Co-Director @ Effective Altruism UK
4422 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)


How others can help me

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

  • How fast/slow and where should EA grow as a movement?
  • What lessons can we learn from other movements?
  • 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 have been thinking about for a while but still enjoy chatting about:-

  • Movement building & strategy
  • Meta EA
  • Networks vs 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. Especially for people working on cause specific work or in neglected regions of the world.

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 conversations with people and could be a good sounding board if you had career/project questions.


Topic contributions

I agree that it's inaccurate to say that it's only people at top universities who are likely to have outsized influence, but that's not what I said.

Maybe you're combining the idea that there is too much spending on top universities with the idea that the spending could be spread out amongst more of them rather than spent on non university movement building.

For movement building strategy, it will depend on whether you think a mass movement achieves your goals better than specific fields. For example in animal welfare, it makes sense for GFI to target entrepreneurs and tissue engineers whereas vegan advocacy is aimed more at students and a wider audience. 

I don't know how the cost benefit calculation works out but retreats have different costs than conferences (including some overnight accommodation) and less tangible costs associated with using a different venue for each event.

I would also assume there are quite a few more events that aren't listed online.

Choosing which universities to focus on and how you run a uni group are two different questions.

Why do you think that it's inaccurate that people at top universities are more likely to go on to have outsized influence?

It's not that it is elitist in the sense that they value top university students more, it's elitist in that they want people who are more likely to go on to have outsized influence/money to give more of that away to others. 

It doesn't make as much sense to ask poorer students to give away more of their income, or shift their career away from one that maximises their own and their families welfare for the benefit of others. 

I think there is more value in separating out AI vs bio vs nuclear vs meta GCR than having posts/events marketed as GCR but be mainly on one topic. Both from the perspective of the minor causes and the main cause which would get more relevant attention. 

Also the strategy/marketing of those causes will often be different and so it doesn't make as much sense to lump them together unless it is about GCR prioritisation or cross cause support.

One category that you didn't include are people that agree with the ideas and take action, but don't want to or are too busy to attend lots of EA meetups.

Yeah, I don't know if that dynamic exists but it would be interesting if we could see what the forum looks like if you just count votes from different locations.

Answer by DavidNash4

For UK, data from CAF.

"The proportion of donations going to overseas aid and disaster relief (7% -£931m) halved from a high in 2022 (14%)"

Over time it was getting less engagement, and I felt that the content made more sense as a substack/newsletter than a forum post - it's not the kind of post that leads to discussions.

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