Co-Director @ Effective Altruism UK
4046 karmaJoined Dec 2014Working (6-15 years)


Community Organiser for EA UK- https://www.effectivealtruism.uk

Monthly Overload of EA - https://moea.substack.com/

How others can help me

I'm always happy talking to anyone, don't hesitate to reach out. Specific things we may want to chat about include;

  • What are the good and potentially not so good things your group is doing?
  • How fast/slow and where should EA grow as a movement?
  • What lessons can we learn from other communities?
  • How much should we focus on people in the core of EA vs on the fringe?
  • Do you have a new idea for a cause or project related to EA?

Topics I enjoy discussing (not exclusively);

  • Community building & strategy
  • Meta EA
  • Networks/connections
  • New cause areas/interventions

How I can help others

If you're thinking about being a community organiser or are currently organising an EA related group then I'd be happy to share ideas on strategy and community building.

I've been an organiser with EA UK since 2015, working part time since 2017 and full time since 2019. I've also had conversations with people setting up groups around the world and also career, cause, interest and workplace related groups.

I have also had quite a few career 1-1s with people in the UK and could be a good sounding board if you had career/project questions.


Topic Contributions

Also the $70 billion on development assistance for health doesn't include other funding that contributes to development.

  • $100b+ on non health development
  • $500b+ remittances
  • Harder to estimate but over a trillion spent by LMICs on their own development and welfare

The Panorama episode briefly mentioned EA. Peter Singer spoke for a couple of minutes and EA was mainly viewed as charity that would be missing out on money. There seemed to be a lot more interest on the internal discussions within FTX, crypto drama, the politicians, celebrities etc. 

Maybe Panorama is an outlier but potentially EA is not that interesting to most people or seemingly too complicated to explain if you only have an hour.

I've written a bit about this here and think that they would both be better off if they were more distinct.

As AI safety has grown over the last few years there may have been missed growth opportunities from not having a larger separated identity.

I spoke to someone at EAG London 2023 who didn't realise that AI safety would get discussed at EAG until someone suggested they should go after doing an AI safety fellowship. There are probably many examples of people with an interest in emerging tech risks who would have got more involved at an earlier time if they'd been presented with those options at the beginning.

In 2015, one survey found 44% of the American public would consider AI an existential threat. In February 2023 it was 55%.

I've written about this idea before FTX and think that FTX is a minor influence compared to the increased interest in AI risk.

My original reasoning was that AI safety is a separate field but doesn't really have much movement building work being put into it outside of EA/longtermism/x-risk framed activities. 

Another reason why AI takes up a lot of EA space, is that there aren't many other places to go to discuss these topics, which is bad for the growth of AI safety if it's hidden behind donating 10% and going vegan and bad for EA if it gets overcrowded by something that should have it's own institutions/events/etc.

If the definition of being more engaged includes going to EAG and being a member of a group, aren't some of these results a bit circular?

EA isn't a political party but I still think it's an issue if the aims of the keenest members diverges from the original aims of the movement, especially if the barrier to entry to be a member is quite low compared to being in an EA governance position. I would worry that the people who would bother to vote would have much less understanding of what the strategic situation is than the people who are working full time.

Maybe we have had different experiences, I would say that the people who turn up to more events are usually more interested in the social side of EA. Also there are lot of people in the UK who want to have impact and have a high interest in EA but don't come to events and wouldn't want to pay to be a member (or even sign up as a member if it was free).

I think people can still hold organisations to account and follow the money, even if they aren't members, and this already happens in EA, with lots of  critiques of different organisations and individuals.

I think one large disadvantage of a membership association is that it will usually consist of the most interested people, or the people most interested in the social aspect of EA. This may not always correlate with the people who could have the most impact, and creates a definitive in and out.

I'd be worried about members voting for activities that benefit them the most rather than the ultimate beneficiaries (global poor, animals, future beings).

A separate organisation just for CBGs would have been useful too rather than a lot of one and two person teams with constant turnover.

Load more