We wanted to quickly share another perspective on recent events. We don’t intend to interpret or respond to the current situation (and we think it’s extremely important that others do so - we're only adding to the conversation), but rather offer an outlook that focuses on the past and future of the movement.
From an outside perspective, what happened to the movement in the past year?
- We received insane access to money.
- We've gradually realized we are no longer funding-constrained (at least for longtermist projects).
- We encouraged each other to be more ambitious and adopt a “moonshot” mindset.
And what happened to the movement now?
- We lost this access.
- We’re back to being funding-constrained. This means we’re likely to tune back up back the emphasis on fundraising we had before this influx of funding.
- But we still have the ambitious plans we made. And we could still have the ambition that developed these plans. Compared to before, when we fundraise and donate now, we know what we can do. We’ve gathered many concrete plans and ideas for mega projects - so now we know what we can aim for. Internally, we gained motivation from having a better sense of what our donations and fundraising can do, and externally, we can use these plans to excite potential donors.
Looking a few months ahead, the movement is also likely to gain better mechanisms for self-checking, which is important for our future resilience.
The next few weeks might be quite shaky regarding PR. But remember that whatever negative PR we receive soon - there is no other movement that is spreading ideas and tools for seriously helping others the most. Therefore, it is up to us to recover as a movement from these waves. Whatever people say about the infrastructure of the movement - we need to remind ourselves that we're here for its ideas.
The fog will clear in several weeks and we’ll probably find ourselves in a new EA landscape, quite different from how it was before this influx of funding - not that different regarding our finances, but with a better understanding of what we can do when we’re ambitious.