DavidNash

Community Director @ Effective Altruism UK
Working (6-15 years of experience)
3341Joined Dec 2014

Bio

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.

Comments
227

Topic Contributions
1

I know a few people who have gone through EF and have said good things about their program. Also one of the founders has interest in EA and has written about it in his blog.

No, mainly because if people interested in EA wanted to become entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur First is already set up (as well as other incubators) to help people do that.

There is a directory on the EA UK website with different identity/affinity groups.

This may be true in some cases but there are examples of people  who would prefer not to work on longtermism related causes if they were just following interests.

Also depending on which career people are in, longtermism related roles  often pay less than the private sector.

I also don't like the language of 'persuading' and convincing'. 

See the 3rd point of this post.

3.Avoid naive EA outreach.

Outreach is an offer, not persuasion. It can be tempting to try and persuade as many people about EA and run events that tweak the message of EA in an attempt to appeal to certain people. From our experience, this is generally a dangerous approach as it leads to low-fidelity diluted or garbled messages. Instead, think about outreach efforts as an ‘offer’ of EA where people can get a taste of what it’s about and take it or leave it. It’s OK if someone’s not interested. A useful heuristic James used for testing whether to run an outreach event is to ask “to what extent would the audience member now know whether effective altruism is an idea they would be interested in”. It turned out that many speaker events that Oxford were running didn’t fit this test, and neither did the fundraising campaign.

I've generally had the opposite experience. I could spend ages talking to friends and family and not change their opinions, whereas just half an hour with someone who is already interested in EA can help accelerate their progress and get them connected to other people/projects/events.

I think for people interested in EA, they should mention it to their social network and see if there is any interest. But for community builders, there is much more value from finding people who are already interested in EA and are ready to get more involved.

Also once you've spoken to your social network, you can't keep on doing that in future months.

I've tried to maintain a list here but it can get out of date.

I think the tricky part is finding where smaller donors can donate, similar to GiveWell.

Those organisations have suggestions for large sums of money but there is a gap for advice for individuals that want to give to global development and are okay with it not just being RCT evidence.

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