Strongly agree as well!
I am looking to have the 1-to-2 hour long, 2-to-5 person thoughtful conversation, on literally dozens of existing and EA-adjacent topics.
I sympathize with this as it does seem like there aren't currently a ton of these opportunities like this.
This forum, unfortunately, has presented me with consistent misrepresentations and fallacies, which the commentators refuse to address when I point them out.
This is a pretty strong statement that seems like it would benefit from some examples to support it - though maybe it is beside the point as the forum probably isn't going to be the "1-to-2 hour long, 2-to-5 person thoughtful conversation" you are looking for anyway.
My intuitive understanding of the Alice personality type (independent, skeptical, etc.) is that they are often very entrepreneurial (a skill EA desperately needs), but not usually "joiners". I have no doubt that a lot could be improved about community building, but there may always be some tension there that is difficult to resolve.
It may be that the best we can hope for in a lot of those cases are people who understand EA ideas and use them to inform their work, but don't consider themselves EAs. That seems fine to me. Like person 1 in your real life example seems like a big win, even if they don't consider themselves EA. If the EA intro talk she attended helped get her on that track, then it "worked" for her in some sense.
I have more-or-less come to this same conclusion. As I mentioned in a reply below, Guarding Against Pandemics has a PAC that can receive up to $5000 from individual donors, and can, in turn, donate up to $5000 directly to campaigns.
As the linked post explains, "Donations to the PAC would go towards supporting candidates who are champions for pandemic preparedness in Congress and in state and local offices. ", so, not necessarily EA aligned in other ways. They could also be from either political party.
This seems potentially pretty impactful, but probably more risky than donating directly to an EA aligned candidate. I am curious what others think about this, or if anyone has done an analysis or anything.
Zach, can you provide a source that it is "about zero"?
My understanding is there are different kinds of PACs. Guarding Against Pandemics has a PAC that cannot receive more than $5000 from individual donors, but can donate up to $5000 directly to campaigns.
I am thinking along similar lines Miranda, and I may have some of that comparative advantage too :)
I don't like to talk about plans too much before actually getting down to doing, but I am working on a project to find ways to support people coming to EA mid-career/mid-life (as I did). I expect to write a top level post about this in the next few weeks.
The goals are crystalizing a bit:
1. helping to keep people engaged and feeling like a part of the community even if they can't (aren't a good fit for, or aren't yet ready to) consider a high impact career change2. helping people figure out how to have the most impact in the immediate term, within current constraints3. helping people work towards higher impact, even if it's in the longer term
Some ideas for how to do it: 1. compiling and organizing resources that are specifically relevant for the demographic2. interfacing with EA orgs (80k, local groups, EA Anywhere, Virtual Programs, etc.) in appropriate, mutually beneficial ways 3. peer-based support (because situations mid-career/life vary widely) - IE probably taking the form of a group to start and then hopefully figuring out what kind of 1-on-1 stuff could work too (mentorship, buddy system, etc.)
Sorry to hear about your illness. I hope you feel better! It was very helpful the one time I used it, so I hope you guys can find a way to keep it going. Thanks!
Related thoughts in the recent 80k SBF interview (which I have only half finished, but is excellent). This link should take you directly to the audio of that part, or you can expand the full transcript on the page and ctrl/cmd-f to "Near-term giving" to read.