Manuel_Allgaier

Full-time EA community builder funded by CEA to work on EA Berlin since 2019.

Previously I worked in sustainability consulting and charity management & studied environmental science, economics & IT.

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

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New Career Guidance Organization: Probably Good

FWIW: 75 upvotes (as of now) for Michael's post seem strong evidence that at least a significant fraction of forum readers find the name "weird" or "off-putting" at first glance. In most cases, that might be enough for people not to look into it more (e.g. if it's one of hundreds of posts on their Facebook timeline). 

Even if the other half of people find the name great, I think I'd rather go for a less controversial name which no-one finds weird (even if fewer people find it great). 

Finding a good name is difficult - all the best and let us know if we can help! You could e.g. solicit ideas here on in a Facebook group and run polls in the "EA polls" group to get better quantitative feedback. 

New Career Guidance Organization: Probably Good

The case for limiting scope to certain cause areas, fields and/or locations

> What cause areas and career paths do we want to focus on? Do we want to start with specific fields and slowly grow, or do we want to provide shallow introductions more broadly and slowly deepen our content? (from your open questions)

I have supported some 30 people with their career planning, and in my experience, good career advice is both really valuable and quite difficult to give. High impact career paths are complex, difficult to evaluate and change often. If you try to cover all cause areas globally, you might not be able to give good advice, so I would argue for narrowing down the scope now already. 

For instance, 80,000 Hours has narrowed its scope to its "priority cause areas" (longtermist causes) and effectively also to jobs in the UK & the US, partly as some of the best opportunities might be in those countries and partly because they know these countries best. Also, they partner with experts in the various cause areas to ensure accurate content. 

Possible ways to narrow scope: 
- location: focus on general career coaching for people in Israel who are not yet set on a certain cause area
- cause area (such as Animal Advocacy Careers)
- field (e.g. careers in politics & policy such as HIPE)

I'd also consider what fields you know well personally. 

If you receive good feedback on that and have the capacity, you could still expand to more cause areas and locations, but it seems easier to grow this way around rather than start broadly and then narrow down. 


Generally, I do think that good career advice is one of the main bottlenecks of the EA community (and probably also altruistic people in general), and I'm excited to see what might come from this! 

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Thanks for trying this!

These are additional functions I'd find useful, but I'm not sure if it's worth the overhead for you:

  • choose tags: e.g. subscribe to all (upvoted) posts with certain tags
  • choose frequency: weekly, biweekly or monthly

Also, some blogs and forums seem to offer RSS feed, which I haven't used myself yet but just based on its popularity, seems useful for others.

EA Group Organizer Career Paths Outside of EA

Thanks! Here are some further potential career paths for community builders , written by David Nash (EA London) in 2019 (got his permission to share this here).

@Ben_West if you find this useful you could link it in your article above to increase visibility.

EA Group Organizer Career Paths Outside of EA
can't think of that many EA groups with >50 regulars

Agree that most EA groups are small, but those lead by full-time organizers such as London or (to a lesser extent) Berlin can reach those dimensions, see e.g. the EA London group directory. Berlin has 200-300 members who have been to an event at least once, an active Slack workspace and multiple meetup groups and projects running in parallel (mostly private, only some are public).

EA Group Organizer Career Paths Outside of EA

Potential downside of community building (CB): Slower professional development if working alone --> I'd recommend CB teams, training and/or mentorship

I feel like I learned a lot in my past 1.5 years as full-time community builder , but one major downside was working mostly alone without a "co-founder", proper training or an "incubator" (as start-ups often have), and while I did have some advice & support from CEA and fellow professional CBs, I could have learned a lot faster if I had a co-founder, more training or more mentorship. I also initially underestimated the complexity of CB strategy (there are infinite possible projects and no-one really knows what works best for your specific group..) and the importance of mentorship. Now that I'm more aware of that, however, I found it not too difficult to get high-quality feedback from senior EA CBs.

For people starting out in Community Building, I'd recommend ideally having 2-3 committed people running a group rather than just one, or else maybe "interning" at an established group beforehand to learn faster and getting good mentorship right from the start.

EA Group Organizer Career Paths Outside of EA

(Full-time) Community Building as a way to build (charity) entrepreneurship career capital

I've been working full-time on EA Berlin & Germany since 1.5 years thanks to a CEA CB Grant, and I feel like the work is quite similar to (charity) entrepreneurship, with tasks like:

  • Developing vision & strategy
  • Building products, events & services (e.g. career advice or conferences)
  • Communication / Marketing / "Sales" (all my meetups and career advice are free of cost, so I don't "sell" anything, but I still need to write engaging newsletters, websites etc. to convince people new to EA that it's worth their time)
  • Operations: "Customer" Relationship Management, Event management, etc.
  • Budgeting, measuring impact, communicating value to donors, possibly legal stuff etc.

In terms of career capital, I do think that credentials like "grew community to 200 engaged members", "inspired x people to donate x%" or "helped x people to get higher impact jobs, be more productive, happy etc." are worth something outside of EA as well, albeit CB does scale less well than tech start-ups who can easily get thousands or millions of users. I don't have any data on that, though, so if anyone here has data or a better estimate, please let me know!

Why not give 90%?

Only trammel told me why

Maybe others downvoted for the same reason (off-topic), saw that trammel already commented and then just upvoted Trammell's comment (5 upvoted) instead of writing the same thing themselves?

Responsible Biorisk Reduction Workshop, Oxford May 2020

Is there already an online platform for EAs in biosecurity (besides the Facebook group)?

Other subgroups (EA Community Builders, EAs working in policy, EAs in Operations etc.) have active discussions in Slack workspaces, which seem great value. If you don't have that yet, I'd consider starting one and thinking carefully about criteria before inviting people (see "start with who" medium blog post)

If this does exist, I as EA Community Builder would appreciate hearing about it, so I can direct relevant group members there. Please comment or email me (manuel.allgaier@ea-berlin.org). Thanks!

Responsible Biorisk Reduction Workshop, Oxford May 2020

side-note: Appreciate how accessible you made this

I appreciate the "solidarity ticket" system & the public (but not too prominent) announcement here in the forum. I have the impression retreats like this one are often shared within closed networks only and/or have high entrance barriers (fees etc.), and to me, this seems like a better way to actually reach the most relevant people, even if they're not in the right networks already. There might be more considerations that I'm not aware of, though.

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