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How to kick-start 10 university groups in 6 months

Hey Tim :)

Yeah good question! I don't really see that many risks with a proactive approach, because right now, anyone can decide to start a group, and with this approach there is at least some form of quality control (first from EA Netherlands and then from UGAP). The biggest risk I currently see is value drift if the groups bring on too many new members/co-organizers too quickly, as well as the risk of the groups becoming too homogeneous because they used a somewhat similar approach to get started (intro events -> 4-week fellowship).

What are your thoughts?

How to kick-start 10 university groups in 6 months

Hey Quinn!

That’s a really interesting idea - I’ve made a prediction question about this here: https://manifold.markets/Amarins/will-at-least-7-of-the-new-effectiv. We think there’s a 75% chance that at least 7 of these groups will still be active in 2024 (the definition of active is in the question). Based on the results of PISE, I roughly think that each group could lead to 3-10 new HEAs for each year that they manage to operate.

Could you elaborate a bit on what happened to the group after that residency? Sounds very relevant but I can’t seem to find a po... (read more)

1quinn2mo
I'm not the guy to write a postmortem, as I wasn't involved, but the sense I get from talking to grad students is that 1. omicron suspended weekly dinners, 2. organizers got busy with other projects. This is not the canonical postmortem or explanation, but I believe is factually accurate and may provide more than zero information.
“Should you use EA in your group name?” An update on PISE’s naming experiment

Ah right I was wondering whether that’s what you meant or not :)

2David_Moss4mo
Makes sense! One other thing I'd flag is that, although I think it's very plausible that there is a cross-over interaction effect (such that people who are predisposed to be positively inclined to EA prefer the "Effective Altruism" name and people who are not so predisposed prefer the "Positive Impact" name), it doesn't sound like the data which you mention doesn't necessary suggest that. i.e. (although I may be mistaken) it broadly sounds like you asked people beforehand (many of whom liked PISE) and you later asked a different set of people who already had at least some exposure to effective altruism (who preferred EAE). But I would expect people who've been exposed to effective altruism (even a bit) to become more inclined to prefer the name with "effective altruism" in it. So what we'd want to do is expose a set of people (with no exposure to EA) to the names and observe differences in those who are more or less positively pre-disposed to EA (or even track them to see whether they, in fact, go on to engage with EA long term).
“Should you use EA in your group name?” An update on PISE’s naming experiment

Hey David_Moss :) It would indeed be very interesting to do this and get some insights into how different names are perceived by students! I think this would be especially useful if we could identify which names are most appealing to ‘proto-EAs’. Otherwise I’m not sure how useful this type of study in itself is to actually find out which name result in most HEAs, as - at least in our experience - a broadly appealing name may not necessarily translate into finding more EAs. For example, when we asked friends for feedback in the brainstorm phase of our name ... (read more)

2David_Moss4mo
Yes, it would be easy and natural to include measures of EA inclination when "examin[ing] the effects of different characteristics of the students", which I mentioned.