CEA Community Events Retrospective

I (Ollie) lead the Community Events Programme (CEP) at CEA. This has consisted of two sub-programmes:

  • EAGx events - locally-organised EA conferences supported by CEA.[1]
  • CEP grantmaking - making grants to support events, usually smaller retreats, usually also focused on EA movement-building.

I wanted to evaluate outcomes to see which of these programmes was producing more value per $ spent. In doing so, I hoped to also form a better sense of how to evaluate the impact of EA community-building events in general.

This sequence will consist of four posts:

  • Which CEA-funded community-building events are cost-effective? I compare 5 EAGx events[2] with several smaller community-building retreats we funded[3] and find that the EAGx events are ~half the cost per person and that the retreats don't produce >2x the value per person. This suggests EAGx events are more cost-effective than smaller, community-building retreats. 
  • How do attendees get value from EA community-building events? I summarise the sources of value that attendees report from EAGx events and CEP retreats. I find that learning about career opportunities and EA cause areas is likely a more significant source of value for event attendees than connections, although this source of value can probably also be found elsewhere (e.g. online resources).
  • CEA is winding down Community Events grantmaking. We will still be supporting EAGx events, but we won’t be making grants to support other events. This is partially due to the findings of this analysis but also because of funding constraints.
  • Apply to run an EAGx event. We are now tentatively planning our 2024 EAGx schdedule. If you or your EA group are interested in running an EAGx event, please complete our application form.
  1. ^

    What’s the difference between EA Global and EAGx? EA Global conferences are organized by the Centre for Effective Altruism, and people from all over the world attend these. The team at CEA is responsible for choosing the content, processing admissions, and production of the conference. EAGx events, on the other hand, are community-organized with some support from CEA. The target audience for EAGx events is broader than EAG, but tends to have a more regional focus.

  2. ^

    EAGxAustralia, EAGxSingapore, EAGxBerlin, EAGxRotterdam and EAGxBerkeley.

  3. ^

     The EA Workplace/Professional Group Organizer Retreat, the Longtermist Organizers Summit, the Asia Community-builders retreat, the FERSTs (French x-risk) retreat, the Wild Animal Welfare Policy Summit, the African EA organisers summit and the Australia and New Zealand Group Leader's Retreat.