Excerpt from the web posting below. Strong endorsement of EA priorities from a decidedly not EA source—The Elders—an organization founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007. Although their reference to “approaching a precipice” and imagery that looks a lot like the Toby Ord book cover seems unlikely to be a coincidence? Also, thanks to Nathan for encouraging me to post this on the forum, a first for me.

“For the next five years, our focus will be on the climate crisis, nuclear weapons, pandemics, and the ongoing scourge of conflict. The impact of these threats is already being seen on lives and livelihoods: a rapid rise in extreme weather events, a pandemic that killed millions and cost trillions, a war in which the use of nuclear weapons has been openly raised. Some of these threats jeopardise the very existence of human life on our planet, yet nations lack the ability or will to manage these risks.

We are approaching a precipice.

The urgency of the interconnected existential threats we face requires a crisis mindset from our leaders – one that puts our shared humanity centre-stage, leaves no one behind, and recognises the rights of future generations.

We believe that when nations work together, these threats can all be addressed for the good of the whole world. But to do so, our political leaders must show purpose, moral courage and an urgency of action.

This is why, over the next five years, we will work on three programmes that address existential threats to humanity requiring a collective response - the climate crisis, pandemics, and nuclear weapons - and also on conflict (a threat in itself, and a risk factor for other threats).”

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I wonder if the word “Precipice” relates to Toby Ord’s book and the publicity around it, and following advocacy work by for example Longview?  We know there has been impact of the book at the UN at the highest level.

The Elders also present a different demographic and it is good to see.

Notable that Mary Robinson (Chair of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) and Ban Ki-moon (Deputy Chair of The Elders and former Secretary-General of the United Nations) were both at the 2020 and 2023 Doomsday Clock announcements:



This seems great. This org has ties to pretty influential people. A couple of things I'm curious about:

  1. What influenced this direction? (they mentioned the doomsday clock, but I imagine lots of other sources of influence)
  2. Could we piggyback off of this to increase buy-in for x-risk reduction from people in their network? Maybe getting some of their high net-worth supporters to start moving money towards these causes?

Thank you for posting this!