Core Community Organizer at EA Russia. Volunteer Researcher at ALLFED. Studying MIT Micromasters on Data and Development Policy.
I think LPR can actually make a group more welcoming rather than unwelcoming if it's located outside of EA hubs. Without LPR, career advice will be suitable only for a tiny amount of people who consider moving abroad where effective organizations are located. After research on local high-impact careers, there'll be suitable advice at least for some people who doesn't consider moving. A lot of people don't want to live abroad because of family bonds/not enough career capital/language barriers, and it's preferable for the community to have some thoughts on local impactful careers.Thanks for your effort!
Last year I've created a channel on effective altruism in Russian and made five videos on various topics, focusing mostly on introduction to main cause areas and fighting popular misconceptions on foreign aid (no English subtitles available, sorry). Each video was ~10 minutes long and they got >4000 views in total. With videos, I reached a 50 times larger audience than with offline public talks, but it was very time-consuming. I spent around 30-35 hours on making each video and eventually stopped making new ones, even though the audience was very friendly and people still reaching me out almost every week and asking about new videos. I'll be happy to share my experience in making these videos if needed.
I think that creating a community space on YouTube and creating high-quality videos would be valuable, and I'll be happy to hear if someone does this. But the conversion rate from YouTube viewers to actively involved EA members could be very low. That's why in my videos I focused mostly on fighting ignorance, introducing ideas/books/research/organizations, and creating a better culture of charitable giving without actively promoting EA.
The show should respond to what viewers are interested in seeing content about rather than promoting a particular EA cause or philosophy.
Strongly agree with that, I think the show should introduce viewers to ideas & opportunities rather than promote a particular philosophy.
Animal Charity Evaluators has a channel with educational videos, public talks, and grantees updates.
Global health and development
J-PAL uploads lots of lectures about development economics and RCTs, as well as explanations of their research.
Econimate is a channel aimed at making cutting-edge research in economics accessible and engaging. What questions are economists asking, how are they tackling them, and how does this research help us understand the world around us.
Here's a review of several courses from the program. I'm currently studying the third course out of five, and then I want to apply for on-campus accelerated Master's at MIT. I'll be happy to answer questions about the program if you have them.
I've done some investigation into this. All money goes to Arbor Day Foundation, but they are not planting trees themselves and work with partners like the US Forest Service.
To estimate cost-effectiveness we need to know tree mortality rate and estimated lifespan. The first factor depends on the region and maintenance level. US Forest Service estimated a 3% mortality rate per year. It takes around 40 years for a tree to absorb a tonne of CO2, and at least 30% of planted trees will survive to this age (0.97^40 ~ 30%). It's harder to estimate lifespan because trees can live hundreds and thousands of years. But it's less relevant if we want to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere in this century, not in the distant future. From these calculations, I can conclude that the cost-effectiveness of this program in the next 40 years must be around 3.3$ per tonne CO2 absorbed or cheaper. But it's just my back-of-the-envelope calculation for those who want some numbers. For example, Founders Pledge recommended intervention by The Coalition for Rainforest Nations avert a tonne of CO2 for 0.12$ with a plausible range $0.02-$0.72 (report). And these emissions will be averted right now, not in the future when trees grow up.
Overall, I stayed neutral to this campaign. On the one hand, I feel that it bring a lot of counterfactual dollars that would not be spent on charity otherwise. On the other, I think that paying too much attention to tree planting can take us away from the importance of reducing emissions.
David, thank you for a useful summary.
I already use some of the techniques (for example, closed space with chairs in the circle creates more friendly and warm atmosphere, than open space with low density and classroom style chairs).
We've been organizing meetups for 4 month and made some mistakes. Sometimes guests were bored, or they were expecting something else, because we chose improper audience sources. But meetups become better as we learn, and we'll use this advices to make them even better.
For me the most important idea here is to think more about the purpose of meetup and use it as a framework, reflect on it at the start and at the end (I've often started with logistics like timeline or rules).