Why I'm hesitant to take the current pledge, and what I want to commit to instead.
I feel that added separation between people improving the world in ways other than donation from the ones focusing on donating is fairly bad, from the point of view of information exchange and movement dynamics (though I think GWWC is likely net-positive, despite this).
I'd love a version of GWWC which allowed people to customize a pledge (or pick from a selection, or switch between them, or something which lets people who want to do good and have reason to think that working directly / investing in themselves is more high-impact), because I would like to be part of this community dedicated to improving the world.
I have one in mind, though it's far from finished. I asked about how the GWWC pledge interacted with my current plans, and was told (by PM) by someone from GWWC that it was within the spirit of the pledge. But, I'd rather pledge something I can follow the letter of, so have been thinking about what I actually want to commit to.
I'd like to give myself a north star of something close to: Put all available resources (both time and money), other than those required to maintain myself and those close to me as healthy, productive, and stable, humans, towards things I expect to have a large positive impact on the world.
I expect I will end up doing much more good with this as my focus, rather than some fixed % income. I also expect this is true of many of the most consequentially important people, the ones who may start new projects and open up new cause areas.
I'd imagine there would be effects of this kind, but I expect the local impact to be much smaller than the impact flowing through enabling people trying to improve the world to be more effective and live on a tighter budget, so I'd not want to prioritize optimizing this class of effect over picking a place that works best for EAs. Still, if there are two otherwise similar locations, one of which would likely lead to notably larger effects of this kind, it could be a tiebreaker.
Yes, this class of self-improvement seems like one of the larger potential wins, especially if there's a supportive community in place to help.
nods, a hub in a low-cost part of a developed country is also worth considering, but I think it'd still be significantly higher cost than a low cost country (food, assistance, and building), and has the disadvantage of being significantly less visa friendly (the US in particular puts major hurdles in the way of non-US citizens). The really low cost locations in the US are also likely to be less attractive locations, in terms of access to major cities and environment.
I also think that being in a developed country may be less of an advantage than some people are imagining, because I expect the internal and online interactions to be much more significant than local interactions once we're outside existing hubs and other high-cost areas.
I think despite these considerations it's worth exploring and also a potentially high value project, but it's not something I'm drawn towards.
hm, depending on how many locations are explored in the next few months we may or may not be confident we're in one of the top few locations (imagine a world where, three or four places are looked at, one of them stands out but based on other research we suspect that there are other countries which would be significantly better to establish a hub for administrative reasons. In that case I'd be in favor of trying to visit the other countries before moving to stage 2.), but in general that plan makes sense. I like the idea of collecting info on the ground if you're keen to get started soon, do you know of others who are ready in that timeframe.
I also think that >15 would be the number of people who would be there on average in expectation (so, a significantly higher number expressing strong interest/commitment), rather than people willing to do initial setup work before a co-living location is ready. The founding group could plausibly be somewhat smaller (~4-10?).
If this ends up not hitting critical mass naturally (but there is still strong interest), then we can likely give it a boost by moving a founding group willing to work on setup of the co-living space in one go.
nods, makes sense. My current guess is that at least initially most people would spend 3 months to a year visiting while working on something specific rather than moving as permanent residents.
I'd be aiming less for an activist community in the country, more a tech/startup/research hub for people with an interest in fixing global problems. I don't foresee a focus on influencing the host country. Good point that perceptions around that are important though. I'm very open to advise and assistance from people with PR skills on how to present this.
Have added links to this to the relevant column in the spreadsheet. Thanks for the leads!
Yes, this is definitely something we'd want to do. I've added a question to the survey about how large a community people would be happy to move into, and will either work out how to usefully include precommitment in the survey at this stage or do that as a separate commitment once we have contact details for everyone interested and know more about where and how we'd do this.
I like this! Especially if combined with a Schelling day for doing the thinking (possibly one winter and one summer?).