I am a Predoctoral Research Fellow in Economics at the Global Priorities Institute. I read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Warwick, led the local EA group, co-moderated our first fellowship. Previously, I interned at the European Parliament and the Future of Life Institute working on the EU AI White Paper consultation. I learned about outer space governance during a research project with the German foreign service. I am funded by BERI to collaborate with GovAI researching the Brussels Effect of EU AI regulation.


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Charlotte's Shortform

Here is a Collection of Resources/Reading about (Constructing) Theories of Change - I provide a summary for all resources (except one) in the Google doc.

The overview of the collection/summary document is:

Theory of Change (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought) 

"Backchaining" in Strategy - LessWrong 

Michael Aird: "[[theory of change]] in Research" workshop 

What is a Theory of Change? 

Hivos ToC Guidelines: Theory of Change Thinking in Practice 

Key Tools, Resources and Materials 

Charlotte’s Main Take-aways 

Other resources I did not read:

Motivation and Takeaways:

  • I looked into this today because I believe that potentially (1) the ability to construct theories of change is a key bottleneck of the EA community, e.g. if everyone were twice as good, the impact of the EA community was much higher. 
  • Given this, I aim to become better at constructing theories of change myself. Moreover, I am interested in how to make this teachable (shout out to Michael Aird's work) or to set up better deliberate practice exercises.
  • I was less excited about the existing/older theory of change literature than I thought I would be. Probably the best way to become good at this is just to try and get feedback from really good people.
  • It seems very important to construct and look at ToC in such a way to efficiently improve one's ability to construct ToC, e.g. (1) set up mechanisms to review ToC you wrote in the past and (2)  the outcomes one would like to track are not simply the ones which are most important for the impact of that project but the ones you assume you will reuse the most in future ToC of other projects and project areas. 

Open Questions: 

  • When should you go backwards in your theory of change? #backchaining
  • When is it okay/recommendable to go forward in your theory of change?


The Future Fund’s Project Ideas Competition

Massive US-China exchange programme

Great power conflict, AI

Fund (university) students to live in the other country in a host family: between US-China, Russia-US, China-India, potentially India-Pakistan. This is important if one thinks that personal experience make it less likely that individuals incentivise or encourage escalation, war and certain competitive dynamics.

The Future Fund’s Project Ideas Competition

Making Future Grantmaking More Optimal

Effective altruism

  • The EA community will likely spend much more money in the future than what they spend know. Grantmaking is hard and the right setup is controversial. Hence, it might make sense to spend money on how to do it well.
  • One could invite people to so called "donation parliaments" with 100 randomly selected citizens who get expert/EA input, invite 100 top academics to give away 10 million. Try out expert committees or democratic control. Organising such donation parliaments etc could also receive positive media attention.
The Phil Torres essay in Aeon attacking Longtermism might be good

Great, thanks for writing this.  I wished you had included a concise and short summary of the article in your post rather than your evaluation. This would have provided more information to people who don't read the article. I read parts of the original article.

How to assign numerical values to individual welfare?

Hi Frank, I am not sure I completely understand your questions.

Are you talking about interspecies comparisons of utility (differences)? I.e., how can we determine whether these 20 insects are happier than this one human 

or (about utility differences) that giving food to 20 insects results in more additional utility than giving the food to one human?

Literature I can recommend is: 


Dawkins, M.S. (1990). From an Animal's Point of View: Motivation, Fitness, and Animal Welfare. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13(1), pp.1–9.

Fleurbaey, M., and Hammond P.J. (2004). Interpersonally Comparable Utility. In: Barberà, S., Hammond, P.J., and Seidl, C. (eds) Handbook of Utility Theory. Springer, Boston, MA.

Budolfson, M. and Spears, D. (2020). Quantifying Animal Well-being and Overcoming the Challenges of Interspecies Comparisons. In: Bob Fischer (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Animal Ethics

Roberts, K. (1997). Objective Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility. Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 14, pp. 79–96.

There is also a forum post about the topic here by Jason Schukraft.

Or are you just generally talking about Social Choice Theory?

Happy to help if this does not yet answer your question.

An End to Cages in Europe?

(The Commission just opened its public consultation, which I encourage European NGOs, scientists, and citizens to weigh in on.)


Perhaps just to clarify the procedure. This is the Inception Impact Assessment Consultation where feedback is acquired on priorities and legislative paths. As written in the Inception Impact Assessment, another Consultation for 12 (rather than 7) weeks will be opened in the second half of 2021. 


For this consultation, a good answer would take a precise stance on the different options outlined in the Inception Impact Assessment.

What are some moral catastrophes events in history?



I also want to note that the things I have added and many others added are still ongoing. It would be naive to say that these are only moral catastrophes of the past.


A few more controversial moral catastrophes: 

  • religion (arguably counterfactually responsible for at least a few wars and a few really unhealthy cultural traditions, though it is hard to say whether the counterfactual would have been much better)
  • no available education for everyone - under certain moral philosophy (I am thinking of Mill, in particular), the access to academic thought and literary texts, critical thinking is of critical importance. Billions were barred from it. 
Cultural persistence

Yes, I agree with you that they should be different but are related, so thanks for your edits. Beckstead uses at least the QWIRC keyboard as an example for trajectory changes in his Phd as far as I remember.

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