Harry Luk

Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder @ Stake Out AI
133 karmaJoined Aug 2023Working (15+ years)


I strive to make the biggest positive difference I can in our world, pushing the limits to help as many people as possible. I believe the low-hanging fruit to transforming the world rapidly is to redirect the existing large sums of donations from ineffective (sometimes even harmful) charities to implement high-impact and evidence-based interventions backed by rigorous research and science. My mission is to deploy my career capital to help co-found or scale up numerous effective charities to do the most good with limited resources.


Inside the Mind of an Aspiring Charity Entrepreneur [Follow Along]


Topic Contributions

I agree 100%.  This is absolutely not for everybody.


In light of this comment, I want to reiterate the Final Thoughts section:

If you use the “go all out” strategy, your body might take a toll. This extreme strategy is not for everybody, and you have to listen to your body.

I felt under the weather after I flew back home, when all the adrenaline was gone.

I’ve taken a complete day off to recover, and am still coughing a bit as I’m typing this up.


Burnout is something I actively talk to my team about, and I'm also the person that keeps saying to slow down, take a break, leave work behind and enjoy your time-off.

In fact, I was just nagging my co-founder of this morning, about the importance of resting up and having downtime. There is simply too much to do, and it's important for all of us to take care of our mind and body so that we can jog/run at a sustainable pace, not overdoing it.

Thank you!

Yes, all valid points :)

Regarding point (1), yes, I would also try fit more pre-conference bookings on Friday, and leave more open slots for Saturday and Sunday for spontaneous or recommended reach-outs meetings during the conference.

For point (2) and (3), you are more of an extrovert than me. Meeting and talking to random people (unscheduled appointments) at the conference wasn't easy for me. Always learning, maybe this is an area of improvement for me

You are welcome!

"There's no better time than now" (seems like lots of people were credited with this quote, not sure who was the original)

EAGxVirtual 2023 is coming up in 10 days and I just got the "Get ready for EAGxVirtual" email 8 hours ago :)

The requirements and deadline to apply are as follows:

We welcome all who have a genuine interest in learning more or connecting, including those who are new to effective altruism. Admissions will not be based on prior EA engagement or EA background knowledge.

EAGxVirtual is free. The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm UTC on Thursday, 16 November.

Caveat: it will be a little different than the in person conference because "Admissions will not be based on prior EA engagement or EA background knowledge."

Regardless, I'm interested in seeing just how different it is (though I can only attend a couple days because of prior commitments that weekend).

Hope to connect with more of you all around the world :)

Thank you for the talk you gave at 2022’s San Francisco EAG! It was so helpful!!


what were the most valuable 1:1s you ended up having, and why were they valuable?


  1. Most 1:1s were very valuable because right from the beginning of the conversation, I invited feedback and asked for potential failure modes they can think of as we continued the conversation - doing this repeatedly with multiple people really helped clarify some of the blind spots we had
  2. One of the most valuable 1:1 was with a senior EA who had been where I was before, and he had experiences writing proposals for funding. Because he knew the exact steps, he knew what I needed at the current stage of our nonprofit startup and listed them step by step for our scenario. Super insightful conversation and very actionable
  3. Another amazing 1:1 was an expert who has a ton of experience with 501(c)3 and 501(c)4. He was able to clarify all the questions we had surrounding the topic, in regards to what we were trying to do with our startup. He even offered a line of communication for further questions for things that might come up as we implement his recommendations!


Those are the ones that came to mind :)

Thank you :)

I met someone else at EAG Boston who also did 40+ at the last conference. Definitely something achievable, just have to do the right pre-conference preparations and stay hydrated/fed during the event.

If I can do it (I'm mid-career, aka older with less energy), you can too with a BIG ENOUGH WHY!

My background is online marketing and we plan to test a wide range of online traffic methods including video, social, paid, and organic channels to attract people's attention on what already happened to certain professions (artists, journalists, actors, and writers) and incidents of AI-induced scams, propaganda, radicalization, etc.

We plan to run a pilot to confirm proof of concept. To achieve this, we intend to create a marketing funnel and run targeted ads in the target country.

Micro-pilot testing will be done on different target audiences before full pilot is carried out. This will also provide a better view of objections and misunderstandings of AI risks from the general public’s perspective.

We hope to publish a post next week titled "Introducing StakeOut.AI (Public Awareness of the Threats Posed by Advanced AI)" to share more about our project and plans.

Thank you for your comment and feedback.

use evidence-based outreach to inform people of the threats that advanced AI poses to their economic livelihoods and personal safety

Specifically, we are looking to use cost-effective Internet messaging tools to communicate the evidence that disempowering AI poses serious dangers (to economic livelihoods and personal safety) for people of every industry, for people of every country, and for humanity as a whole.

Also, we plan to inform the public about incidents of AI-induced scams, propaganda, radicalization, etc. in order to convey the dangers posed by the ever-increasing capabilities of uncontrollable AI.


We did not specify the Internet-based messaging in the mission statement because we felt we would eventually use other mediums of messaging as well.

I guess according to the following principle:

Inclusivity & Specificity: Be broad enough to allow for the organization's growth and change but specific enough to provide clear direction

We stayed on the side of more broad because we felt 'outreach' was specific enough to provide the direction of the organization (regardless of medium).


Your feedback is invaluable, and getting EAs feedback is one of the primary reasons why we created the post sequence. So, thank you for your help.

Thanks for the comment. I private messaged you for the link to our template.

I used to do the easiest things to get off the list, but realized that my mental capacity wanes as the day goes, and maybe its best to to high mental drain tasks first because low mental drain tasks I still have enough energy for late in the day

Yes, I concur with you and I think it's something we have to balance personally. The idea of prioritizing the least effort first is so that we can see what's a low-hanging fruit that's still important (may or may not be urgent). Thus, doing those tasks will give us the quick wins and still make impact and move things forward.

In terms of structuring the day, I personally 'eat the frog' while my focus and mental capacity is high (mentioned in the "Beyond Setup: The Journey to Habit Formation" section):

At the end of the day, look ahead to the next day and find the next most important task you need to work on tomorrow. Work on this in the morning (search ‘eat the frog’ on Google for more details).

So, overall, we are using the EEM to see what's important to focus on, and what are the low-hanging fruits that will make impact to our projects. 

With that information, we add and substract things from our daily task lists. Ideally, we are looking at the list the night before, so we already know exactly what to work on in the morning when we start work.

I recommend the choice of the first task to be a low-hanging fruit, or even a pre-work routine (which is what I do) to initiate the momentum and habit of getting things done.

"Making your bed" from the University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address - Admiral William H. McRaven inspired my pre-work routine. Listening from the beginning is best because it gives you context, but the "making your bed" part starts at 4:45.

We want to build good habits, so that productivity is a part of our DNA and we don't even have to think about it anymore: 

Starting your day off by completing a task will initiate your momentum to do the next task, and then the next, and so on. It will give you a sense of accomplishment that you will want to continue to feel throughout the day.

If you can’t complete a small and mundane task each morning such as making your bed, you can’t expect yourself to be able to complete more complicated tasks moving forward.

If you end up having an unproductive or otherwise negligible day, you will still come home and be reminded that you completed that one task, which can instill hope that you will have a better or more productive day tomorrow.

In your life, the small task that jumpstarts your day may not literally be making your bed. But the point is to find one task that you can make into a habit that will slowly start to get to the root of a problem you’re facing or inch toward a goal for which you’re reaching.


This is just one approach, and absolutely not the only approach.

I'm sure other EAs who have gone through the process of optimizing their productivity can help give more suggestions and ideas :)

Thank you so much for the comment.

The referenced article is a great write-up. Will have to dive deeper when I get the chance to see what/how I can implement some of the ideas in.

Always looking to improve to thank you for the feedback :)

Got private message feedback

if you sign up with a fiscal sponsor you either sign up as an individual or as an entity. if you sign up as an individual, you’re also personally liable if something goes wrong.

Natural follow-up question becomes: "is setting up an entity is the rate determining step (bottleneck) after all?"

The answer to this is provided in the articles referenced by Cristina Schmidt Ibáñez (https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/zzcWFPHCuNEYCw4kJ/fiscal-sponsorship-ops-support-or-incubation?commentId=uZaukmD4DeXBXPD5z)

In short:

Under model A

The project becomes an internal fiscally sponsored program, not a separate entity.

Under model C

The project is considered a separate entity.

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