Community Event Manager @ Centre for Effective Altruism
Working (0-5 years experience)
2415Joined Jun 2017


Thanks for writing this summary! I'm glad to see them, and hope it means more people engage with GPI's work.

I think EA culture needs to change to make things like the FTX crisis less likely in future

[Taking out "significantly", in case that's significant for the karma]

Answer by OllieBaseMar 03, 202340

Thanks for writing this, Michelle! Since you spent a lot of this post expressing gratitude for other people, I just want to say that you're also wonderfully kind, thoughtful, smart and sincere and I'm extremely grateful you exist. For those reading who haven't met Michelle, I recommend leaping at any opportunity to do so.

Thanks for sharing this - I'm sad I missed this talk, but really appreciate being able to quickly download your takes so soon after the event!

Thanks for letting us know, Chris :) Progress has been slow but it's great to see attendees noticing it!


Thanks for this, lilly! We really appreciate your input on the norms here, thanks for taking the time :)

Some things I think I straightforwardly agree with:

  • I think you’re right to point out that appropriate standards will differ across a wide range of contexts. This poses a thorny challenge for setting norms.
  • Some language in our code of conduct might be unnecessarily vague - “related events” for example, is vague and could be worth clarifying. Thanks for this feedback.
  • I think it’s worth considering investigating what the community thinks about norms. I’ll suggest this to Catherine, who's investigating the experience of women, non-binary and trans people in EA (obviously, this is relevant to the experience of men in the community too, but that seems like a good project to consider incorporating this into).

I think there’s a tricky trade-off between clarity and scope here. This isn’t what you’re suggesting, but as a toy example to bring out this trade-off: if we state guidelines that are very specific (e.g. a list of things you mustn’t do in specific contexts), we might fail to prevent harmful behaviour that isn’t on the list. If our guidelines are something extremely wide in scope but non-specific (e.g. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), they’re hard to enforce because people can bend them to justify their behaviour (“but I would have felt fine if they hit on me!”).

Here’s something related that Julia wrote recently:

My sense is that pre-specified criteria for what constitutes something like “offensive actions” or “unwanted sexual attention” and what the response should be isn’t realistic or a good idea. A lot of factors play into what constitutes a problem — words, body language, setting (the career fair vs. an afterparty vs. a deserted street outside the venue at night), power and status differences between the people, etc. Responses should be shaped by the wishes of the person who experienced the problem — people have different preferences about how much action they want us to take, whether they want us to act immediately or give them time to think over the options, etc.

Another challenge is that CEA is the host of some events but not the host of some others associated with the conferences. We can’t force an afterparty host or a bar manager to agree to follow our guidelines though we sometimes collaborate on setting norms or encourage certain practices. 

Again, thanks so much for engaging here.


This doesn't really respond to the thrust of what you're saying here,  but just responding to:

there are no clear guidelines regarding appropriate and inappropriate behavior at different types of EA events 

I wanted to check that you're aware that at least EA Global and EAGx events require all attendees to agree to our code of conduct. To save readers a click,  it is currently:


At EA Global and social events associated with EA Global, you agree to:

  • Respect the boundaries of other participants.
  • Look out for one another and try to help if you can.
  • Adhere to national and local health and safety regulations, as well as any additional policies we institute for EA Global.

This is a professional learning and networking event. These behaviors don't belong at EA Global or related events:

  • Unwanted sexual attention, or sexual harassment of any kind.
  • Using the event app to request meetings for romantic or sexual reasons.
  • Offensive, disruptive, or discriminatory actions or communication.

We understand that human interaction is complex. If you feel able, please give each other the benefit of explaining behavior you find unwelcome or offensive.

If you’re asked to stop a behavior that’s causing a problem for someone, we expect you to stop immediately.

By submitting this form, you confirm that you will adhere to this Code of Conduct, which applies at the conference and all related social events.

You can contact us at hello@eaglobal.org if you have any questions.

All our conferences have at least one community contact person, whose role is to be available for personal or interpersonal problems that come up. Feedback can also be left anonymously on the event survey, or on the community health team’s anonymous contact form.


It seems plausible to me that this isn't sufficient, and we're open to input on how these could be improved.


I've only been at CEA for the last ~quarter of Max's tenure but it's hard to overstate how much I've appreciated Max's humility, his warm nature, his receptivity to feedback and how much he values and appreciates CEA staff in return. I'm really sad to see you go Max - we'll miss you!

Thanks for writing this. I also share this gratitude, even if I often disagree with them.

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