We Ran a "Next Steps" Retreat for Intro Fellows

post by Akash · 2022-02-05T19:14:21.459Z · EA · GW · 5 comments

Contents

  TLDR
    I think other student group organizers should consider running retreats after intro fellowships.
  What was the “Next Steps” retreat?
  What were the goals of the “Next Steps” retreat?
  What went well?
  What could have been better?
  Who funded the retreat?
  What should I do if I want to run a retreat?
  Can I see a montage video with moments from the retreat?
None
5 comments

TLDR

In December, we ran a “Next Steps” retreat for promising intro fellows. This post summarizes what we did, why we ran it, what went well, and what could be improved in future retreats. 

I think other student group organizers should consider running retreats after intro fellowships. 

If you are interested in running one, this Notion page includes several valuable resources (e.g., our schedule, COVID protocol, post-retreat survey, etc.). You may also want to watch this video by Diana Lim (one of the retreat attendees).

What was the “Next Steps” retreat?

The Next Steps retreat was a 2-day retreat for promising intro fellows from Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, and UPenn. The retreat consisted of discussions and talks led by student group organizers and EA professionals.

Harry Taussig (Haverford) and Olivia Jimenez (Columbia) were the primary organizers. I (UPenn) also helped.

What were the goals of the “Next Steps” retreat?

Broadly, the primary goal of the retreat was to help intro fellows feel motivated and prepared to work on the world’s most pressing problems. More specifically, we hoped that the retreat would help intro fellows:

What went well?

This section is partly based on my own impressions and partly based on information collected in the attendee feedback form. I would want to see these repeated in future retreats:

What could have been better?

I think a few things about the retreat could have been better, and I would want to see these changes in future retreats:

Who funded the retreat?

We received funding from the EA Infrastructure Fund.

What should I do if I want to run a retreat?

First, check out the Notion page! Second, feel free to reach out to me (akashwasil133[at]gmail[dot]com), Harry Taussig (htaussig[at]haverford[dot]edu), and Olivia Jimenez (oliviajimenez01[at]gmail[dot]com) if you have any questions.

You can also read this summary of The Art of Gathering [EA · GW] or this Google Doc that Harry made before the retreat.

Can I see a montage video with moments from the retreat?

Yes, you can! (Credit to Diana Lim (UPenn) for making this).

 

I'm grateful to Harry Taussig, Olivia Jimenez, and Angelina Li for offering feedback on a draft of this post.

5 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by mic (michaelchen) · 2022-02-07T20:29:31.991Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Some attendees stated that, even after the retreat, they still felt underqualified or not competent enough. A few stated that they felt uncertain about how they could contribute, uncertain about their futures, and concerned about career stability.

What kinds of follow-up do you think would be ideal for these attendees?

comment by Jamie_Harris · 2022-03-12T08:49:38.464Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Do you have plans for follow-up on this retreat? Actually, since I'm reading this a month after it was posted; have you done any follow-up with these people already?

(Context for the question: I'm running an in person retreat and think that the question of what follow-up to do afterwards / whether we can encourage longer-term engagement is one of my biggest uncertainties.)

comment by Yi-Yang (yiyang) · 2022-02-06T01:09:05.412Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Lovely! 

Btw the Coat of Arms link is giving me an "Access denied" message. 

Replies from: Harry_Taussig
comment by Harry Taussig (Harry_Taussig) · 2022-02-06T22:01:58.141Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gk2vVgp6NJf15rGr9R_H68DGwpKgIPUvhkk7DCqUbL4/edit?usp=sharing

Sorry about that and thanks for pointing this out :)

Akash will update this soon!

Replies from: Akash
comment by Akash · 2022-02-07T17:27:18.871Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Updated-- thanks for pointing this out, yiyang!