Introducing Canopy Retreats

post by Leilani Bellamy · 2022-04-24T16:43:37.885Z · EA · GW · 9 comments

TLDR: Canopy Retreats is a new org created to help the EA community run more highly impactful retreats. If you’d like our help, fill out this form. Apply for our internship here.


Canopy Retreats, formerly known as EA Retreats or EARs, is a new org that aims to aid the EA community in the planning and running of mid-sized, multi-day events. We are running a hands-on, experience-based internship this summer. Read more about it here. The deadline for applying is April 26th, 2022.

How we plan to support the community:

We are excited to assist with impactful retreats that otherwise would not happen. 


Thank you to Lenny McCline, Aris Richardson, Akash Wasil, Sydney, Owen Cotton-Barratt, Max Daniel, and the countless others who supported me along this journey. 

Special thanks to Catherine Low for the new name!


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Will Bradshaw (willbradshaw) · 2022-04-25T14:36:37.022Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

This seems very promising -- thank you for taking this on for the community!

I would personally find it helpful if you could elaborate a bit on what you mean by a "retreat" here, and give a few examples of types of events that would or wouldn't fall within your remit. In my experience there are several quite different types of event that are sometimes called "retreats", so it would be helpful to get more information on which of these you are excited about running, and why.

Replies from: Leilani Bellamy
comment by Leilani Bellamy · 2022-04-28T16:47:41.376Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi Will, thank you for your question. I’ll leave my answer here and also put it on the website for future clarification.

By retreat, I mean a gathering of people with a common interest or goal, all sharing space over the course of a weekend or a week. This could be as small as 5 or as large as 50, although I believe between 15 and 30 is the sweet spot. Any more than 30 and it feels like a party, plus you most likely don’t get to know everyone there. 

Types of events I’m most excited about:  a non-exhaustive list

  • Cause-area specific retreats
  •  goal orient retreats ( as in, we’re all going to get together and work really hard for x amount of says to make headway on this problem)
  •  deep learning weeks (where people get together and read a whole textbook, or learn something hard together that they would have put off otherwise) 
  • community-building retreats with a clear goal in mind 
  • Coworking retreats
  •  bonding retreats for orgs
  •  workshop-type retreats for new EAs
  • HEA retreats targeted at getting people more involved and connected

Things that people call retreats that I’m less excited about:

  • Large summer camps (we just don’t have the capacity for this right now)
  • retreats with more than 50 people- might as well make it a mini-conference or split it into two retreats
  •  Retreats that don’t have a clear path to impact. 

I’m mostly pointing at things that make retreats worse than actually retreats I’m less excited about. However, I think as we produce more retreats I'll be able to give a more firm answer to this question.

For anyone else reading this, If the type of retreat you’re excited about isn’t on this list, please still apply for a consultation. I’d be happy to chat.


comment by ren (renanaraujo) · 2022-04-25T19:13:57.411Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Loved the name! Could you give examples of what kinds of events you aim to provide assistance for? Retreats for highly-engaged EAs (eg, most pre/post-EAG retreats, team retreats), EA intro camps, rationality camps (eg, SPARC), all of these?

comment by Linda Linsefors · 2022-04-25T09:52:48.952Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

From your website:

Canopy Retreats aids EA orgs and community members in the planning and running of mid-sized, multi-day retreats.

What size is "mid-sized"?

Replies from: Leilani Bellamy
comment by Leilani Bellamy · 2022-04-25T14:25:23.820Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

mid-sized refers to retreats with around 30 people. but we cater to retreats between 5 and 50.

Replies from: Linda Linsefors
comment by Linda Linsefors · 2022-04-25T22:15:55.366Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks :)

comment by Kris Chari · 2022-04-24T18:12:31.083Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

so exciting!!!!

comment by aaronmayer · 2022-04-26T18:32:27.102Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Love this idea! 😍

comment by Raphaël S (charbel-raphael-segerie) · 2022-04-24T17:27:11.164Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

nice new wording!