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Riesgos Catastróficos Globales (RCG) is a science-policy nonprofit investigating opportunities to improve the management of Global Catastrophic Risks in Spanish-Speaking countries.

I wrote a previous update back in May. Since then, the organisation has published seven more articles, including a report on Artificial Intelligence regulation in the context of the EU AI Act sandbox. We have also been invited to contribute to the 2024-2030 National Risk Management Plan of Argentina, which will consequently be the world’s first to include a section on abrupt sunlight reduction scenarios (ASRS).

Unfortunately, our major fundraising efforts have been unsuccessful. We are only able to keep operating due to some incredibly generous donations by private individuals. We are looking to fundraise $87k to support our operations between October 2023 and March 2024. If you are a funder, you can contact us through info@riesgoscatastroficosglobales.com . Individuals can help extend our runway through a donation

Reasons to support Riesgos Catastróficos Globales

I believe that RCG is an incredible opportunity for impact. Here are some reasons why.

We have already found promising avenues to impact. We have officially joined the public risk management network in Argentina, and we have been invited to contribute an entry on abrupt sun-reducing scenarios (ASRS) to the 2024-2030 national risk management plan. 

RCG has shown to be amazingly productive. Since the new team started operating in March we have published two large reports and ten articles. Another large report is currently undergoing review, and we are working on three articles we plan to submit to academic journals. This is an unusually high rate of output for a new organization.

RCG is the only Spanish-Speaking organisation producing work on Global Catastrophic Risks studies. I believe that our reports on ASRS and Artificial Intelligence are the best produced in the language. Of particular significance is our active engagement with Latin American countries, which are otherwise not well represented in conversations about global risk.

We are incubating some incredible talentOur staff includes competent profiles who in a short span of time have gained in-depth expertise in Global Catastrophic Risks. This would have been hard to acquire elsewhere, and I am very excited about their careers.

In sum, I am very excited about the impact we are having and the work that is happening in Riesgos Catastróficos Globales. Keep reading to learn more about it!

Status update

Here are updates on our main lines of work.

Nuclear Winter. We have joined the Argentinian Register of Associations for Comprehensive Risk Management (RAGIR), and we will be contributing a section on managing abrupt sunlight reduction scenarios (ASRS) to the 2024-2030 National Risk Management Plan. We continue promoting public engagement with the topic, having recently published a summary infographic of our report. We also are preparing a related submission to an academic journal.

Artificial Intelligence. We have published our report on AI governance in the context of the EU AI Act sandbox, as well as companion infographics. A member of the European parliament has agreed to write a prologue for the report. In parallel, we have been engaging with the discussion around the AI Act through calls for feedback. We are also currently preparing two submissions to academic journals related to risks and regulation of AI.

Biosecurity. We have drafted a report on biosurveillance and contention of emergent infectious diseases in Guatemala, which is currently undergoing expert review. It will be published in August. We are also writing a short article overviewing the state of BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories in Latin America after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Risk Management. We have started a new project to investigate the state of risk management in Latin America. We are hoping that this will lead to identifying upcoming planned updates of national risk management five-year plans and contributing with some proposals to improve how global risks are managed in the region.

I am ecstatic with the results. The invitation to contribute to the Argentinian risk management plan is an amazing opportunity, and our output has been numerous and of good quality.

Next steps

We plan to continue work on our priority areas while we attempt other fundraising strategies.

Unless our funding situation changes we will be forced to wrap our current projects and put on pause our operations by the end of September. If we manage to secure funding, we plan to continue research and stakeholder engagement on our priority areas.

Currently, we want to raise $87k to cover the operating expenses and salaries of the organisation between October 2023 and March 2024.

I believe that the work we are doing is important and neglected. If you are a funder who wants to support our work, please contact info@riesgoscatastroficosglobales.com. If you are an individual donor, you can help extend our runway through a donation.

Thanks to Jorge Torres, Guillem Bas, Claudette Salinas and Roberto Tinoco for feedback.

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An encouraging update: thanks to the generous support of donors, we have raised $95k in funds to support our activities for six more months. During this time, we plan to 1) engage with the EU trilogue on the regulation of foundation models during the Spanish presidency of the EU council, 2) continue our engagement with policy markers in Argentina and 3) release a report on global risk management in latin america.

We nevertheless remain funding constrained. With more funding we would be able to launch projects such as:

  1. A report on prioritizing and forecasting global catastrophic risk that could be used by stakeholders such as the regional UNNDR office or CEPAL.
  2. Expand our previous work on mapping BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs in Latin America.
  3. Develop a theory of change for how latin america could contribute through multilateral negotiations to the management of AI risk, covering a study of the historic role of latam countries in the nuclear risk treaties and the management of other global risks.
  4. Further our relationship with Uruguay and other countries in the MERCOSUR to invite them to follow Argentina in the formulation of emergency plans for food security in case of nuclear winter.
  5. And other priority projects to improve the management of global catastophic risk in Spanish-Speaking countries.

Each of these projects could cost between $30k and $80k to develop. You can support us with a donation to help us develop these projects. You may also reach out to me through a PM if you are considering donating and want more information.

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