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A somewhat random idea for how far-UVC could be productized (once safety and efficacy are more proven out): Couple it with insurance products.
(Note I thought about this for maybe 20 min in total, so it is a strong take very weakly held)
E.g., sell an insurance against employee sick days (payout per sick day) to employers and install far-UVC in their workplaces as part of the insurance contract. If far-UVC really reduces transmission in offices well enough to warrant the installation costs and provide a benefit on top, this should work out quite well. Most large employers probably have statistics on what sick days cost them each year, so working out a price at which the insurance would be worth taking out could be quite straightforward if one speaks to a few companies (or a consultancy like BCG, Deloitte, McKinsey that sees many organizations).
Some reasons I think this would work: There are similar products in the food sector (e.g., Aanika Biosciences sells insurance against recalls of fresh produce that comes coupled with their DNA tags that allow fast and unequivocal identification of produce origin); insurance against employees taking maternity leave is a thing, so employers know this type of model; selling an insurance like that makes the whole sale a topic for high-level HR rather than building management and I suspect there is more purchasing power in the former than the latter.

Thanks for this very comprehensive analysis!

A quick addition: Another aspect that the PTC hypothesis as outlined here misses completely, and that appears quite important to consumers, is health. For instance, based on an n=3,700 survey done by Boston Consulting Group across EU, UK, US, Middle East and China (link), individual health is in many subgroups the top driver of choice between plant-based and conventional animal meat. This may explain the low incidence of repeat purchases (many people know and tried alt protein products, few consume them regularly): Consumers get disappointed with products like Beyond - if you buy a Beyond burger looking for a healthier alternative and then at home you check the label, you see that the nutrition is a bit better (lower sat fats) but you also see a bunch of ingredients you never heard of. Of course, if conventional animal products had to list every antibiotic and feed additive on the label, they would look worse... but they don't. So, as a consumer you feel "cheated" by the plant-based meat that you bought for health reasons. The resulting recommendation here is to shorten ingredient lists and transparently name products (alt dairy does this somewhat successfully - "oat milk" instead of "plant milk").

Thanks for your in-depth comment, Sanjay! 

Maybe the most important point to clarify here is, I'm not arguing that for-profit investing is the best thing to do to increase civilizational resilience. It might be a good career option for some people but this will depend heavily on personal fit and other factors. I'm rather trying to test an argument that I envisage using with (not necessarily EA-familiar) VC investors for why civilizational resilience should be an explicit goal of for-profit investing.

On your specific points

  • What I mean by "safety sells" is that there does seem to be some overlap of the actions one would take if merely trying to build a profitable business and the actions one would take if trying to increase civilizational resilience. For instance, obtaining non-dilutive government funding is good from a financial perspective and meeting the criteria for such government funding may be aligned with increasing civilizational resilience. The link is of course not nearly as strong (yet) as I would want from a long-termist EA perspective but in some cases, it is there - so the title is admittedly somewhat aspirational. I kept it anyway because it encapsulates what I would like VC investors to see: Civilizational Resilience is important and it can be (like sustainability) one of the goals your business can have that positively influence both financials and impact
  • I fully agree there may be interesting opportunities to increase civilizational resilience by building profitable businesses outside the bioeconomy. My personal subject matter expertise is in biotech and I had limited time, hence the focus - I'm excited to see people started looking into PPE and indoor air monitoring/cleaning, for instance!
  • On whether there may be opportunities for for-profit investing into civilizational resilience in cause areas outside food security and biosecurity - I hope so but I'm uncertain. It may be worth looking into but could be that some of the favorable dynamics in food security and biosecurity (alignment between impact and government interest, the fact that there are "defense-native" technologies) are important and don't apply to other cause areas
  • Agree more work on the investor toolbox is needed - for instance, to me, one key advantage of VC is that it is a bit of a "wild west" space in that you can write almost anything into a Shareholder's agreement. There may be amazing ways of using this power as a team of aligned investors and founders that haven't yet been (publicly) tried. Also, I'd love to learn more about what works vs. what doesn't (How good are Safety and Ethics Boards really at influencing a company's course of action, what are known failure modes? Which implementations of civilizational resilience in ESG frameworks are most effective, what are different ways to measure this? ...)
Answer by FGH12

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 FGH7

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.