As of 2018, I have been working with the Charity Entrepreneurship team as a Digital Media Manager in London, focusing on outreach efforts. Prior to joining CE, I obtained my PhD in Philosophy, specializing in the moral status of animals, and published a book on the topic in Polish.
My professional experience includes working as a Project Manager and PR & Marketing Manager for startup projects affiliated with Michał Kiciński, a Polish billionaire and investor who co-founded CD Projekt, the company behind the popular video game series, The Witcher. I had the pleasure of building a Pay What You Want eBooks portal and opening a trendy vegan restaurant in central Warsaw as part of my work with Michał. I have also worked as a Communications Manager for ProVeg International in Poland. For over 22 years, I have been a dedicated vegan and animal activist.
Probably one of the coolest things I have ever read on the EA forum. Thank you so much, Ren! I was looking for something like this for years now. I always had this thought: how would it be if we treated animal suffering seriously? If we see them as humans for a bit. The conclusion was always: we will devote our lives, freedom, time, and strength to help them on a totally different level than we do now.
This post helped me see the suffering of animals much better than I have ever seen it before while reading hundreds of articles about their experiences. This was such a clever thing to do. This is such a smart post. I am extremely moved and extremely grateful you wrote it. I am not sure if people would appreciate it, but I do very much. It's so helpful to see this perspective. I don't feel like I need to do the experiments to benefit from your insights.
I guess it solidifies my focus on decreasing animal suffering as my primary focus area, but it also makes me think more about tradeoffs between different interventions.
Really great thing!
Thank you for your comment, Nick. I used the word "reach" because it is difficult to objectively measure the impact of some of our charities, given their age. We wanted to give people a sense of their current progress despite this. Reach can also give a sense of the potential scale of the intervention. We also tried to include some estimated cost effectiveness to show the sense of level of impact per dollar. However, overall we do agree with the general sentiment that, sadly, people tend to look at more vanity level metrics like reach, funding, etc. Of course, many of our organizations will need to run an RCT (which some are already planning) before we can get a real sense of their impact, and we believe our organizations are committed to do this.
We indeed agree that Fortify Health has done a really great job, but we had to limit the number of charities we could talk to for this post, and some charities were more cautious about being associated with the EA movement. Feel free to check our website for updates.
Thank you for your comment, Yadav.
Regarding success rates, we expect the net impact per charity to generally improve because both our program and outreach have gotten stronger. This improvement could still happen even with the overall success rate of our charities decreasing, with more charities shutting down but more charities having large wins, especially in policy. Over time, we expect some of our charities to shut down, with our general estimate being that one in five will.
Regarding cost-effective ideas, we recognize this as a legitimate concern and something we think about quite a bit. There might be some diminishing returns on the impact of ideas we can find, but researching multiple cause areas has slowed this down a lot. We expect some level of a natural refresh rate as more studies and new evidence comes out on what are the most effective things to do. For example, we expect one new great idea per cause area to become newly available per year. Our current estimates suggest we could start about 10 charities across four cause areas a year for the foreseeable future.
P.S. I am also very excited to see the first organization working on insects, especially coming from an evidence-based and cost-effective framework.
Are you assuming that the insect industry will grow rapidly and that your organization has chosen to work exclusively with the industry/governments/policymakers to ensure the highest possible animal welfare standards? I'm curious to know if you have researched alternative intervention strategies before deciding on this particular approach. Is it safe to assume that this trend is inevitable, and that it's impossible to halt the industry's growth by launching campaigns targeting people's aversion to insects as a food source (or similar)? So have you explored methods to stop this practice altogether, or are you from the get-go primarily focused on animal welfare?
Looks amazing. Thank you so much!
After careful consideration, we added one more idea to the list above: An organization that aims to reduce stock-outs of contraceptives and other essential medicines by improving the way they are delivered and managed within public health facilities. To learn more please check the longer description above.
You can start this intervention through our July-August 2023 Incubation Program as well. The deadline for applications is March 12, 2023, and you can apply here: https://bit.ly/IP2023Apply
It would be amazing if you keep on working on farmed animals. Your work on it so far was extremely helpful and partially lead to the creation of some cost-effective charities. The field is also extremely talent-constrained, and I want to cry whenever I hear "I was into animals but now I want to work on AI" at EA conferences. I know you can still change your mind but just want to say, that counterfactually it seems to me that you are much more needed on the farmed animals side than you will ever be on the x-risk reduction.
@Ren Springlea I asked my best friend who has 20+ tattoos and two children about her experience of pain (also inspired by @Molly 's comment). This is what she wrote:
"Having had many tattoos, some of them several hours long and having given birth twice as well as having experienced intense contractions following a termination of a pregnancy, I would not even attempt to compare these pains as they are on an entirely different scale.
I have tattoos over all parts of my body, including areas widely thought of as incredibly painful and I had many a session when I felt like my skin was being ripped apart, yet not a single one of them ever came close to what I felt during childbirth.
I had two unmedicated births when no analgesia was used whatsoever and whilst some hypnobirthing techniques along with mental preparation helped a lot the second time around, the pain I felt was still absolutely excruciating and way above anything a tattoo could ever cause even on a tired swollen and bleeding skin in the most painful place on the body."