Jakub Stencel

Director of Global Development, co-founder @ Anima International
1304 karmaJoined Feb 2019Working (6-15 years)Kraków, Polska

Participation
2

  • Attended an EA Global conference
  • Attended more than three meetings with a local EA group

Comments
29

This seems true to me, although I don't have great confidence here.

For some years at times I had thought to myself "Damn, EA is pulling off something interesting - not being an organization, but at the same time being way more harmonious and organized than a movement. Maybe this is why it's so effective and at the same time feels so inclusive." Not much changed recently that would make me update in a different direction. This always stood out to me in EA, so maybe this is one of its core competencies[1] that made it so successful in comparison to so many other similar groups?

It's possible that there is a limit on how long you can pull it off when community grows, but I would be a bit slow to update during turbulent waters - there is for sure valuable signal during these (like "how well are we handling harsh situations?"), but also not so valuable ("is our ship fast?").

  1. ^

Thank you, Ubuntu. I love that post by Max Roser.

Thank you Shakeel, very good criticism.

My title was a bit gimmicky, I flagged it as such, but it was accepted (I think by Ben West to incriminate him). I like such titles, so it may be my bias. Nevertheless, it was built from a very true disappointment (or something along that) of people not mentioning/celebrating the wins of EA when discussing and criticizing it, but I think this "frustration" was built more on reading the external takes rather than the internal ones - which internally was hard to disentangle for me. I think I failed to make this clear in the post. And my disappointment touches all cause areas (I'd imagine all those lives saved would make a stronger impression on people), but I feel qualified the most to talk about animals one.

Interesting point about perpetuating the negative framework by the title phrasing - in hindsight, I would probably choose a different one if I had considered that risk. Thanks for this perspective.

It's a very hard question to answer without much doubt, as I didn't witness how things unfolded in crucial places, like US. My intuition is that it would not be the same, and EA itself had significant contributions, but some of the recent and big wins would still be achieved. This is especially true for wins secured by The Humane League (and probably other major groups, like Compassion in the World Farming at EU level), seeing how laser focused they were. I think someone from more Western countries would be better to answer here though. But I also think that if EA continues then most of its wins for animals are in the future and then the context of its culture matters more.

Locally, in our org I think engagement with EA culture (also in the form of mentioned forums, groups, conferences) makes our activists and our campaigns better. Also cross-pollination from other cause areas seems helpful, but I'm not that confident here and would need to think more about it. Overall, I'd rather bet that splitting EA from effective animal advocacy would be overall negative to the animal advocacy movement, even if there was no OP.

But for sure, Open Philanthropy's effect is a very strong one, they seem to have been delivering exceptional results. And the funding was most likely the biggest driver of success here, because of how severely underfunded the space was (and still is). It's also a bit hard to divorce in my mind EA from funding as one of the main premises of EA for me is to reallocate resources, like funding, effectively.

In the end, I think in its core, this question asks whether Open Philanthropy and their animal welfare team would be so effective without EA (and it's worth noting that they have a whole team right now working on the animal cause area, so it's not only Lewis on the pedestal). I feel deeply unqualified to answer this - I'm too separated from context and history here. You are probably better to answer.

BTW I want to point out that a random billionaire example would not work. While I have very limited insight into the representative billionaire's mind, my intuition is that the people in this category are rather opinionated and pushing their ideas (for example a pet cause area). I think in this regard, Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna are unique in their intellectual humility and deferring to experts they hire, at least this is my impression of them as people. It seems that without them not much would be possible.

This is incredible (especially Google Docs). Thank you for your great work.

I'm really excited for this. Wishing you all the best in this crucial and neglected work Dustin.

Please make sure to reach out to Anima International to use our resources whenever you'll feel like we could help. We will also happily advertise any open positions here to our staff.

Yeah, this is what I meant in this point, but NunoSempere's comment made me confused about strength of my model here and I interpret this confusion as either me getting something wrongly here or not fully getting his comment. I will think/discuss it more and update the phrasing here just to be sure it's not misguided. Thank you for that.

Thanks for pointing this out Fai!

Seems like a major oversight on my part to not make it clearer. Will edit the blog post.

Thank you Oscar.

I'll use this opportunity to underline again that the biggest push influencing the changes in our organization in this area was Weronika Żurek who made the tremendous work challenging some of the premises held by more senior people. Not to mention that she is very early in her career (still studies) which makes me even more in awe of her reasoning.

Thanks for the comment Michael. It's really informative.

Do you have any good sources that describe your points in more depth? These would be good for us to follow.

In regards to robustness and cluelessness - I agree. This is probably the strongest update based on the new considerations highlighted in the blog post. Similar conclusion was formed, especially among senior campaigners, although we used different phrases for that during discussions.

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