Workshops to Improve Institutional Decision-Making in Government 2021-07-28T17:39:39.474Z
Can the moral circle be expanded through economic security and/or political trust? 2021-04-13T07:59:26.886Z
Looking for collaborators after last 80k podcast with Tristan Harris 2020-12-07T22:23:24.644Z
Donating against Short Term AI risks 2020-11-16T12:23:10.469Z


Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Department Voting · 2021-08-02T13:44:07.521Z · EA · GW

Great idea! I have a few questions:

  • Do you know similar voting methods that worked on a small scale?
  • What are the next steps in terms of research / action?
Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Is effective altruism growing? An update on the stock of funding vs. people · 2021-08-02T08:42:30.817Z · EA · GW

One comment regarding:

But the presence of the overhang makes them even more valuable. Finding an extra grantmaker or entrepreneur can easily unlock millions of dollars of grants that would otherwise be left invested.

If we really think that this is the case for EA / charity entrepreneurs I think we should consider the following:

We spend too little effort on recruiting entrepreneurial types in the movement. Being relatively new in the movement (coming in as an entrepreneur), I think we should foster a more entrepreneurial culture than we currently do. I know some fellow entrepreneurs that dropped out of / didn’t enter the movement because they felt EA is an intellectual endeavour with too little focus on actually doing something.

Adjacent to this argument I think that we should spend more resources on upskilling entrepreneurial EAs. Charity Entrepreneurship is doing a great job with their incubation program, but their current capacity is limited and there is definitely room for growth given the large interest in the program. In addition to this we should also encourage cheap tests of EA entrepreneurship within national / local chapters. Currently the focus is mainly on community building and running fellowships.

Entrepreneurial projects at local chapters are currently considered as nice-to-have and as a way to attract people to the community. But if Ben´s statement is true we should consider national groups as the breeding ground for entrepreneurs. They are the first part of the EA entrepreneur pipeline with a next possible step being CE´s incubation program or starting a charity right away. In this model local and national group leaders should support these aspiring entrepreneurs with advice and connections to other people in the movement. 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Is effective altruism growing? An update on the stock of funding vs. people · 2021-08-02T08:02:15.367Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this great post, I think a must read for everyone working in the EA meta space.

Some thoughts on the following: 

"I continue to think that jobs in government, academia, other philanthropic institutions and relevant for-profit companies (e.g. working on biotech) can be very high impact and great for career capital."

I think we sometimes forget that these jobs in developing countries usually pay quite well. I wouldn't see earning to give and working in these institutions as opposites. There are jobs that give career capital with earning to give potential ánd that have the ability to have impact (probably after some years). But we should do some more research into the most relevant roles and organisations outside of EA organisations.  E.g., I would expect massive difference in expected impact potential between working for the US Ministry of Education and the US Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

I know the Effective Institutions Project works on a framework to help us make thoughtful judgments about which institutions’ decisions we should most prioritize improving as well as what strategies are most likely to succeed at improving them.  But I think that is just the start: besides resources for (communication of) research on abovementioned topics, we also need to upskill EAs (and their colleagues) to make impact in these jobs and to accelerate their careers from a starter role to an impactful position. This would also enable growth of the EA movement as a whole, since there are plenty of positions giving career capital, E2G- and impact potential.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Improving Institutional Decision-Making: a new working group · 2021-04-12T17:02:57.944Z · EA · GW

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Introducing Ayuda Efectiva · 2021-02-04T08:00:19.780Z · EA · GW

In the Netherlands we have DonerEffectief, launched last year around May. 

Happy to share some of our experiences and very interested in your story as well Pablo.  We registered many effective charities to make them tax-deductible over the last year. According to this this status applies to residents of other EU-countries as well? 

Wondering if there are any other EU parties who want to capitalise on this? 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Improving Institutional Decision-Making: a new working group · 2021-01-19T20:12:16.517Z · EA · GW

We (EAN) run a large project around improving decision making at our MFA. We try to incorporate the newest insights from research, happy to talk. @Laura: I've reached out to you

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Lessons from my time in Effective Altruism · 2021-01-19T10:46:18.063Z · EA · GW

I think this should be an important part of a potential EA training institute, see

To have impact you need to have personal impact skills as well, besides object-level knowledge.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on How we promoted EA at a large tech company (v2.0) · 2021-01-14T08:18:59.837Z · EA · GW

Hi great report, thanks a lot! I think this is a very inspirational case. Congrats on the results! During presentations to young professionals I always mention your initiative. 

I will reach out to you to exchange experiences.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Kelsey Piper on "The Life You Can Save" · 2021-01-09T18:29:30.334Z · EA · GW

Nice, thanks. I use this message a lot during broader outreach outside of the EA world, I think it works!

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Are there EA-aligned organizations working on improving the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility/corporate giving strategies? · 2021-01-08T10:52:20.223Z · EA · GW

I've reached out to your email. We are working on a similar project in The Netherlands with EAN.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2021-01-06T07:21:00.481Z · EA · GW

Hi there,

I am a former management / strategy consultant (3 years) and currently entrepreneur (4 years now) of which the last year in the EA space (leading EA Netherlands) . I think we have a very similar profile

Happy to talk to you in June, I will send you my email in a pm!

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Looking for collaborators after last 80k podcast with Tristan Harris · 2020-12-10T10:31:46.853Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this! I've sent you an email. Especially regarding caveat #2 I believe you can help with relative little time and resources. 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Looking for collaborators after last 80k podcast with Tristan Harris · 2020-12-08T14:40:54.482Z · EA · GW

Thanks Barry, it would be great to have someone on the team who is able to give a verdict on the mental health / social media influence. Let me know if you have someone on your mind. I think working on that question should be a seperate work stream in this (small) GPR project.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Donating against Short Term AI risks · 2020-12-04T08:16:25.121Z · EA · GW

Great thanks! Did you already listen to 

New 80k episode, partially dedicated to this argument.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Donating against Short Term AI risks · 2020-12-04T08:15:34.120Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this , great stuff. I would add to these resources. 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on AI policy careers in the EU · 2020-11-23T21:52:32.161Z · EA · GW

Can you elaborate on the EU's AI Ethics guidelines case? What did they try and why didn't they succeed?

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Donating against Short Term AI risks · 2020-11-17T09:27:08.532Z · EA · GW

Thanks, great response kokotajlod. Do we have any views if there are already other EAs seriously investigating this, to see how probable and large the danger is and try to brainstorm tractible solutions?

At the moment I am quite packed with community building work for EA Netherlands but I would love to be in a smaller group to have some discussions about it. I am relatively new to this forum, what would be the best way to find collaborators for this?

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Donating against Short Term AI risks · 2020-11-16T15:28:31.387Z · EA · GW

Thanks! I would love to see more opinions on your first argument: 

  • Do we believe that there is no significant increase in X-risk? (no scale)
  • Do we believe there is nothing we can do about it (not solvable)
  • Do we believe there are many overfunded parties working on this issue (not neglected).
Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on EA Israel Strategy 2020-21 · 2020-10-13T15:46:41.171Z · EA · GW

Hi Sella and Gidon,

Great to read all this, thoughtful considerations on many topics. I think the EA Netherlands (EAN) strategy is comparable to yours and therefore I would love to collaborate in the future. First a few comments from our experience:

1) About direct work / broad scope of activities

I think the Dutch and Israeli mentality are very similar, people want to do stuff when they are part of a community. In addition to the pro direct-work arguments and goals you've mentioned I think you can add another goal of direct projects: changing the way people in "regular" business and government act.

E.g. Unilever is one of the largest food companies of the world and uses a lot of animal products. Changing the companies stance on animal welfare would have enormous impact. Of course, people can't do that alone. Therefore encourage people to start EA Communities within companies, sectors and government (example from another community: I spoke to George Howlett recently who coined the term workplace activism for this. He once started the EA Workplace Activism network which I would like to expand over the coming years.

We spark local business / government communities in multiple ways, ranging from lunchtime talks to young professionals to in-depth EA workshops to civil servants. These projects have direct effects (providing EA knowledge to influential people in Dutch society), but also indirect effects as growing our own community and putting attention on effective donations. These groups are usually way more affluent than students and are therefore also able to donate larger sums to effective charities. We just started on this project, but the first steps are promising.

I think focusing on business and government is more effective than focussing activities on existing (non-effective) charities. They are very hard to move in the right direction. Most of the times they even don´t focus on the right cause are, something that is even harder to change.

In addition I would like to stress that direct work is never a substitute for classic community building work, e.g. high quality events, fellowships, book clubs and all kind of other activities we also work on here.

2) University groups / funnel

CEA's recent focus on university groups is spot on in my opinion. Before the change of focus we already decided to spend quite some time kickstarting local university groups (The Netherlands has a relative large numbers of good universities). We help them providing our network, advice and knowledge. This is something we definitely will continue working on.

However, I still believe national groups are key to keep people engaged with EA after they graduated. Higher educated people often move to other cities after graduation and are probably interested in other types of EA communities and activities, something that university groups can´t offer. National groups are able to fill this gap. In that way Effective Altruism can overcome the status of youth movement (

University groups also cause a clear division between the younger university groups and the older national groups. I think that university groups make the national group more attractive to older groups, because it has the potential of increasing the average group age of national groups. Reason for this could be that young professionals are usually more reluctant to meet students that other young professionals.

3) Leadership structure

Our structure is a bit different. We have three board members with a seasoned history in EA. They have limited capacity (time-wise) but a well-developed EA network, experience and knowledge. The board gives advice to the management team, but also oversees the long term strategy of EAN.

Marieke and I form the management team. We have (for EA standards) quite some professional experience with on average ~10 years of working experience in multiple sectors. EAN shares the same goals as you: I am mainly responsible for direct projects and Marieke mainly for EA Community and Network. We get help from a heavily involved core team and many other amazing volunteers to work on these two goals.

I feel this structure offers the right checks and balances and gives us room to scale in the future. Our only current bottleneck to this is a lack of funding, something that still occupies a lot of management’s time. We need to change this soon if we want to sustain our current level of activities, let alone to grow the activities and to improve quality.

I am definitely open sharing materials and experiences, but also would love to hear more from you, especially about the way you measure all your metrics. We could learn a lot from that. Good luck!

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Revamping Existing Charities · 2020-08-12T13:05:50.668Z · EA · GW

I am really intested to hear if some of this was implemented in a concrete project? We as Effective Altruism Netherlands receive an increasing amount of requests from very skilled people (e.g. from finance, data science, legal professions and change management) who want to contribute to existing charities. We are currently talking to effective charities to see if they need skilled volunteers, but I have strong doubts they can meet all the demand from skilled volunteers.

Letting them work at existing less effective charities, making them more effective, could be worthwile for the reasons mentioned in this post. We can provide volunteers with some formal training and standardized methods to ensure high quality. I´ve looked into Benjamin Todd´s post and we could try to collaborate with one of the organisation mentioned there.

Does anyone here have any shareable experiences on this?