James Özden

3560 karmaJoined Oct 2020


Currently doing social movement and protest-related research at Social Change Lab, an EA-aligned research organisation I've recently started.

Previously, I completed the 2021 Charity Entrepreneurship Incubation Program. Before that, I was the Director & Strategy lead at Animal Rebellion + in the Strategy team at Extinction Rebellion UK, working on movement building for animal advocacy and climate change.

My blog (often EA related content)

Feel free to reach out on james.ozden [at] hotmail.com or see a bit more about me here


The Farm Animal Welfare Newsletter


I'm hiring for a new Director at Social Change Lab to lead our team! This is a hugely important role so if anyone is at all interested, I do encourage you to apply. Any questions, please feel free to reach out as well. 


Social Change Lab is a nonprofit conducting and disseminating social movement research to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. We’re looking for a Director to lead our small team in delivering cutting-edge research on the outcomes and strategies of social movements, and ensuring widespread communication of this work to key stakeholders. You would play a significant role in shaping our long-term strategy and the programs we want to deliver. See more information below, the full job description here and apply here.

  • Application deadline: 2nd of June, 23:59 BST. Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis so early applications are encouraged. Apply here.
  • Contract: Permanent, working 37.5 hours/week. 
  • Location: London or UK preferred, although fully remote or overseas applications will also be considered.
  • Salary: £48,000-£55,000/year dependent on experience. 


If anyone is interested or knows someone who might be a good fit, please share the job advert with them or let me know. You can also see some more context on the leadership change here.

This is only somewhat related but I would be keen to get your thoughts Brian on this talk and related paper on positive wild animal welfare? They argue that wild animal welfare isn't necessarily so clear cut to be negative and there are some positive elements as well that we often don't discuss. I'm no expert and you've probably thought about wild animal suffering more than most people so I would be very curious to hear what you think.

There's a lot in the talk but I found the slides below particularly interesting to think about (timestamp: 30:13) as it implies that even with heavily r-selected species, the deaths and suffering of juveniles may not dominate overall suffering.

Thank you for the kind words and great feedback! This initially slipped our mind but tanks to your comment, we're now doing so :)

Thanks for the feedback! We actually ran this by some people who thought it was okay but on second thought, it does look a bit too curled up for our liking. We'll be changing it shortly so thanks for the nudge :)

If you can, could you elaborate more on what caused this uncertainty at/after the retreat?

Can you share any other examples of what you've asked?  Feeling somewhat uncreative on how to apply LLMs to day-to-day work!

+1 to different presentation - a few graphs and/or tables would have helped me get my head around this much quicker! Very interesting research so thank you for doing it :) 

I think there are tradeoffs here though (and I have also talked to women who like the status quo and I assume men do).

Just flagging that this sentence made me quite uneasy. Of course when you're talking about removing the institutional power of an oppressing group (e.g. men, white people, humans, etc.) that group will not want to lose their power or status. This doesn't make it any less important or moral though!

An exaggerated version of this might look like "There are some trade-offs to giving black people the right to vote. Most white people enjoy our political system the way it is, so we would have to consider what they would lose as well".

If it's not clear, I think this is the wrong way of thinking about it. I also don't have any obvious solutions, but I think men should be much more willing to take steps to try correct unearned social power e.g. basic reading on feminist topics, don't talk over women (or considering how much men are speaking vs women in a group discussion), be mindful of your social power, err on the cautious side for physical touching / sexual advances, don't be defensive when you get called out, etc. 

Adding to your points, I think the Time article is very likely understating (I think by a significant margin) the amount of sexual harassment or otherwise unwanted male advances. For example, there was only one case about Owen in the article but he himself admits (see below quote) there were at least 4 other occasions where his actions might have been misguided / overstepped the mark. 

Was this incident an isolated case? Yes and no. I think this was by some way my most egregious mistake of this type. However, in my time in EA there have been four other occasions on which I expressed feelings of attraction towards someone in a way that — in retrospect as I’ve developed a more nuanced understanding of power dynamics — I regret.

Generally, I think we can expect to see some "survivorship bias" e.g. reporters who want to uncover instances of sexual harassment might struggle because people who have faced these experiences might never engage properly with the EA community. For example, say someone new attends an EA event and faces some level of misogyny by male attendees  - they will just never attend an EA event again. So of course an article about reported cases will miss a significant proportion of incidents! As a result, it is very hard to track these incidences, especially if they occur at the early stages of someone's exposure to EA.


(There's a whole other point about internalised patriarchy where women will just tolerate some non-negligible level of sexism and not report it or even think it's a problem, but that's probably another conversation).

I’m very much a layman to the field of nuclear risk but I found this piece extremely engaging and interesting! I definitely think applying the principles of robust diversification to important issues is a key way for EAs to bring value, and would love to see it applied to other cause areas.

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