Posts

Suggest activities for the EA Picnic 2021-06-18T01:22:05.875Z
Applications are open for EAGxVirtual 2020 2020-05-16T07:56:57.439Z
EA Global Live Broadcast 2020-03-20T21:47:05.353Z
Virtual EA Global: News and updates from CEA 2020-03-17T02:40:03.766Z
The EA events ecosystem: How to get more involved (as a participant) 2020-01-27T11:51:18.798Z
The EA events ecosystem: How to get more involved (as an organizer) 2020-01-27T11:42:16.407Z
Applications for EA Global: London 2019 are now open 2019-07-11T11:18:45.251Z
Save the dates for EA Global: San Francisco & London 2018-02-22T16:16:11.142Z
Applications are open for EA Global Boston 2017-04-01T16:01:18.215Z
Save the Date for EA Global Boston and San Francisco 2017-03-04T03:29:44.296Z
EAG 2017 Boston Update: moved to June 2017-01-23T19:03:51.669Z
EA Global 2017 Update 2016-12-06T16:10:31.148Z
Review of EA Global 2016 2016-09-20T15:51:03.917Z

Comments

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Suggested norms about financial aid for EAG(x) · 2021-09-23T01:27:03.672Z · EA · GW

Thanks for raising this! We've adjusted the wording over time but still haven't hit on something that ideally conveys the different things we'd suggest to people in different circumstances.

Here's what I think we'd suggest to people in different situations:

  • student or professional with low income who wants to come - yes, take the financial aid and come
  • professional with significant income but who's committed to giving significantly to effective charities, or who has other significant expenses (health, family, student debt) that make money tight, and who wants to come - yes, take the financial aid and come
  • person of any income who thinks it wouldn't be that good for them to come (doesn't think they would enjoy it much, doesn't think it would improve their career or donation decisions, doesn't think it would strengthen their motivation / commitment, doesn't think they'd be able to help other people at the conference) - no, leave the spot for someone else, even if you can easily afford it
  • person who wants to come and the price doesn't give them serious pause - come and buy your own ticket

Would adding something like that to the FAQ address some of your concerns?

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Concern about the EA London COVID protocol · 2021-09-02T19:44:01.484Z · EA · GW

Thanks for your reply! I've responded to your points separately below:

As I understand it, these two measures are more safety theater than anything else - it seems that almost all transmission is through the air, not through surfaces. But it would be good to hear about ventilation: getting lots of fresh air is one of the most effect ways of reducing transmission.

Great point about ventilation, I've added that to the protocol. See my reply to the OP:

Missing safety measures

The venue does provide surface cleaning and hand sanitizer stations, and we considered including that information in the protocol, but we worried that listing excessive detail would contribute to “safety theater” so we cut it from the final copy. We decided to focus on highlighting the policies that we think are most likely to contribute to safety, rather than giving attendees a false sense of security by highlighting precautionary measures that we think don’t add much. You can find more details on the venue safety protocols here

We failed to mention that the ventilation system at the venue brings in fresh air from outside (rather than recycled air) and has filters that are changed weekly. Windows will be opened to provide additional ventilation where possible (depending on the weather). In addition, the venue capacity is 1,200 in some configurations. We are only having 500 attendees, which is a 23% reduction compared to EA Global: London 2019. I’ve added this information to the protocol. 

Finally, I realize this is probably futile given venue restrictions, but as far as I'm aware one dose of J&J is not more effective than one dose of Pfizer or Moderna. If you're going to accept a single shot of J&J, why not also a single shot of Pfizer? Conversely, some other vaccines (e.g. Sinopharm) seem much less effective - does it really make sense to give people full credit for those? Or is there an implicit restriction on which vaccines are accepted based on e.g. MHRA approval?
 

We discussed this with our COVID Advisory Board, and they acknowledged that vaccine efficacy varies and the data is shifting. But we don’t feel up to doing our own vaccine assessment, and we’ve decided to follow the UK government’s policy here as a bright line.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Concern about the EA London COVID protocol · 2021-09-02T18:46:54.290Z · EA · GW

Hi James,

Thanks very much for sharing this feedback. 

We mentioned in the protocol that “We considered the venue rules, UK and London requirements, and World Health Organization’s guidelines when drafting this protocol. We also used these resources to draft questions for our COVID Advisory Board.

Some of the complication comes from cases where the rules from these different bodies are different from what our COVID Advisory Board recommended. The various rules and recommendations shaped the policies,  but we didn’t explain our reasoning for some of the decisions and I think some of our language was confusing - sorry about that. 
 

I’ve responded to each of your main points below.


Are negative tests sufficient?

We have updated the protocol to clarify that attendees must be fully vaccinated. To enter the conference venue, they must provide proof of full vaccination. In some cases, the venue might consider the vaccine card inadequate (for example, if the card is from another country without a certified translation). In this case, attendees will also need proof of an officially-logged negative lateral flow test. 

Will contractors be vaccinated?

We’ve requested that all contractors and onsite employees are fully vaccinated. However, the venue expressed concern that they might be prohibited from agreeing due to UK employment discrimination laws, and we haven’t been able to secure agreement yet. We have escalated our request to the venue’s CEO and we’re waiting to hear back. If they don’t agree to fully vaccinated staff, they will require negative lateral flow tests as a minimum.

Can children attend?

We are continuing to monitor the situation and don’t plan to commit to a policy on children until closer to the event. Any parents who might wish to bring their children to EA Global can inform us when purchasing their ticket, and this information will help us to make a final decision.

Why are masks not compulsory?

We may revisit this policy but we’re not currently planning to require masks. We will encourage the wearing of masks and have them widely available onsite but we don’t plan to police their use (and thus don’t want attendees to attend with the expectation of strict mask protocols). The latest Government guidance asks the public to use their own judgement in deciding where they should wear one.  

Missing safety measures

The venue does provide surface cleaning and hand sanitizer stations, and we considered including that information in the protocol, but we worried that listing excessive detail would contribute to “safety theater” so we cut it from the final copy. We decided to focus on highlighting the policies that we think are most likely to contribute to safety, rather than giving attendees a false sense of security by highlighting precautionary measures that we think don’t add much. You can find more details on the venue safety protocols here

We failed to mention that the ventilation system at the venue brings in fresh air from outside (rather than recycled air) and has filters that are changed weekly. Windows will be opened to provide additional ventilation where possible (depending on the weather). In addition, the venue capacity is 1,200 in some configurations. We are only having 500 attendees, which is a 23% reduction compared to EA Global: London 2019. I’ve added this information to the protocol. 

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Concern about the EA London COVID protocol · 2021-09-02T10:31:43.671Z · EA · GW

Thanks for sharing your concerns. I’ll reply more later (baby is still sleeping on me!) but I wanted to quickly clarify that everyone must be fully vaccinated. The venue may not accept some vaccine cards so the testing backup option is for those limited cases. Sorry that wasn’t clear.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-06-04T18:23:43.787Z · EA · GW

I think this varies based on the team. My team (Events) is very strong on Alliance Mentality and Purpose First. I think we could improve on Perpetual Beta, which is why we are emphasizing skills related to impact analysis and program evaluation in our current hiring round. 

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-27T11:30:29.306Z · EA · GW

One thing that CEA recently changed was to go from thinking about the org as "based in Oxford with remote staff" to "remote first".  As someone who has been a remote employee for many years now, I'm excited about this change.  What it means in practice, is that even after the pandemic ends

  • One-person-one-laptop for meetings
  • Coworking
  • Informal/social time
  • Systems to encourage +  support travel

I'm especially excited about that last bullet point. I remember January 2016 as one of the best months of my life because I worked for weeks at the Oxford office. It was Julia's first time visiting too and so I got to know her, Will, Rob, Michelle, and lots of other CEA / 80K staff. It will probably be a bit harder now that I have kids, but I'm really excited imagining a work setup that involves the opportunity to go work with my team and other EAs at the Oxford Hub! 
 

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-26T17:03:39.952Z · EA · GW

Oh, those were good too! Definitely loved the bake-off. My team’s name of Nick Bakestead was one for the books.

I also really liked the EA themed rap battle. Even though I epically choked trying to freestyle, the raps from Aaron and Louis made up for it!

And I liked when Stefan did spot on impersonations of other staff members. I think he really nailed me, Oli, and Tara!

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-26T16:38:42.343Z · EA · GW

Some things we do to support and improve staff morale:

  • We have weekly "Game Time" where we play a drawing game
  • We used to have in-person retreats and will again soon (which always involve a lot of silliness, including karaoke for those who enjoy it), this year we have also had various virtual events for the team, including a murder mystery type game and an elaborate clues-based game in Gather Town
  • We have had some dress-up days for staff birthdays, including one day where we all dressed up as different characters from a card game that one of our staff is good at
  • This year for my birthday the team collaborated on a poem where they said something nice about me for every letter of the alphabet (it was awesome!)
  • We have various slack channels that encourage bonding: a silliness slack channel (where we post memes, jokes, Ben's tik toks...), a support slack, high fives to compliment others, "I done good" to brag, mindfulness, workout, and pair debugging to support good habits, etc
  • Different staff organize other meetings that are optional: I'm involved in a monthly "action for happiness" meeting and a weekly "accountability" meeting
  • We have other opportunities for 1:1s: we optionally get paired every couple weeks in Donut for "fun on ones" and have occasional Icebreaker 1:1s in Gatheround
  • We have a budget for personal development and morale-supporting items like SAD lamps, monitors, etc
  • Managers check in on staff morale weekly and our People Ops checks in with polling and reaches out or provides support by request for folks who need it
  • We do a "cheer" at the end of every All Hands where we all say the same word to end the meeting, selected by our "cheer tsar" - and Max always says "can the cheer tsar tell us what the cheers are"
Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-25T18:33:45.676Z · EA · GW

We also have had a bunch of workshops to help folks build their rationality toolkit: including workshops on forecasting and Fermi estimates as well as Center for Applied Rationality and Clearer Thinking content. 

I also include practical application of rationality tools in events training. For example, the project management presentation that I'll be giving at our EAGx team training this Thursday includes a handful of rationality tools in a ~15-minute presentation (including planning fallacy, Murphyjitsu, inside vs outside view, and back planning). 

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-24T20:33:22.376Z · EA · GW

The events team tries to feature content and promote community norms that maintain/improve the community's epistemics. 

Examples of content (these are just a few talks of many): 


A few things we have done to try to influence norms:

  • I have calls with almost every speaker where we discuss their talk and how they will present it. I encourage them to use reasoning transparency in their presentation 
  • At welcome talks at the start of the event, I've encouraged folks to be open to changing their minds, to seek out ideas that they think they disagree with and try to engage with them, and to try to pass Ideological Turing Tests of attendees they disagree with
  • We bought copies of The Scout Mindset by Julia Galef to hand out at the EA Picnic, coming up in July :) 
     
Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-24T12:32:40.292Z · EA · GW

Three years ago I think there was a lot of internal disagreement about the strategy. It doesn’t feel that way now. I have some disagreements with teammates now and then, but it feels like we basically agree on the direction of the company.

We also had significant teammate turnover 5 years ago and 3 years ago. I now expect teammates to stick around longer and expect leadership to stay in place for longer. This means I have more confidence that our strategy will stay the same, rather than the frequent strategy changes we saw when leadership changed so many times.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-24T12:22:00.022Z · EA · GW

I’ll answer from an events perspective:

I think we could be doing a lot more to support community building using events! This is one reason I’m so excited about the two roles I posted for my team.

In particular, I’m always inspired by how well EAGx teams do. We provide them a bit of support, mentorship, and money and they create events that can be quite impactful. One of the events roles we posted, the Community Events Manager, is meant to take this to the next level by supporting a portfolio of community run events (which could include a wide range of events formats!). We have seen community members take initiative to run things on their own with very little money and support and this feels awesome and like a shame. I’m impressed with what folks have been able to do on there own, but it seems like we are leaving value on the table by not helping community run events more. I’m hopeful that we will find someone who can fix that!

I also think our internal events could do more with the right person, which is why we posted a pretty broad second job of Events Generalist. I think I’ve fallen down by not doing as much as impact analysis on events as I could. In my perfect world I would add someone to the team who could help me with that. But even adding another team member who could help run targeted retreats or scale up our mentorship around events or a variety of other things would mean we could invest more in the community. I’m hopeful that we will find someone who can help us do that!

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-24T12:07:09.468Z · EA · GW

I love my job a lot. I think the biggest positive for me is hearing impact stories from the events where people get some amazing connection or opportunity as a result of attending. From a pure enjoyment standpoint I am a sucker for the feeling when an event starts and I get to see all of the excited EAs who have come to attend this thing that my team worked so hard to make for them. There are moments when people start streaming in and it is so busy with activity during registration and everyone looks so happy... it feels like when you buy someone a present that you know they will like and you get to watch them open it!

I used to find the criticism from the community to be a bit hard, but now I have a much thicker skin and better relationship with the feedback. I think part of that comes from having more time, so that if we get negative feedback about something it is a data point about something where we made a decision to do one way or the other. I still feel stress when I think I underperform on something because the stakes feel so high.

In the past I traveled quite a bit for work. At the time that was a positive for me. I’m not sure if it will be as much of a positive now that I have two kids. We will see pretty soon!

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism · 2021-05-24T11:56:11.119Z · EA · GW

I agree that a lot has changed!

Five years ago CEA was only had a couple of staff members and was more of an “umbrella organization” to incubate other projects. My ops role was with “CEA core” and my events role was with EA Outreach (one of the projects we supported, which no longer exists as a separate org). Julia was on the EA outreach team at that time along with a handful of teammates - I don’t think anyone else on the current team worked with us at the time. During my first 6 months or so at CEA, EAO merged with CEA core.

In terms of culture, five years ago it felt much more like CEA was a startup. I think teammates were much more stretched then: I worked two roles at once (Director of US Operations and Head of Events), and the people I managed were working on different projects. And many of the EAO teammates were part time. That meant I worked lots of hours and still couldn’t always execute at the level I would have liked.

Now I have a team of people helping with events (see our post, we are hiring!). And a whole different team manages Operations. This helps us improve our execution. CEA has also shifted to a culture that emphasizes self care more. I feel more able to take time off now because I have a team around me, which helps because I have two very young kids (2 yo and 4 months old). Julia managed this back in the old days but I don’t think I could have at the time.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Student Summit Question · 2020-10-23T19:21:57.299Z · EA · GW

Hello! The aim of this event is to be open to students who are familiar with the basic ideas of EA, and to non-students who are also familiar with the basic ideas of EA and want to mentor students.

We accepted around 95% of student applicants to this event. In most cases where we did not accept a student’s application, the reason was that they provided so little information that we could not tell if they were familiar with EA. In some cases where we rejected applications from non-students, it was because they indicated they were primarily interested in networking, etc rather than mentoring students which is the focus of this event.

In the case of students who indicated very little knowledge about EA, we sent them a message saying they weren’t currently accepted and offering them suggested readings on EA if they wanted to learn more and then re-apply. We offered this until shortly before the application deadline.

We heard from a few people who didn’t notice their acceptance email because of the folder it went to in their inbox we recommend checking all the folders if you’re expecting a response from us and haven’t heard back!

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Applications are open for EAGxVirtual 2020 · 2020-05-25T14:03:51.404Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the feedback, Tyler!

To clarify: most of these questions aren’t actually *application/registration* questions for the event. Rather, they are meant to help us gather information about the community, and most are optional. I notice that you applied on May 12th - we have since gotten feedback that we should clarify that point, so we tried to make a clear distinction between the small number of application questions and the larger number of information-gathering questions. Half of the attendees got an especially long application form and shorter registration form, where the other half got a long registration form and shorter application form.

We hope to use this information to understand the different types of users that we attract and what kinds of content and interactions provide the most value, to help us get a better sense of the value EA Global and CEA as a whole provide the community.

I hope the length of the application doesn’t serve as too much of a deterrent. We don’t have many barriers to entry for this event (ticket prices are on a sliding scale starting at $5, and we expect to admit most applicants who aren’t completely new to EA), and we are hoping it can be the biggest event yet. So far, we have more than 1000 applications, so it looks like we could be on track! I look forward to seeing you there.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Virtual EA Global: News and updates from CEA · 2020-03-21T19:03:58.576Z · EA · GW

Thank you! Yes, the individual videos are all scheduled to go live immediately after the conference.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Virtual EA Global: News and updates from CEA · 2020-03-18T16:07:24.259Z · EA · GW

Thanks for your kind words and for your question! We have a mix of content that we are testing:

  • AMA’s: folks asked questions on the Forum and we are conducting and recording interviews today
  • Talks: most of the talks are new recordings, which we will record today
  • “Greatest hits”: we are also showing two recordings from past EA Global conferences as a test
  • My welcome talk and the MC hosting by Nathan will be done live from our home in Detroit

We are trying to test a few different content types so that we can learn as much as we can for possible future events and to hopefully find some virtual content types that people really like! The videos will be combined with our live hosting via a live stream this weekend. This should mean that we can post the videos on YouTube sooner.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Virtual EA Global: News and updates from CEA · 2020-03-18T14:02:57.754Z · EA · GW

Thank you!

Yes, this time the virtual meeting rooms are limited to folks who registered for EA Global SF. This type of event is all new to us and we decided to limit the matchmaking tool for now so that we can test the format and work out the bugs. I hope it works well! If it does I’ll be excited to explore rolling it out to more people later in the year.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on AMA: Toby Ord, author of "The Precipice" and co-founder of the EA movement · 2020-03-17T04:12:57.402Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the comment! Toby is going to do a written AMA on the Forum later in the year too. This one is timed so that we can have video answers during Virtual EA Global.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Applications for EA Global: London 2019 are now open · 2019-07-11T20:13:41.878Z · EA · GW

Thanks!

This year we did set a higher price, which more accurately reflects the cost of putting on the event. But it’s important to us that the ticket price not block attendees from coming, so we’re continuing the use of discount codes. We hope that people will use the discounts if that’s what makes it practical for them to attend (even if they are not low-income but are, for example, prioritizing donation).

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Problems with EA representativeness and how to solve it · 2018-08-08T22:41:49.422Z · EA · GW

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for your comment. To improve the breadth of EAA topics covered at EA Global, I started working with Tyler John as my first advisor in 2017. This year we have an advisory board consisting of ~25 people outside of CEA with expertise in AI, animals, biosecurity, global health & development, horizon scanning (topics that push the frontiers of EA), and meta EA, as well as a “wild card” section for additional suggestions. I’d need to check with the rest of the advisors before sharing their names.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Problems with EA representativeness and how to solve it · 2018-08-08T14:44:36.954Z · EA · GW

I agree that our selection process for animal-focused speakers in 2015 and 2016 left a lot to be desired. In 2017 we began working with advisors from specific fields to be sure we’re reaching out to speakers with expertise on the topics that conference attendees most want to hear about. This year we’ve expanded to a larger advisory board with the hope that we can continue to improve the EA Global content.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Problems with EA representativeness and how to solve it · 2018-08-04T02:17:19.574Z · EA · GW

Joey, thanks for your post! I work for CEA and am the Curator of EA Global. I manage content for the event so I’m responding to that part of the post.

When deciding which speakers to solicit, I try to consider things like cause area representation, presenter diversity, and the development of community norms, among other things. It is really hard to get this right, and I know that I’ve fallen short of where I’d like to be on all of these.

I do think we’ve managed to improve on the representativeness dimension over the past couple of years. I know there’s room for reasonable disagreement about how to categorize talks, and I think you and I must be looking at the talk categories differently because I’m coming up with a very different distribution than you mention. For talks at EA Global 2018, I count 21% animals, 18% meta/rationality, 25% AI/x-risk/GCRs, 14% global health and development, 7% government/policy and 14% other topics. Across the four events in 2017 and 2018, my breakdown shows 15% animals, 20% AI/x-risk/GCRs, 14% health and development, 11% government/policy, 23% meta/rationality, and 19% other. Here is a link to a categorization of all of the talks from 2017 and 2018 by cause area so that you can see how I’m thinking about the talk distribution (in the interest of time, and since you mentioned talks, I haven’t included meetups, office hours, workshops, or whiteboard sessions). I haven’t done the breakdown for 2015 and 2016, but I think we are representing the community’s interests better in recent years than we did in the past.

This year I’ve commissioned recommendations from EAs with subject matter expertise in the different cause areas to try to improve further. We also welcome speaker and content suggestions from the community. Please submit ideas for EA Global London here.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Applications are open for EA Global Boston · 2017-04-03T20:22:02.946Z · EA · GW

If you mean "how much is an individual applicant likely to get," again, we really don't want price to keep people away. We have some discounts available right on the registration page for $20, $50, and $100 off and we ask that people let us know if they need additional assistance. We posted them and asked that people only take what they need because our ability to discount tickets is not unlimited and we want our financial aid to be able to stretch to everyone who needs it. So please let us know when you're registering how much aid you need.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Applications are open for EA Global Boston · 2017-04-03T16:11:08.447Z · EA · GW

You're right. Updated. Thanks!

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Applications are open for EA Global Boston · 2017-04-03T15:14:19.691Z · EA · GW

Our Early Bird tickets go through April 30th (and we greatly appreciate early applications). I have a call with catering tomorrow, so I should have an update on when they need our final numbers, but I'm encouraging people to get them in soon if at all possible.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Save the Date for EA Global Boston and San Francisco · 2017-03-20T19:53:48.475Z · EA · GW

Wow, great catch! Yes, I'm finalizing the contract today.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2017-03-20T19:52:59.925Z · EA · GW

Yes, the update is here: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/17z/save_the_date_for_ea_global_boston_and_san/

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2017-03-20T19:52:20.263Z · EA · GW

Even though we have already resolved this issue, I thought I'd leave my contact information here in case anyone has a similar issue in the future: amy@centreforeffectivealtruism.org

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2017-03-20T19:51:40.906Z · EA · GW

This should be up to date now, thanks!

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2017-03-20T19:51:13.153Z · EA · GW

I'm sorry about the delay! I wanted to comment here just in case you haven't seen the update: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/17z/save_the_date_for_ea_global_boston_and_san/

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Save the Date for EA Global Boston and San Francisco · 2017-03-19T19:16:44.238Z · EA · GW

Thanks for saving the dates!

Part of the reason that we are hosting EA Global 2017 in three locations is that we hope to include people from different communities. I am looking at a variety of venues and working to confirm the EA Global UK dates. I hope to have an update on that before too long.

Unfortunately, due to some staffing changes, we have had a bit of a delay this year in launching the EAGx application process. I hope to hire someone to help with the EAGx events soon so that we can ramp up the process and confirm some additional events. We post upcoming events here: https://www.eaglobal.org/events/

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Save the Date for EA Global Boston and San Francisco · 2017-03-19T19:09:23.360Z · EA · GW

I'm currently uncertain about whether I think the live stream provides sufficient value above what is available from recording and posting the videos.

Last year, we received useful data on the live stream views:

Day 1: 914 views (average view time 14.76 minutes) Day 2: 575 views (average view time 17.8 minutes)

We were interested in the live stream in large part because we expected that it would provide access for people who were not local that could not make the event. Interestingly, the majority of video views were from the United States (660) -- particularly in California (279) -- followed by the UK (158).

I'm in negotiations with the video company, and I'll need to see how the costs and staffing requirements trade off against other things that we could offer. I'll update once I finalize the contract.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Save the Date for EA Global Boston and San Francisco · 2017-03-19T18:32:01.812Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the question! I am working on the application and I hope to launch next week. I'll post on the Forum and at eaglobal.org as soon as it is up.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2017-02-28T16:14:33.352Z · EA · GW

So sorry for the delay!

Yes, they are different events. That is the EAGx Boston from last year. This year we will hold one of the three main EAG events in the Boston area. I expect the contract today so I will be able to announce dates shortly.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2016-12-13T20:54:24.521Z · EA · GW

Thanks for your question!

First, I should clarify that the event descriptions aren’t meant to suggest that the focus / themes will be the only thing discussed at the conference. We expect to have people who are interested in all of these things to all of the conferences. We will have workshops and community driven content, some core EA concepts, and some things that would fall into the category of “pushing the frontiers” at each.

We have themes because it is helpful for focussing the events, for getting people excited, and for encouraging people to attend more than one event. Having themes also allows us to attract more potential EAs who might not attend a “standard EA conference”. Our themes selections are based on the geographic locations to some degree: the Bay Area hosted the main event for a number of years and seems well-suited for community driven content, Boston / Cambridge is home to Harvard, MIT, MIT Media Lab, Tufts, etc and London / Oxford is home of philosophical EA.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2016-12-13T20:50:55.993Z · EA · GW

Thanks for your interest!

We will be posting updates here, at eaglobal.org, and in the EA Newsletter (you can sign up at effectivealtruism.org).

If you’d like to provide additional feedback or planning help outside of what is available on the forms, please email hello@eaglobal.org.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on EA Global 2017 Update · 2016-12-07T17:10:39.104Z · EA · GW

Thanks for your question and for nominating a speaker! I've updated the form to include a request for contact information.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Review of EA Global 2016 · 2016-10-20T15:38:43.488Z · EA · GW

Update: after comparing the location data alongside the attendee and registration data and also considering the location survey results and other factors, we are leaning towards having three distinct events. It remains true that this will likely be more expensive for CEA, but, it seems that it is likely worth the cost on balance.

I will post more extensively on this soon and hope to firm up the locations in the next few weeks. We are tentatively thinking of Boston / Cambridge, London / Oxford, and the Bay Area spread out over many months, possibly with one in the spring, one in the summer, and one in the fall.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Review of EA Global 2016 · 2016-10-19T09:15:59.690Z · EA · GW

Thanks! I'm glad you found it useful.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Review of EA Global 2016 · 2016-09-23T15:25:40.691Z · EA · GW
  1. We are certainly not set on August. This year we were open to different summer months and ended up selecting August based on a number of factors, particularly the venue availability. Next year we expect to weigh the venue availability, top choice speaker schedules, conflicting events, academic calendars, staff availability, and other factors. Is there a reason that you prefer July?

  2. Thanks!

  3. See Oliver Habryka's comment.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Review of EA Global 2016 · 2016-09-23T15:15:38.031Z · EA · GW

To be clear, we haven't made a final plan. As a team, we're having discussions about additional in-person events because we're trying to be sure we're not missing something that we should consider. I would be happy to hear thoughts about which of the options sound most appealing, and will also consider other suggestions.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Review of EA Global 2016 · 2016-09-22T14:16:31.958Z · EA · GW

Now that we have a dedicated Events Team, we are considering additional in-person events. Things currently under discussion are EA Salons, EA Global Reunions, additional large scale events in various locations with different focuses (for example, one that is more curated and one that is like a convention or unconference), and provision of greater support for EAGx teams so that they can improve their own events.

One concern we have with the idea of hosting multiple large and substantially similar EA Global events is that we expect that fewer people will come to the main event or to the nearby EAGx events in different locations (for example, we have heard concerns that the plans for a large EAGx Oxford might cause fewer attendees in some of the other EAGx conferences in Europe). Also, the financial and logistical costs of hosting an event do not scale linearly. So, hosting two 500+ person events would add a large amount of additional work for the team, and many of the large costs, such as AV, venue, and speaker costs, would remain mostly the same (unless we reduced the complexity and content in addition to the number of attendees).

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Review of EA Global 2016 · 2016-09-22T14:04:00.654Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the feedback! We'd absolutely be open to holding the event in a low-cost location if community members indicate that they are willing to make the trip and it makes sense in terms of expected savings (I have added this to the survey form). Based on my experience running events in various locations -- NYC, Bay Area, SLC, and Michigan -- the 5X estimate seems high, but there is definitely a meaningful difference and this could be a good idea. I live in Detroit, Michigan, and I expect that with my connections in the local community I would be able to get access to venues and catering at reduced rates. Aside from the fear that EAs would not make the trip, my biggest concern with having an event here, or in another medium-sized city with a relatively low number of EAs, is the cost to the EA community in terms of lost time spent traveling. Oliver Habryka has done Fermi estimates on the costs and it seems that even with conservative estimates of the value of each individual’s time, the costs likely outweigh the potential savings.

Comment by Amy Labenz (AmyLabenz) on Review of EA Global 2016 · 2016-09-20T19:05:21.341Z · EA · GW

Thanks! This is an important point that we are also considering.

When I produced the Singularity Summits we alternated between NY and SF. For EA Global, it is hard to say what the right decision is. We hope that having a number EAGx events in different cities will help build communities outside of our most heavily concentrated areas. At the same time, we want to draw from different pools for the large gathering as well. We plan to have a number of team discussions about this question over the next month, and also plan to consider feedback from the survey form.