Thanks for writing this up! Agree that we should coordinate more on regional level.
City/national groups are often run by adult, professional people, who don't know enough about what it means to run a uni group.
I'm curious, why do you think so?Many city / national level group organisers started with organising uni groups, and even those who only learned about EA after university have often done some other form of student engagement as well like running other student groups, so I'd guess that the majority of city / national level group organisers do have exp... (read more)
Why only US & UK universities?This looks potentially very helpful to (foreign) students, thanks for setting this up! If you have a moment, I would be curious to hear your reasoning on why this is limited to US & UK universities only. I understand that for many students, their best choice is to study in the US or UK, but for many other students other universities might be a better choice, and this limitation would still bias them towards UK & US universities. In addition, there might more be cost-effective opportunities elsewhere, give... (read more)
Agree that this seems neglected. EA Germany (and I personally) are happy to support EA projects that have potential to grow into impactful EA organisations. If you have ideas on how to better do that (within the limited capacity of national group organisers), feel free to get in touch!
(I also agree on the importance of having founders that are value-aligend and have good epistemics, which I think some entrepreneurs are but many others may not be)
Thanks for writing this up! Cause and career groups like Effective Animal Advocacy or the EA Consulting Network are in my opinion one of the best ways to get involved but they often get overlooked, would they be worth a mention here?
So meeting someone who tested negative indoors without a mask implies 18%*.02% = 36 microCOVIDs, which is very low.
I'd also be curious to know better estimates to this - have you updated your estimate after these two answers? Or did anyone else update their estimates?(if you have time to reply, no worries if not)
Would also recommend asking on the EA Groups Slack. Are you on there yet? The invite link should be somewhere on www.eahub.org, but let me know if you can't find it.
I think it's worthwhile, and lots of local groups do that already (like EA Berlin). Maybe local groups can do most of that as they have the benefit of people being able to meet in person (after corona) and sharing similar culture, job prospects etc, and then everyone who does not have a local group nearby can use EA Anywhere?
Maybe the existing EA Career Discussion Facebook group would be a good place to start such peer support groups, and then they could create their own facebook groups / Slack / etc?
Whatsapp does not have a "thread-function", so I'd expect this to get chaotic rather quickly.
I think you have better chances of success if you use exisiting suitable platforms instead of setting up new ones. EA Anywhere seems the best fit for that, so I'd recommend to check with Marisa (EA Anywhere organiser) whether she thinks their Slack would be a good place for this.
I like that kind of platform, but Slack seems more widely used by EAs compared to Discord. If this gets the most votes, I'd consider checking whether people actually prefer discord or instead rather use Slack.
Slack (EA Anywhere, EA Global or new Slack)
Thanks for elaborating! Your process seems robustly good, and I appreciate the extra emphasis on diverse viewpoints & experts.
Yes, that might lead to better data, but it also requires more time to set up and a larger sample size. I'd leave it up to whoever does this to decide how much time they want to invest and which method to choose.
Thanks for elaborating! > the optimum for the EA ecosystem might still be to have 3-5 large donors instead of the status quo of 1-3 funders Agree on that. One additional thought that came to mind is that if there are indeed 3-5 large donors but they (unkowningly) rely on the views of the same expert for grants in a certain field (e.g. climate advocacy), then Peter's concerns still apply. If you have time to elaborate (no worries if not), then I'd be curious about the minimum number of field experts that are consulted when making EA ... (read more)
There's no strict 'minimum number'-- sometimes the grant is clearly above or below our bar and we don't consult anyone, and sometimes we're really uncertain or in disagreement, and we end up consulting lots of people (I think some grants have had 5+).I will also say that each fund is somewhat intentionally composed of fund managers with somewhat varying viewpoints who trust different sets of experts, and the voting structure is such that if any individual fund manager is really excited about an application, it generally gets funded. As a result, I think in... (read more)
I'd guess people's perception depends a lot on the culture, so it might make sense to do surveys just for your university, your city or your country, but not globally.
Such surveys are easy to do via polls in Facebook groups. Just select a group that resembles your target audience (e.g. scholarship networks etc) and do a quick poll on "We're thinking of starting a new organisation. What do you associate with these names?"
Thanks a lot for your efforts in making the EA Funds flexible and as valuable as possible, and also making sure everyone is aware of them, really appreciate it!
I think this could go a long way in realizing innovative ideas and helping people get started with their high impact careers & organisations.
Both the call and a channel in the EA groups slack seem valuable, and if you actually get people together for a call you could use that as opportunity to ask whether they'd be interested in such an EA groups slack channel or another platform. Do you want to do this? Or someone else here? David Nash? (I currently lack time to organise things myself, but I'd probably join if someone else organised it)
would be nice to have a dedicated chat some for ecosystem organizer
Do you think the EA group organiser slack could be that? In a sense, we're all organising a groups (whether it's a local group or a cause or career group). If you feel like the existing channels there are insufficient one could add a channel for cause or career groups/ecosystems.
Good thinking! I think I have intuitively been trying to do this for the German EA community, and this post helped me become more clear about it, so thanks for writing it up! > Animal welfareAs I understand, Animal Advocacy Careers is trying to support the ecosystem of people working in that field (together with Animal Charity Evaluators and maybe Good Food Institute for alternative protein sources). Where do you see the gap there?
This looks like it could be really useful for aspiring AI/ML students, thanks a lot for compiling this!
Great initiative! > If it works well, we could do it each month or so.Are you planning to do this again? If so, when? I think it would be great if you did. If you don't have time, let us know too, then other EA career coaches / mentors could take over (such as CEA community building grantees like me, EA coaches, WANBAM mentors etc.). Maybe those folks would join anyway if you coordinate the date with us beforehand. I do think it would be much better with your contributions, though.
EAGx & (online) events plans (as meerpirat asked)
I'm part of the EAGxBerlin 2020 team (which then turned into EAGxVirtual 2020 due to Corona), and yes, as soon as CEA opens EAGx applications (hopefully soon) we plan to apply again and hope to be able to organise an EAGxBerlin 2021 in June or latest July, if Corona allows. A Corona researcher & doctor I talked to gave it a 50% chance of being possible. The (European) EA Unconference 2020 which I organised with Carolin Basilowski went really well indeed, we had 50 participants who rated it... (read more)
Agree, would be great to have all active online EA discussion platforms (Facebook, reddit etc.) moderated at least a little bit to make sure as many people as possible have a good experience engaging with EA content (and not just those on the EA forum).
Nice to hear that you're planning to devote more time to Facebook group management!
the largest EA-related Facebook group (“Effective Altruism”) has less activity than it could
I just checked, it looks like this group has around one post and several new comments every day. How much are you aiming for? To me, the main Facebook group is great but already know seems like a bit too many different discussions in one place and a bit too much happening. If most people check it once a week or less, that would mean 10+ new posts every time they check it, of whic... (read more)
Thanks for elaborating! In my experience with running EA Berlin since two years, outreach to students seemed worthwhile but outreach on recent graduates / young professionals seemed even more worthwhile, as they were actively thinking about career plans and most keen to apply the EA philosophy right away (compared to students who will only make career decisions years later and then may or may not take EA considerations into account). They are often in their early twenties too, usually 21-25 y/o. If you're interested in this, I would be happy to ... (read more)
That's interesting - I'm surprised by that and wonder if it's due to some differences between systems? In the UK people often begin to think about internships in their first or second years, and then look for jobs in the 3rd year, so I think there's quite a lot of ability to influence and discuss career plans early on. In the US degrees are longer, but early on people are trying to decide their major which is also a significant career decision. I also think that students have a lot more time and interest in engaging with new things, and they tend to be eas... (read more)
Thank you Max for elaborating! Happy to hear that you generally prefer public vacancies too. In my impression, this often has not been the case for EA orgs in the past (and the people who upvoted my comment might feel similar), so it's nice to see you publicly write in favor of that. It makes sense that you make those occasional exceptions for specific cases and I agree that they seem worth it to save time as long as it does not compromise too much on accessibility and fairness.
Thanks Aaron for sharing your forum experience, that's useful, and also for your other thoughts!Quick meta note: Would it make sense to put different arguments in separate comments? That would allow others to upvote your arguments specifically, instead of only upvoting the entire comment while they might only agree with 1-2 out of three points you made.
+1 on convenience is also importantI think there is a good chance that many more people would participate in NEAD discussions if NEAD had started with Slack rather than Signal first and then Zulip. Even with Mattermost (arguably more user-friendly & intuitive than Signal and Zulip), there might be differences. Mattermost still uses markdown formatting, and this does not seem intuitive for non-technical people (I found it confusing at first and now I still find it quite inconvenient compared to extra buttons or keyboard shortcuts like "Ctrl + B" for "bo... (read more)
Do all EA orgs need to use the same tools? If not, can those with added security needs (e.g. those active in countries with government repression) just use different tools such as Mattermost, Matrix, Nextcloud etc. now, while the rest of the community keeps using whatever works best for them for now (Slack, Google Drive, Facebook etc.)?
How costly is switching platforms really?Mattermost is very similar to Slack (just less features and a bit less intuitive, and it also offers Slack import. Could we use Slack for the next 5-10 years and whenever we reach a point at which the risk of data leakage & restrictions seem higher and/or Mattermost has become almost as intuitive and functional as Slack, could we switch to Mattermost then?(this does not apply to other platforms such as Google Drive vs. Nextcloud. There I would expect the costs of switching much higher)
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write up and share your strategy as well as these quartlery updates!
It seems like your group support in Q4 was mostly focussed on students - is that just a coincidence or will student groups be your main priority for 2021 (compared to city groups, national groups, cause area groups & career groups)?(Only reply if you have time to elaborate, no worries if not!)
make several excellent hires [...] major focus next year .
Great to see you expanding, especially on the groups team! How do you plan to hire people - public vacancies or private offers? I'm personally in favor of public vacancies as you reach more people and might find better applicants, and also because it makes the whole process more transparent and fair. I feel like EA employers currently often offer jobs privately to people in their network, which makes it seem like knowing the right people is more important than having the best s... (read more)
Thanks for getting back to me and for being open to updating your opinion! :)If you no longer endorse some of your original thoughts here (replacing CEA's guiding principles), I would consider editing the article and putting a note on top or at the respective parts, else people who only read the article (and not all comments here) miss the update and still think you propose to change CEA's guiding principles.
I see the motivation, but to me, the CEA Guiding Principles seem very carefully chosen and better than the suggestions here (though they are not bad either). I would be worried that CHOICE or another acronym would crowd out the Guiding Principles simply because it is easier to remember, while being worse content-wise (in my opinion).
(if relevant I can elaborate on why the Guiding Principles seem better to me)
Praise, recommendations for advisers & feedbackThis seems very promising, I like the web design and you seem to already have a good number of pro athletes on board. Great work!1) AdvisersHave you been in touch with Luke Freeman from Giving What We Can? Maybe he has some more pro athletes in his GWWC network, and as he's working full-time on this he might have good advice for setting up a pledge network. Other good sources of advice could be Founders Pledge, One for the World and Effective Giving (focussed on wealthy people). 2) You listed animal w... (read more)
Good idea! Would recommend to coordinate with the EA Hub as they already have such an overview (though not a wiki afaik) to avoid creating duplicates.
I haven't used GitHub before - how intuitive is it for people without IT background? Else, maybe www.notion.so could be an option? I've often seen this used for wikis.
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.
We’re definitely taking into account the different comments and upvotes on this post. We appreciate people upvoting the views they’d like to support - this is indeed a quick and efficient way for us to aggregate feedback.
We’ve received recommendations against opening public polls about the name of the organization from founders of existing EA organizations, and we trust those recommendations so we’ll probably avoid that route. But we will likely look into ways we can test the hypothesis of whether a “less controversial” name has positive or negative effects on the reaction of someone hearing this name for the first time.
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 cov... (read more)
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:
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.
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.
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).
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 ment... (read more)
(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:
Only trammel told me why
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?
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 o... (read more)
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.
This seems potentially high value, thanks a lot for the initiative!
Do you a specific target audience in mind? E.g. people with biology or policy background, people already working in biosecurity or just (EA-aligned) people generally interested in the field? I'll forward it to some EAs working in biosecurity now, happy to share it further if you wish.
All the best for your workshop!