Thank you for putting this together Stephen. I am a facilitator for the Virtual Program and have been giving some thought to additional reading/discussion groups to propose. It's been my experience that the most impactful virtual groups provide access to good data along with opportunities to make personal/emotional connections. I know very little about Malawi other than what I learned reading the youth edition of William Kamkwamba's The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind with my children. Without other expertise, I can't speak with authority about its value as an authentic representation of the true events, but I believe the book accessibly described some of the topics you illustrate here and I know of several universities that adopted it as required reading for all incoming students, so I would guess its an accurate telling. What are your thoughts about a group that reads the original book and supplemental content as a way of engaging with the growth and development situation in Malawi?
If there are others who would like to offer their thoughts for or against this idea, I would be happy to hear them. If this seems promising and anyone has ideas for helpful additional content, I would be happy to try to think some more about a proposal.
Thank you for adding this James. I think you clearly articulated some important points. Last week's events are going to give the EA community a lot to reflect on and learn from. I feel this is one of those growth moments that, because it is so unusually difficult and painful, gives an important opportunity to collectively re-examine just how valuable some historically under-appreciated organizational structures can be.
The Effective Altruism community is a young organization in all meanings of the phrase and, despite some challenges like this that can arise as a result, I still believe that it has extraordinary potential to learn, nimbly evolve, and grow in ways unparalleled by any other organization I know of. I hope we can continue to value mistakes as learning opportunities and use them as signposts where we need to direct our attention for future development.