Manuel Allgaier

595Wedding, Berlin, GermanyJoined Sep 2018


Former director of EA Germany and EAGxBerlin 2022 event lead, currently on a sabattical to explore some longtermist & AI Safety ideas and coordinate EA Berlin (unpaid)

Feedback on me and my work is always welcome:

Bio: I work full-time in EA movement building (funded by CEA) since 2019 on EA Berlin and from 2021-22 also on EA Germany. Previously I worked in sustainability consulting and charity management, studied environmental science, economics & IT and volunteered in lived and worked in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Amsterdam and Berlin.

If you have any ideas for EA Berlin or would like to get involved, I'd be happy to hear from you! Just message me here on the forum or on Linkedin.


Thanks for writing this! Quick suggestion: It might be worth mentioning the database in the title as well. Some forum readers may not read it because they're already convinced by the value of accountability buddies and then miss the database. 

Hm, from an organiser perspective (I'm organising EAGxBerlin), even just trying this once seems costly. 

- Organising a conference with 10,000 people takes a huge amount of work and funding. Would you trade in five 1000p conferences to have one 10,000p conference? 
- If this event fails, up to 10,000 people will have had a bad experience and even if just 10% of the people get upset that's 1000 people upset with EA. 

(there are obviously a lot more costs and more benefits which I currently lack time to write up, I just wanted to point out that it may be more costly than you'd think to try out such a large conference)

Agree, thanks a lot!

Right now, anyone can say anything about EA, and while most people are very thoughtful in their communication and some give really thoughtful constructive criticism, a few people just seem to spread verifiably false claims like "EA does not care about global poverty anymore" (while most of the funding in EA still goes to global poverty), "EA is only white privileged men" (agree that EA could be more diverse, but it's definitely not only white men) etc. I guess any community that spends 100s of millions dollars per year and influences thousands of people will get at least some unfair criticism, so it does not seem unusual, but as you said it could be really harmful.

What we should do about it?

Ignore it? Try to correct all false claims online? Or can we somehow stop people from spreading lies about EA in the first place? Can we trademark EA and then stop people from using the brand if they repeatedly lie about EA and seem not interested in the truth? That's what most other "brands" do, but we don't seem to do that, and I feel like that makes EA an easy target for people who somehow got upset with EA and now want to defame it.

Does CEA have any thoughts about this?

Thanks for writing this up!

A friend of me came up with "Zukunftssicherung" which might also work well, though not sure if it's better than Zukunftsschutz. 

*US, UK or any other country with an EAGx conferences. Just in case anyone reading this missed the news, there are now EAG(x) conferences planned on five different continents! :) 


What about democratically elected non-profit boards?

Most national EA organisations with paid staff (like EA France, EA Norway or EA Germany just to mention a few) are registered associations that have their board (re-)elected by its members every 1-2 years. That way board members can be fired by the association members they represent.

I don't think this is perfect, the average member often does not have enough info to judge the performance of a board member and elections have their own downsides (like sometimes favoring popular and charismatic candidates over the best candidates for the job), but at least for national EA orgs it does seem like the best option to me (medium confidence).

This seems a lot more common in mainland Europe than in the UK or the US. Is this something we should explore more for other nonprofits as well? What other non-profits have clearly defined members (e.g. beneficiaries, stakeholders, ...) that could elect a board?

Thanks for writing this up! 

Have you considered also publishing this as video

You could run people through the functionality while at the same time showing what you're doing on your recorded screen, and you could upload it on Youtube and add timestamps to the different sections, so people can find what they need quickly. 

FWIW: As I'm more of a visual person than a reader and most of the forum is text only, my threshold to reading more text is quite a lot higher than my threshold to watch a video with the same content, and for manuals like this one videos seem to be the default choice of e.g. Y Combinator start-ups. Could work well for some of your other content too. 

No worries if that doesn't seem like a good use of your time, though!

Agree, thanks for writing this up! 

I wonder if gentle nudges or reminders like this could be linked in the comment field default text (the one that says "Write here. Select text for formatting ... "). 

If you feel like there's not enough space to add that and you have to prioritise - I personally would find gentle nudges or reminders like this one more useful than knowing whether or not you support LaTeX. The commenting guidelines also seem like a good place, but they're only shown when writing an original comment and not when writing replies to other comments, so for this specific reminder, they wouldn't work. 

Congrats for taking the step and thanks for writing it up! 

Side note: "I've built up a deep understanding of the web platform and advertising ecosystem, and while this domain knowledge isn't especially altruistically useful"

This sounds potentially very useful for EA initiatives that would benefit from reaching a lot more people, like GWWC, GiveWell or the German platform If you have any thoughts on this, please share (no worries if you don't have time, though!). 

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