Ben Williamson

Currently developing Effective Self-Help, a research organisation studying the most effective ways people can improve their wellbeing and productivity.

Take a look at our website for more information, including our latest recommendations:

Also now co-President of EA Edinburgh so feel free to reach out if you're in Scotland or planning to visit.

And for a scattered and poorly-maintained collection of things I've written and more general views I hold:

Topic Contributions


(Postponed) Behaviour Change Workshop with Effective Self-Help

Sorry to have to cancel this but I've come down quite ill this weekend and won't be able to present this workshop today. Thanks for your interest and we hope to reschedule this soon! Ben

How should people spend money to be more productive?

This is the idea of what I'm writing up! 

I think I could have made this clearer in the short description above but I'm trying to synthesise all the recommendations that currently exist into a database (see rough Google sheet here:

It seemed worth giving people a new opportunity to share any new/ further recommendations but the idea is to include everything suggested in all past posts on the same topic on the EA Forum, LessWrong, etc.

Should we have a tag for 'unfunded ideas/projects' on the EA Forum wiki, and if so, what should we call it?

I think this is a great idea! I'm aware of having read at least a few articles on the Forum with ideas for projects people would like to see someone set up, but I've not had any easy way of re-finding these to then send on to people who are interested.

+1 to Ryan's tag suggestions

What I learnt from twenty 1:1s at EAGxOxford

Cheers! Really enjoyed chatting and hopefully see you in London!

What I learnt from twenty 1:1s at EAGxOxford

Nice! Great to have additional perspective on something like this. I think your reasons make a lot of sense, which is all very encouraging in terms of people successfully organising lots of 1:1s.

Initial research on social movements & protest

Really impressive work! I think the idea that protest movements could be very high-impact is pretty convincing. It's a lot of ground to cover to try and find more concrete answers to how much impact movements have and how this can be maximised but I think this report makes good progress towards that. 

More generally, great to see in-depth research on plausibly impactful topics that we've not looked at much as a community. 

A Mental Health Podcast Directory

Edited! And thanks, most of these I haven't listened to but I can personally recommend
'Clearer paths and sharper ideas' (Spencer Greenberg) and 'Creatures of Habit' (Making Sense with Sam Harris), as well as the 80k, Ezra Klein show, The Tim Ferriss Show, and Planet Money more generally.

A Mental Health Podcast Directory

Thanks! I haven't come across anything specific to work addiction I'm afraid. Just had a quick search though and this looks relevant and likely a high quality discussion: 

Also personally found the LessWrong articles about taking a Sabbath very useful as motivation to protect time for rest and recovery.

Momentum 2022 updates (we're hiring)

This sounds like an exciting and very high-potential project! I'd be curious if you've thought about the potential for impact through directing new people to EA (in terms of work as well as donations). 

It seems plausible that people might discover EA organisations, and ultimately the community as a whole, through the effective charities listed and the background info of the app. Expanding the community in this way might further increase the overall impact and also make it valuable if funding remains a relatively low constraint in the community. 

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