FGH

72Joined Nov 2020

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5

Answer by FGHNov 25, 202212
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My standard 10% donation this year was mostly made before FTX events fully unfolded and went to (by descending "ticket size")

  • A research project that was previously funded via EA Funds and had another funding gap. I know the people doing it and felt comfortable saving EA Funds and them the work of re-applying for another tranche, and I had a way of doing it tax-efficiently
  • Future Matters Project, an organization that supports people, institutions and movements to address the major issues of our time by providing research and tools for effective movement building. I know the founder well, had done in-depth diligence on them last year for a bigger donation, and they were funded by EA funds in between, so I felt comfortable adding a bit more
  • The Long-term Future Fund of EA Funds
  • Givewell's top charities fund 

In the light of recent events, and because I also know some of the FTX regranters well whose proposals didn't get funded, I will likely pull forward some donations from the next year(s). I think this makes sense if the projects one funds are of a nature that still makes sense given what we now know about EA's total assets, and if giving more now doesn't materially affect one's runway (i.e., one still keeps a comfortable buffer).

Answer by FGHDec 30, 20217

With our main donation in 2021, my partner and I supported the Future Matters Project (FMP), who are working on understanding and strengthening social movements, currently focused on climate change. I think of social movement research and work as a very valuable diversification of the "classical effective altruist" portfolio, and thus took up the opportunity to bridge a funding gap between two other grants. 

I interacted with the FMP founder a bunch during and after making the grant, which seems to have added value for them (by asking questions, helping to brainstorm, and providing perspectives). This made me update somewhat towards "individual, medium-sized EA donors can be a valuable part of the ecosystem by adding grant-making and mentoring capacity".

Like many here (I suspect), we also donated to EA Funds. Finally, I am one of the people who make small donations to Wikipedia every year - though I think of this more as paying the utility bills^^
Happy to chat about any and all of the above!

Hi all, adding a (refreshingly appreciative and rational!) update from the people who made the first cultivated meat burger in 2013, for reference : https://mosameat.com/blog/cultivated-meat-progress

Thanks for putting this together! A few additional points and highlights that may be especially relevant to people with Science backgrounds, based on my experience

  • If one of your key reasons for going into consulting is skill building, be deliberate about what you learn. Articulate your reflections on the bigger picture around your projects, seriously focus when defining your learning goals, make re-usable templates for yourself, and refine all of the above regularly. It's easy to forget this in the hustle of a 60-hour week, so set yourself a reminder.
  • MBB are super excited about hiring people with science backgrounds (PhDs), even with zero prior business experience, if they come from good universities and are otherwise impressive. Don't think you don't stand a chance without an MBA if you think you are a good fit.
  • Yes, the business case studies are important - it may seem stupid but you do need to practice those. Take them seriously! Prepping min 2 weeks full time is totally reasonable.

my pleasure :)

In this case, it was a client project with Blue Horizon, so for a while it actually was my job to work on this report. That said, within three years at BCG, this is the first time I work on something so closely EA-related. I am putting in quite a bit of "flex time" now that the report is published and I am staffed on a different topic, to position myself for more work in this space.

I was hired as a generalist consultant after my biotech PhD, so I usually do a lot of pharma work, and some cases in other sectors. I made my way into this project by reaching out to the partners who had the client relationship - lots of internal networking, which is the usual way for consultants to get staffed on cases they want.

As to how replicable this sort of step may be for other EA-aligned management consultants, I think there are a lot of moving parts that need to "click" together: I had the biotech background, the right level of experience, I was free at the right time, I found out about the case and I had support from my network. If you need this kind of thing to  happen within three years to be satisfied with your choice of going into consulting, it seems like an overly risky bet. As part of a portfolio of reasons to go into consulting, next to great personal fit, it seems fine. To increase the odds, the key factor is your network - there are now EA groups at all of the major firms; happy to point anyone already working there in the right direction.