Observation about my involvement and enthusiasm for effective altruism, and how it has increased recently:

Status quo

Late in 2015, I made a list of my various projects (my definition of projects including very small things such as "checkout that online course and possibly continue it"). I came up with 29 "projects", and when I ranked them, EA was 29th – certainly not less important than the others, but more that I had more pressing priorities in terms of their impact on me and my capacity to have an impact. I've donated substantially to charity in the past and have always planned to do so again, and more effectively – it was just about timing. My plan for EA in 2016 was simply to volunteer (again) for the EA Global Summit.

What engaged me

However, the Giving What We Can pledge event of late 2015/early 2016 changed that. I found it engaging, was inspired by what other people were doing, and was very inspired by the short video showing the decline in prevalence of malaria in Africa. I signed the pledge myself (moving from intention to actual commitment) and posted about it on my Facebook wall, in the self-improvement group that I run, and on other social media. (Of course, I could have been doing this without the pledge event, but the event gave me a framework, a sense of urgency, an excuse/reason to post, and a sense of camaraderie.)

That would have been enough to increase my enthusiasm for EA, but one friend that I know of signed the pledge because of my posts, and has been discussing it positively with their family. This is a friend who earns much more than me (they have a slightly above average income, whereas I'm getting a new business going) so the immediate impact is much higher than just signing it myself. 

Change of plans

Motivation is up. What will I do differently as a result? Definitely I'll find more time than I had planned to. Probably I'll focus on awareness raising through online events and organising talks/workshops for social groups, and I've begun to arrange EA themed workshops at a festival (ConFest, this Easter in SE Australia), and of course I'm still looking forward to helping at the Global Summit.

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Thank you, this is really useful to know. Nice work helping your friend to join too!

*helping your friend to join


Thanks for sharing, it's great to hear about this shift in your priorities!

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