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Introducing Training for Good (TFG) 2021-10-06T16:59:20.239Z

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Comment by Cillian Crosson (cilliancrosson@gmail.com) on Introducing Training for Good (TFG) · 2021-10-08T11:59:42.515Z · EA · GW

Your specific idea for an entrepreneurship training programme for high-schoolers sounds like a really interesting one.

I'm somewhat sceptical that such a programme targeting high-schoolers is the right approach to solving this skill gap though. The entrepreneurship gap seems like an important but difficult one to solve (eg. see Longtermist Entrepreneurship Project). Charity Entrepreneurship has had success in this area, but they've typically targeted graduates & people further along in their career. I would imagine that most high-schoolers would neither be in a position to found an organisation right away or have the necessary skills to do so. 

It's definitely possible that such a programme could help develop skills for high-schoolers (perhaps even by founding and running their own small-scale project) in the hope that they'd later use these to found an organisation. However, in this case, it seems very difficult to assess the success of the programme (as the feedback loops would be quite long) and I'd suspect that very few trainees would ultimately go on to found high impact organisations. 

I definitely could be wrong here though and would be interested to hear your thoughts?

Comment by Cillian Crosson (cilliancrosson@gmail.com) on Introducing Training for Good (TFG) · 2021-10-08T11:38:51.806Z · EA · GW

Great question Jack! 

We don't have much data on the tractability of convincing mid-career professionals to switch into EA careers (though we'd be excited to see any evidence supporting or contradicting this if it exists).  Our main reason for targeting mid-career professionals over promising high-schoolers is that we think the information value of doing so is higher. This group possesses a lot of relevant skills and has typically been quite neglected by EA outreach, so we're excited to test out this approach. If we found that drawing experienced professionals into EA career paths was very tractable, we could envisage running similar programmes in the future to fill many other skill gaps.

I do agree that week-long retreats engaging promising high-schoolers seem really valuable though. There's quite a few programmes like this already (eg. SPARC, ESPR and Leaf ) and Open Philanthropy is excited to fund more such projects if others are interested in pursuing this!