BarryGrimes

I'm an Events Associate at the Centre for Effective Altruism. I'm part of the team that produces the EA Global conferences in San Francisco and London each year. I'm also CEA's main point of contact for EAGx organisers, providing them with advice and resources to help them run high-quality events.

In addition to my role at CEA, I also provide communications support to the Happer Lives Institute on a voluntary basis.

I practice secular Buddhism and try to meditate for at least 1 hour every day. Buddhist philosophy drives my commitment to effective altruism and doing the best I can to reduce the suffering of others.

Comments

Apply now for EA Global: Reconnect (March 20-21)

Thanks for the feedback Jack. You should go through to a confirmation page on submission but it appears that's not been happening for some people. We're looking into why that's happening.

In the meantime, I've added some additional text above the submit button that tells people to check their inbox to confirm submission if they're in any doubt.

Apply now for EA Global: Reconnect (March 20-21)

Thanks for letting us know Josh. Your application has been received. We're investigating the issue further but it seems it's not affecting all users.

Apply now to be an EAGx event organizer

Hi Maria! Ideally, we are looking for teams of 3-4 core organisers for each location but you can also express interest as an individual. I’ll then look for opportunities to connect you with other potential organisers depending on the other applications received.

Update on the 0.7% (£4bn for the poor)

Thank you for all the work that you and the team are doing on this Sanjay.

Will you be encouraging people to attend MP advice surgeries as part of your strategy? I used to be a senior caseworker in an MP’s constituency office. In my experience, a 1-1 conversation with a well-informed constituent was more likely to influence the MP’s voting intention than sending an email.

Looking for collaborators after last 80k podcast with Tristan Harris

I don't have a specific person in mind I'm afraid but you could post in the Effective Altruism, Mental Health, and Happiness Facebook group and see if anyone there would like to get involved.

Looking for collaborators after last 80k podcast with Tristan Harris

I recommend this paper by the Happiness Research Institute (a Copenhagen-based think tank, not to be confused with the Happier Lives Institute):

#SortingOutSocialMedia: Does social media really pose a threat to young people's well-being?

They found that young people’s online and offline lives are inextricably linked, and that it is necessary to consider which platforms young people use, how they use them, and which personal characteristics make some young people more vulnerable than others online. 

Are social media algorithms an existential risk?

Good point. I worded that clumsily. I've edited the post so it incorporates the full quote now.

Are social media algorithms an existential risk?

I'm not sure this answers your question but the Edelman Trust Barometer has been tracking levels of trust in societal institutions (government, business, NGOs and media) for the last 20 years. The trend shows a widening division between the "Informed Public" and the "Mass Population" using the following definitions:

Informed Public 

  • 500 respondents in U.S. and China; 200 in all other markets
  • Represents 17% of total global population 
  • Must meet 4 criteria
    • Ages 25-64 
    • College-educated
    • In top 25% of household income per age group in each market
    • Report significant media consumption and engagement in public policy and business news 

Mass Population 

  • All population not including informed public 
  • Represents 83% of total global population
Are social media algorithms an existential risk?

The argument that concerned me most was that disinformation spreads 6 times faster than the truth.

The implication is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to establish what the truth is. This undermines democracy and the ability to build consensus. I think we will see this play out with the results of the US election in November and the extent to which people believe and accept the result. 

CEA Mid-year update (2020)

Thanks Edo! We use a number of metrics to track the success of our events. I’ve pulled together a few charts for you that show success on four measures:

  • Likelihood to recommend
  • Valuable experiences
  • New connections
  • Maintained motivation

You’ll see that our likelihood to recommend score was much lower than usual for the EA Global: Virtual in March, but we learned lessons from that event which contributed to the EAGxVirtual score being comparable with previous in-person events.

In terms of valuable experiences, EAGxVirtual was much more successful at changing the minds of attendees, particularly first-time attendees. However, the number of people making important connections was lower than EA Global: London 2019.

The main difference we’ve noticed between virtual and in-person events is the number of new connections made (see slides 4 and 5).  This feels significant because attendees consistently report one-on-one meetings and new connections as their most valuable experience at our events. In-person events seem to be much more effective at generating new connections but there isn't much of a difference in terms of generating at least one important connection. Perhaps we could make some tweaks to the virtual format to increase the number of new connections at future events.

You’ll also see that our virtual events have been very successful at maintaining the motivation of attendees, more so than EA Global: San Francisco 2019. In particular, we received lots of positive feedback about the virtual format from community members who wouldn’t normally be able to attend an in-person EA conference.

> Also, I'm curious, what CRM are you using and for what purpose? 

We are using Zoho CRM. The major use case for it right now is processing event applications: it's integrated with our application forms, ticketing systems, bulk mailing software etc. to provide a unified overview of everyone who has applied for an event. (This is briefly mentioned above in the "Systems Improvements" section of this post.) We also use it to identify attendees who are good fits for specific parts of the event, for example creating a list of first-time attendees who might benefit from our "Guides" program. Other CEA projects sporadically use the CRM to identify specific people who match some criteria (e.g. if we are trying to brainstorm potential group organizers in some location) but this is not the main use case.

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