Vaidehi Agarwalla

Product Manager @ Momentum
Working (0-5 years experience)



I currenty work on Product at Momentum. 

I'm a community builder based in the Bay. I previously worked in consulting, recruiting and marketing and have a BA in Sociology and focused on social movement theory and structural functionalism. I've written a little bit about my journey to EA.

/'vɛðehi/ or VEH-they-hee

Some posts I've written and particuarly like: 

How others can help me

Connect me to product designers, people with ops/recruiting backgrounds and potential PA/ops talent!

How I can help others

I can give feedback on movement building & meta EA project plans and career advising


Sorted by New


Operations in EA FAQs
Events in EA: Learnings & Critiques
EA Career Advice on Management Consulting
Exploratory Careers Landscape Survey 2020
Local Career Advice Network
Towards A Sociological Model of EA Movement Building


Topic Contributions

Hey Luis, to be clear, I agree with your post (and using a new name - I like context-specific GPR).

My main proposal which may have been unclear is that you proactively reach out to folks who uses the old definition in their work, in case they don't see this post, and suggest they edit their posts.

I really appreciated this report - especially the attempt to map out the impact of volunteering on the talent pipeline. From the report: 

List of possible impact pathways:

  • Better at EA research: Volunteers may become more capable at performing EA research because of their experience performing research, and the support and mentorship they get from the SoGive team.
  • Excited about EA: Volunteers may feel more enthusiasm about EA through their work or the sense of community which develops within SoGive
  • Community: Building network and sense of community – building networks enables people to achieve more.
  • Pathfinding: Volunteers may become more confident about which type of EA career they want (generalist research? Ops? AI alignment?) 
  • Introductions: Facilitate recruiters reaching out to people to encourage them to apply for EA roles sooner
    • This is a new impact pathway; we have not connected directly with EA employers before
  • Credentialising people makes it easier for employers to make a lower-risk hiring decision. It could happen through enabling a candidate to produce a piece of research an employer can see as evidence of their research capabilities.
    • There is a risk that this could be counterproductive. For example, credentialising a candidate could mean that they displace an equally good or somewhat better candidate; this would be exacerbated if the SoGive-related article has been produced with the support of the SoGive team.
    • Having discussed this with potential EA employers, we see the counterarguments, including the view that seeing high quality work having already been produced is valuable because it significantly derisks an otherwise difficult hiring decision. 

I also appreciated the attempt to actually estimate how much a sample of volunteers was affected by volunteering. I'm more skeptical of some of these estimates than perhaps SoGive is, but I appreciate that the specificity because it gives a concrete place to have a discussion.  

Some thoughts on these estimates : 

  • They have "not run these assessments past the relevant people" (in their words) but are partly based on the relevant people's assesments. 
    • It seems in this early stage of evaluating the impact SoGive volunteering, it would be especially important to run this both by the volunteers themselves (especially for 2,3,4) and the orgs (especially for 5)
  • I'm pretty uncertain on the value volunteering has, as someone who's both volunteered and worked with many volunteers over the years. At least 3 people who've volunteered on projects I've run now work at 80,000 Hours and CEA. I have not asked any of these orgs whether them volunteering played a role, but I think this would have been a small part of the reason. The main reason was that these folks were just really competent and aligned. I am uncertain what effect volunteering had on retention rates (Excited re EA), it's possible that it did help them. 


Meta: In general, I'd encourage orgs to share more of their novel / new theory of change thinking on the Forum for others to see - not many folks pour through the reports unfortunately, so a lot of good content is missed. 

Hi Luis, thanks for disambiguating between these two defintions! I found this post easy to read, clear and convincing. 

When I was first started working on local priorities research, I definitely intended it to be what you call "Contextualisation Research", and projects that I ran focused on LPR were all CR related. I think (if Yi-Yang agrees with your proposal) it might be helpful to get the original LPR post re-named or add a disclaimer to the top to prevent people who are finding this later assuming that the original post only calls for "LPR" as you define it. 

Names: How about context-specific GPR? (or some variation on this). It takes into account resources / location etc. 

"administration" ? but that sounds quite unappealing, which is why I think the EA movement has used operations. 

  • Many would benefit from shorter training programs. While we don’t have the wherewithal to create those now, we hope to move in that direction as the organization grows. We are also offering the option to do an accelerated course that meets bi-weekly instead of monthly.


I would love to know more about what exact feedback you received here, and why you're choosing to deprioritize those for now. It seems like this could be fairly cheap (in terms of resources to run).


As I understand it event apps (maybe not swapcard beyond the basics?) can allow for different categories of attendees - e.g. speakers and attendees. You could add a third category "virtual attendees". It would take some onboarding work, but I could imagine it becoming normal to have folks online but not in-person? 

My view: I think many of the issues raised here are closely related to leadership and management are much harder to address. Examples from the brainstorms above include: 

  • Lack of prestige / respect
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Improper delegation of tasks
  • Exclusion from the decision-making and distance from org strategy

These seem like deeper cultural issues with how certain organisations or members of the community view operations, which is difficult to chang. I’m not really sure what the best way forward there is - I hope that this post could raise awareness about the issue, and hopefully spark conversations at relevant orgs, and make future founders aware of the existing issues in the ecosystem. 

I / Pineapple Operations  have publishing FAQs so that potential candidates have a more realistic picture of working in ops at EA orgs, and why you might consider it. We hope that potential employers and org leaders will also read the FAQ. We will also be publishing a post soon with information for folks who’ve recently joined operations roles at EA orgs. Slightly farther afield,  Elika Somani and I have written a few posts around issues and improvements that could be made to EA events.

I'd be curious to about the team's decision not to publish an annual report in 2021. Based on the 2020 report, it seemed like there were a number of big updates (regarding 80K's impact on the community, and updates in how much impact 80K had) that seemed important to receive updates on. 

(from the full report) 

For product, our priorities in 2023 are:

  • Increase investment in research and in improving the content substantively
  • Consider releasing an updated version of our out-of-date career guide (which continues to be popular with our audience)
  • Take low-hanging fruit in a range of other areas — e.g. updating key articles to be more compelling and to better reflect our current views.

I would be really excited for the web team to spend time revamping the 2017 career guide (I personally found it very useful). From the 2022 user survey (which I recommend reading) : 

  • The 2017 career guide is still frequently influential for people who make plan changes — even those who found 80,000 Hours after the 2017 career guide was deprioritised in April 2019. The career guide was mentioned as influential by over 1/4 of CPBCs who found 80,000 Hours in 2021-2022. It was also more likely to be mentioned by plan changes that seemed more impressive. We are now considering releasing an updated version of this career guide.

My hypothesis on why the guide is useful: It teaches skills and approaches, rather than object level views. It gives people tools to compare between options, and encourages people to be more proactive and ambitious in achieving those goals. I think the guide is one of the few complete / comprehensive resources that embodies "EA/EA thinking as a practically useful framework for making decisions about your life". I think we could do a lot more in this space. 

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