Manuel Allgaier

839 karmaJoined Wedding, Berlin, Germany

Bio

Former director of EA Germany and EAGxBerlin 2022 event lead, currently on a career break to explore some longtermist & AI Safety ideas as well as work on personal (non-public) projects

 

Bio: I worked full-time in EA movement building (funded by CEA) as Director of EA Berlin (2019-21) and Director of EA Germany (2021-22) and EAGxBerlin Event Lead (2022). 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.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/manuelallgaier/

How others can help me

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.

Feedback on me and my work is always welcome: bit.ly/ea_anonymous_feedback

Comments
115

I agree that it would be good to have citations. In case neither Ozzie nor anyone else here finds it a good use of their time to do it - I've been following OpenAIs and Sam Altman's messaging specifically for a while and Ozzie's summary of their (conflicting) messaging seems roughly accurate to me. It's easy to notice the inconsistencies in Sam Altman's messaging, especially when it comes to safety. 

Another commenter (whose name I forgot, I think he was from CLTR) put it nicely: It feels like Altman does not have one consistent set of beliefs (like an ethics/safety researcher would) but tends to say different things that are useful for achieving his goals (like many CEOs do), and he seems to do that more than other AI lab executives at Anthropic or Deepmind. 

This could be a community effort. If you're reading this and have a spare minute, can you recall any sources for any of Ozzie's claims and share links to them here? (or go the extra mile, copy his post in a google doc and add sources there?). 

It's easy to vote for something you don't have to pay for. If we do anything like this, an additional fundraiser to pay for it might be appropriate.

Earning to Give still seems the best way to contribute for many people (e.g. people with exceptionally high earning potential, or people with decently paying jobs who aren't a good fit for direct work or don't want to switch jobs). I don't think we should distance ourselves from it. 

While I'm also interested in the finances, I fully understand if they prefer not to share all this info publicly. Afaik it's not common to share such detailed financial statements publicly, even for non-profits. 

+1, I'd find this very useful too! 

For context: After working full-time in EA meta for >3 years, I've been thinking about renting or buying property in/near Berlin or in a cheaper place in Europe to facilitate EA/longtermist events, co-working and maybe also co-living. I know many others are thinking about this too, some of whom area already making plans, and such retrospectives would be really helpful to inform our decisions. If you prefer not to share it publicly, you can also email me

From the limited info I have, Wytham Abbey seemed a good idea at the time, and I appreciate you going for it! The decision to sell was probably pretty hard to make, I hope all involved feel good about it now. 

I like the idea but I also doubt a significant number of Palestinians from Gaza would accept that.

A more realistic option might be to try to make it easier for Palestinians to emigrate to any country that accepts them. Maybe Israel could offer everyone who successfully emigrates a $5-10k incentive / "starting budget for a new life abroad" and then maybe some other countries would be more interested in taking them if they have more money to spend. It might also help that most Gazans are young, speak Arabic and many also English, and could help fill labor shortages in other countries. 

Which countries might be most open to accepting Palestinian migrants (as refugees, student migrants or work migrants)? Any effective pro-migration interventions there?

This is helpful, thanks!

I notice you didn't mention fundraising for AI safety.

Recently, many have mentioned that the funding bar for AI safety projects has increased quite a bit (especially for projects not based in the Bay and not already well connected to funders) and response times from funders such as EA Funds LTFF can be very long (median 2 months afaik), which suggests we should look for more additional funding sources such as new high net worth donors, governments, non-EA foundations etc.

Do you have any thoughts on that? How valuable does this seem to you compared to your ideas?

Agree. Inviting at least one person from a major neartermist organisation in EA such as Charity Entrepreneurship would have been helpful, to represent all "non-longtermists" in EA.

(disclaimer: I'm friends with some CE staff but not affiliated with the org in any way, and I lean towards longtermism myself)

Also appreciate the transparency, thanks Bastian!

TLDR: Recent funding decline seems unfortunate (for EA Berlin specifically), slightly updated that relying on one major doner is riskier than I thought and that groups should maybe diversify funding sources more.


Thanks for sharing!

Some anecdotal data: From EA Berlin's perspective, the sudden decline in funding earlier this year seemed particularly unfortunate.

I understand why funders were hesitant to fund city groups after the sexual harassment cases that came out in February, but it still seemed unfortunate that CEA withdrew the previously committed funding for EA Berlin, especially as (to my knowledge) none of the sexual harassment cases happened in Berlin or Germany, and both German and international movement builders (CEA staff etc) have said they consider the German EA community particularly friendly and healthy (I think there's still room to improve but overall community health seems good, based on what I've seen).*

I've updated that fully relying on CEA for funding is riskier than I thought before, and diversifying funding should probably be a higher priority for city and national groups.

(I think it's fair to fund groups less when total funding volume decreased and there are strong cases to fund cause/career groups more and broad EA groups less. Still, having the 7th largest city EA group with 100s of engaged members run by volunteers only and not even fund a part-time position seems suboptimal)


*(I was told that CEA withdrew EA Berlin funding mainly because they downprioritised city groups after the sexual harassment cases. There might be more reasons I'm not aware of)

Disclaimer: I ran EA Berlin 2019-21, funded by a CEA grant. The 2023 funding withdrawal did not affect me personally as I stopped doing paid EA meta work last year and have since only supported and advised the group. The top candidates of the "EA Berlin Community Manager" hiring round where unexpectedly left without funding, though, and the position was canceled (for now))

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