Joris P

489 karmaJoined Aug 2021


I lead CEA's University Groups team. We often post updates on the Forum about what we're up to, and are always happy to answer questions!

I helped start & ran Positive Impact Society Erasmus (PISE) in 2020-2022, and was co-lead for EAGxRotterdam 2022. I'm happy to answer any questions about those experiences!


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For anyone wondering what other reflection/reform projects are happening - just plugging this overview Naomi and I put together!

Thanks for clarifying that national groups fulfil important roles beyond those two parts of the funnel!

Reading this made me realise I'm worried that there are important things that regional/national groups do that aren't always very legible to funders, like:

  • Allowing EAs outside of traditional EA Hubs maintain motivation in their work (kind of what you describe in the 'Continuous contact points' section)
  • Having EAGx conferences take place (initiating the idea; getting a team together, etc.)
  • Fostering positive portrayals of Effective Altruism in local media outlets

I'm worried that various contributions of national groups are hard to capture in a metric like 'longtermist career changes', and think this post is helpful in clarifying the importance of funders not being too myopic in their grantmaking decisions. [Edit: I'm not necessarily arguing they are] Thanks for writing this!

Focusmate works incredibly well for me!


Some things I really like:

  • If you show up more than 2 mins late your session is cancelled, meaning you'll kind of disappoint the person on the other end of the call, and you have to wait another 13 minutes to get started. That's a big motivation to show up and get started!
  • During the session, there's someone else expecting you to make progress in the next 25/55/75 minutes. I feel way more (healthy) pressure to actually make progress when there's expectations of a stranger (compared to e.g. a colleague or friend)
  • There's a bunch of people interested in EA on the platform, but not so many that you always match with EAs. That means you'll have an interesting mix of EA and non-EA chats (with people from around the world!) in breaks


Some things you might dislike:

  • Sessions only start every 15 minutes
  • There's only a 3 free matches per week (but I find the subscription totally worth it - coming from someone who doesn't have any other productivity boost subscriptions)
  • You're on camera with loads of strangers, so there's not much privacy


I used to work from home, and would schedule in Focusmate calls for most of my day. I recently started working from an office, and I now use Focusmate when no one else is in (usually to get my day started, or to help me get me through things if I need to work late). 


If you're joining Focusmate, consider also joining the EA group on Focusmate, as @Lizka mentioned!

Thanks Wil! I will DM you some details after the weekend :)

To potentially confuse things even more: I know some groups in the Netherlands use the name 'IDEA program' to refer to the in-depth fellowship.

In-Depth EA program

Thanks Harrison, we're indeed looking at exactly those "policy responses to non-existential low-probability risks" as there is little material out there  on policy change regarding GC & X-risks. By 'lowering the bar' a bit to what we called 'extreme risks', we hope to include smaller, less deadly risks into our case study candidates. As such, 9/11 is indeed one to consider, thank!

Thanks Michael, also for the suggestions you made above! You raise good points and I would've loved to study negative examples and examples from corporate governance, but the scope of my thesis unfortunately has to be really limited - hopefully someone else can look at these later! 

This sounds great! PISE, the group at Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands) has also been trying to this over the past two years. Although it's far from perfect, I think we have a pretty good branding and online presence (especially compared to the average EA group). Feel free to check out our Instagram, I'd be happy to put you in touch with the people who do the hard work of creating great marketing content :)

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