Catherine Low

Groups and Community Health Associate @ Centre for Effective Altruism
Working (6-15 years of experience)
1003Oxford, UKJoined Jun 2015

Bio

How others can help me

I would like to to talk to present and potential EA community builders from around the world so I can better support you and your team.

I'd particularly like to learn how to prevent all types of problems in EA groups, so please talk to me if you have any problems with your group, ways you prevented problems in your group, or general thoughts about how EA community building could go better.

How I can help others

I can talk to people about running EA groups. I can help troubleshoot problems, or I can hopefully direct you to the right person to answer your problems.

Comments
70

Thanks so much for your kind response Jonathan! 
I'll be discussing ways to explain the role better with the next community contact people . I hope we can prevent future attendees from experiencing the discomfort you felt. 

Hi Jonathan, 
I’m Catherine from CEA’s Community Health team. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I'm so sorry you felt uncomfortable.

A minor clarification: Each EAG or EAGx conference has a community contact person (or two). They are sometimes members of CEA's community health team, but often they are either members of the local EA community or are members of CEA's events team. It is not our intention for people to feel that they are being monitored.

I believe the person you are referring to is Ollie from CEA’s events team, whose role is to support the local organisers of EAGx events. He was walking around the venue to ensure the event was running smoothly and help out when needed.

Ollie was one of the two community contact people for EAGxSingapore, and a Singaporean organiser was the other contact person. This contact person role was a minor part of both of their roles that weekend. It is plausible that we should have had two locals as community contact people - we have done this in some EAGx conferences before. We will consider how we can communicate the roles of the organisers and contact people more effectively so others don't feel that the role involves monitoring interactions. 

Happy to talk more about any suggestions you have. 


 

This bill does seem very important. It is hard to know what will help or hinder the political process, so I recommend that folks in the EA community don't try to do a public coordinated effort try to influence the content or outcome of this proposed bill - at least for now. 

My understanding is that the people involved in drafting this bill are aware of the EA community, so they know they can reach out when and if they think that would be helpful.

Hey Yitz, 

I’m part of CEA’s Community Health team, and we’re available as a resource for community members who want to consult with us on higher stakes communications (like interviews with journalists and introducing EA ideas to highly influential people), so we’re familiar with this sort of situation. 

From the information you shared, I find it hard to know what to suggest. It depends a lot on the specific situation, like the particular influential person, your relationship with them, your knowledge of the topic/policy, credibility you have on that topic/policy, the particular situation of the meeting. 

Since you say you’re a relative newcomer and not in the politics field, I’m guessing that it might not be a good idea to pitch policies to them in a short meeting. But I’d be happy to get more info from you and try to give a more thorough answer. I’ll message you directly! 

I agree that sending kids to ineffective schools isn't an effective thing to do! I don't this this is what any EA organisations recommend though. While there have been some studies that suggest deworming improves school attendance, I understand that this is not commonly believed to be a big effect anymore. 

GiveWell recommends deworming charities because of evidence that deworming could have a positive impact on income in the long term. You can read more here https://www.givewell.org/international/technical/programs/deworming - I think this is interesting reading because while GiveWell are pretty uncertain about the impact of deworming, they still think in expectation it is a highly cost effective thing to fund because it is just so cheap to deworm kids. 

[I'm not an expert in this at all - just a GiveWell fan, so someone else might be able to share more nuanced information].

I admit I was a bit sad when Jonathan took this role because I thought he'd do more good in Community Building (my field of work). "Surely an Office Manager couldn't be as impactful!" I bemoaned. But now that I've worked a while in Trajan house my eyes have been opened to the value of an outstanding office manager, and I've had to eat my words (and arrange to move to Oxford so I can work there permanently). So I think this role is surprisingly high value.

Kelsey Piper's most recent Future Perfect newsletter has outlined several donation opportunities that look great. 

Thanks Karolina! 
I talked with Karolina and chose to donate - it seems unclear how likely my donation will help (things are so uncertain in general!) but I know and trust Karolina's judgement and since very large donors might not be able to help with this, it seemed like a reasonable use of my small donation budget. 

Hey Valmothy. I don't know the answer to your question but if you or your friends or family are in Ukraine and need help getting out feel free to signal me on +64212129849. I can put you in touch with some folks who might be able to help (info, support if you cross into Poland, $).

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