surveys to assess how our content has influenced students' career decisions and awareness of EA principles.

By regularly analyzing these metrics, we can adjust our strategies to maximize impact, ensuring "The Impact Path" effectively reaches and engages its target audience, fostering a strong community centered around Effective Altruism.

Conclusion

This initiative represents a thoughtful attempt to extend the influence of Effective Altruism. By merging career guidance with active community engagement, we aim to influence students early in their academic paths, encouraging them to make impactful decisions throughout their lives. Achieving this through a lifestyle approach to EA, we seek to integrate these principles seamlessly into the daily lives and decision-making processes of young individuals.

Feedback Request

As we strive to refine and realize the initiative of "The Impact Path," your insights and opinions are invaluable. I am particularly interested in understanding whether the ideas proposed here are viewed as realistic and achievable, or if they seem far-fetched. To gather your feedback efficiently, I have prepared a short questionnaire. Your responses will be crucial in assessing the clarity, realism, and potential impact of our proposal. Please help us by sharing your honest opinions and suggestions. The link to the 3 minute questionnaire is provided below:

Questionnaire

Thank you for your time and effort in helping us shape this project. For further discussion, or if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at jonathan.jacqueminet@gmail.com.

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Thanks for writing this and for your good intentions. Sorry, you haven't received more feedback!

My quick thought is that you should probably try to work for one of the organisations doing something like your project before you attempt to start a new organisation. There are usually a lot of useful things you can learn from established alternative project, including how and why they operate as they do. Additionally, it is probable that helping something big be a little better is more impactful in expectation than doing something novel and risky which probably won't succeed or scale (based on the base-rates for new project in EA and elsewhere).  

Of course that's just a quick opinion from a quick read but I hope it is helpful.

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your advice! I intend to keep on building on this idea in the next few months and have though about reaching out to a few EA orgs that work with students or high-schoolers.

As for working for these EA orgs, that is indeed a potential path in my mind. However, since places within EA orgs are very convoluted, it seems unlikely that I could for one directly after my masters.

I will keep your advice in mind and hope you have a nice day!

Thanks Jonathan

Executive summary: "The Impact Path" is a proposed initiative to provide career guidance to high school and college students within an Effective Altruism framework, aiming to expand EA's reach and impact by engaging students early in their academic journeys through an online platform and targeted outreach.

Key points:

  1. Existing EA career guidance, like 80,000 Hours, has gaps in awareness, target audience, and inclusivity that "The Impact Path" aims to address.
  2. The website will offer tailored career advice, community engagement, general advice for students, online seminars, and volunteer opportunities.
  3. Outreach will focus on engaging social media campaigns, influencer sponsorships, and university presentations through EA groups.
  4. Anticipated benefits include expanded EA influence, early exposure to EA ideas, and efficient online outreach.
  5. Challenges include building initial credibility, creating content, securing mentorship, and funding/staffing constraints.
  6. Comprehensive analytics will measure impact through website metrics, social media engagement, and user feedback to guide improvements.

 

 

This comment was auto-generated by the EA Forum Team. Feel free to point out issues with this summary by replying to the comment, and contact us if you have feedback.

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