Milena Canzler

Project manager @ EA Germany (EAD)
199 karmaJoined Jan 2023Working (0-5 years)



  • Born and raised in west Germany (NRW)
  • studied Bioscience in Münster (focus on neuroscience, botany and genetics)
  • went to Bonn for an internship at the UN and decided international diplomatic work isn't for me
  • spent 6 months as teaching assistant for a botany course at the University in Münster
  • moved to Utrecht (NL) for my masters (Neuroscience, Ecology, Behaviour and Science Communication)
  • lived in Australia for 2 years for fun (hit me up for chats about van life, traveling on a budget and working at a winery)
  • landed in Freiburg i.Br. in Germany in 2018 and loving it so far
  • worked in the medical tech field for two years before starting to work for EAD in 2023
  • cause areas I personally regard important & interesting: global health & development, mental health, reducing extreme suffering, inclusion & equity, peacekeeping & improving democratic governance, improving institutional decision making, biorisks, EA community building
  • interests/hobbies: nature, bouldering, cooking & eating, mountain biking, hiking, reading, yoga, meditation, self reflection, birds, psychology, art, history, ... 

How others can help me

I am keen to learn more about:

  •  project management
  • coaching
  • community health
  • diversity & inclusion
  • moral philosophy

How I can help others

  • medical tech field in Germany (though I'm no expert by far)
  • biology / animal behavior (it's been a while though)
  • communication, introspection & reflection


Sorted by New


Thanks for asking, Jeff, I see why that might be confusing. 
I was thinking of a statement such as: 
"I want to first pay my respect to the people who have been harmed by X's actions. I want to ask readers to remember that these people might have contributed greatly to our community too, and that several people were harmed by one person." 

Edit: I wrote the following without consulting with my team, in private manner only. This does not represent the position or views of EA Germany, nor is it intended as an official statement.

Thanks to the EV boards for deciding to publish this. 

As someone who's directly supported several people right after, and in the months after other sexual misconduct situations, I want to support @Vaipan's sentiment. The comments defending Owen Cotton-Barratt's character are clearly well-intentioned and not meant to harm those women who remain silent and anonymous. Although they are not meant that way, the comments might hurt those women and discourage others in similar positions to come forward. Reactions like these are part of the reason why victims of abuse and assault remain silent, they are perceived as reminders that the perpetrator matters more than the victim(s). Depending on he severity of the harm caused, they might cause retraumatization by giving the impression that everyone is supporting the person in power and not caring about the people harmed.

I don't think there's an easy fix for that: Owen Cotton-Barratt is not anonymous, and a prominent figure (at least in the UK community). As such, people will want to give their personal testimony of what threat he might pose or not. The women who reported him remain anonymous - no one will come to defend their character or great deeds for the community, since no one knows who they are. [To make this clear: they should remain anonymous for as long as they wish.]
This pattern also happens in a context of similar reactions that people grow up with (e.g. media coverage of sexual assault cases). So while the comments in this case might not want to defend Owen's actions, they are still easily perceived as hitting the same note. 

 [I previously suggested some ways to comment here, but deleted them after further discussion with others. I just wish we wouldn't forget the victims so often.]

Yes, in this specific context it's a crux for me. If someone hosted a new person of the community at their house in a foreign country, and then made sexual advances at them, I'd not want that person to host newcomers/foreigners again. 
Edit: I'm writing in personal capacity here, this is not a statement by EA Germany. 

If you combine someone frequently expressing sexual/romantic interest in you when there's a power differential, that is a problem. It might mean, especially when the person who's doing that is your boss/mentor/someone more senior than you, that you don't feel like you can (clearly) refuse. When this is a situation involving a junior woman and a senior man, social behavior patterns of women being afraid of telling someone "no" often make this worse.

Even if both people are interested in each other, the way they relate to each other in an organization should ideally be changed to reduce the power differential. This is a standard procedure in some countries, e.g. Israel.

Thanks for the thoughtful text, Patrick. I agree with your sentiment of being impressed, but not inspired by people who live a life that I feel unable to achieve, and needing other, more relatable "heroes" to look up to. 
I especially like your conclusion: communication about altruistic action is hard, and we need a broad spectrum of examples to showcase the way that people engage with EA.

Amazing accomplishments, Mel! Congratulations also for growing your team to include another human (not to disrespect cat teammates...). 

Re language: We face the same problem in Germany. The best comparison to Barcelona would likely be the Berlin group, since they have not only Germans, but international members as well. If you want to have a chat, reach out to me, Sarah Tegeler or Patrick Gruban for general strategic stuff, and if you want to talk to someone in Berlin, Martin Wicke is the core organizer there. He might also be a good contact point for discussions about transient populations.

Thanks a lot for writing this, Alix. I can only heartily agree. I'm fairly fluent in English, having studied abroad and lived in an English-speaking country for a few years. Still, especially in deep intellectual conversations, I find myself struggling to explain concepts in English more than in German. I notice too that I sometimes find myself having a hard time keeping up with the speed of talking, especially with people from bigger cities like New York or London. 
Keeping in mind that I'm very fluent in English, and now trying to extrapolate that experience to people who have e.g. a B3 level of proficiency, I can see why many people wouldn't be able to engage with the EA community, let alone get into a position of influence. 

Thanks a lot for writing this up, it'll be useful in my work for planning projects to help people get into the field :) 
Could you point me to the alternative model that you mentioned in the limitations?

Hi Ezra, thanks a lot for writing this. I hope you'll be able to go back to your family soon!

I think your question about the type of death someone experiences if quite important. While he numbers are important too, the suffering experienced during/before death, and the suffering caused by maliciousness must play an important part in how we weigh up these losses. I would think that one very important aspect of this is the intention - a natural disaster or a disease don't have intention, whereas a murderer does, and leads its victims and the loved ones of those to suffer more as a result.

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