Meta Coordination Forum 2023

Meta Coordination Forum (MCF) 2023 was a gathering of key decision makers in the meta-EA space in September 2023. (‘Meta’ here is used to highlight this event's focus on EA community building, upstream of ‘direct’ work.)

The event, organized by CEA, convened about 40 people to help them make better plans over the next two years. We hoped that this in turn would help them set EA and related communities on a better trajectory. Note, however, that this group wasn’t a collective decision-making body, and the goal of the event wasn’t to arrive at some consensus about a grand plan. You can read more about the event's goals, scope, attendees, and motivation here.

This sequence aims to provide a transparent overview of the event, with a focus on recapping important surveys. The sequence will consist of 6 posts:   

  • Announcing the Meta Coordination Forum 2023: The original announcement for this event, with information about the event’s goals, scope, attendees, motivation, and an opportunity for community input.
  • Meta Coordination Forum 2023 Pre-Event Survey: Summary of Results: A summary of the pre-event survey sent to invitees in early August. The survey (n = 41) includes questions on resource allocation, reflections on lessons learned over the past year, mistakes the EA community may be making, and the relationship between EA & AI safety (AIS).
  • Meta Coordination Forum 2023: Project brainstorm: A summary of projects MCF invitees brainstormed in the pre-event survey sent to invitees in early August. 
  • Meta Coordination Forum 2023: Community survey: A summary of a survey we shared to solicit community input on MCF. Thirty-six (n = 36) people shared views on many of the same questions we asked invitees. 
  • AI safety field-building survey: A summary of 19 AI safety experts views on AI safety’s talent needs, field-building project needs, and the field’s ideal relationship to EA, produced for MCF invitees. 
  • [Forthcoming] Meta Coordination Forum 2023: Who owns the ball? A summary of tasks and projects discussed in the closing session where we identified gaps in the meta space. 
    • Edit 4 Dec 2023: We’ve decided to call off sharing this summary. We’ve already shared a lot of information on Meta Coordination Forum below, and the cost-benefit for sharing this additional project list doesn’t look great. This is because: 1) The existing MCF recaps posted received relatively little attention, suggesting limited benefit; 2) sharing this post still requires significant work from the organisers to check in with project owners about what they’re happy to share; 3) the organisers are currently very busy with another upcoming event. We wish we didn’t have to drop this, but it seems like the best call.

This event didn’t produce a centralized grand strategy. It wasn’t intended to: The goal of the event was to improve attendee’s plans by building shared context, discussing disputed strategy questions, clarifying project ownership, and maintaining professional relationships. Each attendee left the event free to decide for themselves what their takeaways were. 

We (the CEA Events team) hope you find these posts helpful! If you have any questions, you can reply in posts’ comments or give us anonymous feedback through Amy (who runs the CEA Events team).