Posts

Guiding civil servants to Improve Institutional Decision-Making through an ‘Impact Challenge’ 2022-07-01T13:37:10.704Z
Announcing the EU Tech Policy Fellowship 2022-03-30T08:15:36.903Z
4 lessons from EAs working in European policy 2022-01-26T11:36:29.048Z
Introducing Training for Good (TFG) 2021-10-06T16:59:20.239Z
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

Comments

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Most Ivy-smart students aren't at Ivy-tier schools · 2022-08-07T10:01:20.338Z · EA · GW

I think well-roundedness is maybe unfavorable for some EAs (mainly in academia), but not for a majority of EAs.

My experience from observing some of my most successful friends in non-EA orgs (policy roles, consulting, PE etc.) is that well-roundedness is a good predictor of success. Of course, no scientific proof, but you can imagine that abilities as quickly understanding social norms, showing grit, and manoeuvring in complex social (not purely intellectual) environments help you in those careers. These are things that you (partially) practice and learn in sports, board roles and some type of work you can do in college.

If you believe that you need a group of "insiders" in government and other influential organisations to progress change you should prioritise well-roundedness for a majority as well. I also think the skills above are incredibly useful in order to successfully lobby the organisations we are interested in, something a lot of EA-orgs eventually focus on as well.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on The Operations team at CEA transforms · 2022-08-03T09:29:30.774Z · EA · GW

Amazing update thanks. Very much interested in your fiscal sponsorship model, is it possible to indicate interest already?

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Paths to Impact for EA Working Professionals · 2022-06-09T16:35:48.099Z · EA · GW

Curious to hear what your current intuitions and latest updates in beliefs are on:

  1. What the most promising / impactful path is for most private sector professionals from those described above 
  2. Where HIP could add most value for professionals looking at this map and if you eventually want to focus on a subset of activities
  3. The most pressing bottlenecks that professionals face that prevents them from having / maximising impact 
Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Free-spending EA might be a big problem for optics and epistemics · 2022-04-13T07:45:20.975Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this clear write-up and as many others, I definitely share some of your worries. I liked it that you wrote that the extra influx of money could make the CB-position accessible to people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, since this point seems to be a bit neglected in EA discussions.

I think it is true for many other impactful career paths that decent wages and/or some financial security (e.g. smoothening career transitions with stipends) could help to widen the pool of potential applicants, e.g. to more people from less fortunate socioeconomic backgrounds. Don't forget that many people in the lower and lower-middle income class are raised with the idea that it is important to take care of your own financial security. I have plenty of anecdotes from people in that group that didn't pursue an EA career in the past, because the wage gap and the worries about financial insecurity were just too large. I see multiple advantages coming from widening the pool to people from lower / lower middle socioeconomic classes:

  1. Given that there is also a lot of talent in lower / lower middle socioeconomic classes, you will finally be able to attract more of them. This will increase the overall talent level in the community.
  2. It could make the EA community less "elitist", which has many instrumental advantages as well, e.g. on the public perception. In my collaborations with third parties outside of the EA movement, I often receive questions on TFG's / EA's stance on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Having a less elitist movement would make it easier to collaborate with parties outside of the movement.
  3. Diversity in terms of backgrounds could lead to a larger diversity of thought and this could potentially help us find new cause areas or improve our understanding of causes like poverty.
Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Announcing the EU Tech Policy Fellowship · 2022-03-30T11:33:41.510Z · EA · GW

Hi Tessa,  although biorisks can be included in risks coming from high-priority emerging technologies, we decided for this round to focus on AI / cybersecurity risks for placements and therefore also for our training content. 

After the program we will re-evaluate and possibly re-run the program including expansion to other areas (as biorisks). We will announce this on the Forum and feel free to subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on What are academic disciplines, movements or organisations that you think EA should try to learn more from? · 2022-03-23T13:45:26.275Z · EA · GW

Hi Aryeh, really interested in this as well. Can you link me to any literature, experts, videos, software etc. that you deem valuable from DA?

Would be really useful for future training programs from Training For Good!

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on [deleted post] 2022-03-23T13:39:52.568Z

Wow! Spot-on Adam, I wanted to respond to this question but no need to anymore after reading this

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Policy Work in the European Parliament - Impressions from my Internship · 2022-03-16T08:39:49.512Z · EA · GW

Does membership of a political party increase the odds of landing a traineeship / internship with an MEP or is it even an requirement? 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Policy Work in the European Parliament - Impressions from my Internship · 2022-03-16T08:20:20.710Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this clear write-up. I will include this post in the content of Training For Good's Impactful Policy Careers workshop. Are you open to 1-on-1s with EAs interested in this career path? Feel free to respond in a pm.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on The Future Fund’s Project Ideas Competition · 2022-03-04T09:10:15.044Z · EA · GW

Great idea, at TFG we have similar thoughts and are currently researching if we should run it and the best way to run a program like this. Would love to get input from people on this.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on New Book: "Reasoned Politics" + Why I have written a book about politics · 2022-03-04T09:07:35.568Z · EA · GW

Awesome topic! Curious to read book reviews from people that read it. 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Some thoughts on recent Effective Altruism funding announcements · 2022-03-04T09:06:30.559Z · EA · GW

Great idea, at TFG we have similar thoughts and are currently researching the best way to run a program like this. Feel free to PM to provide input.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on The Future Fund’s Project Ideas Competition · 2022-03-01T13:48:58.900Z · EA · GW

Hi Chris! We run this on a recurring base with Training For Good! We already had a few dozens of people on the program and we are currently measuring the impact.

See https://www.trainingforgood.com/salary-negotiation

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Samo Burja on Effective Altruism · 2022-02-18T07:58:54.233Z · EA · GW

Interesting thoughts, apart from the sections finm mentioned this one stood out to me as well:

status engineering - redirecting social status towards productive ends (for instance on Elon Musk making engineers high status)

I think this is something that the EA community is doing already and maybe could/should do even more. Many of my smartest (non EA) friends from college work in rent-seeking sectors / sectors that have neutral production value (not E2G). This seems to be an incredible waste of resources, since they could also work on the most pressing problems. 

One interesting question could be: Are there tractable ways to do status engineering with the large group of talented non EAs? I think this could be worthwhile doing, because obviously not all incredibly smart people are part / want to be part of the EA community.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Release of Existential Risk Policy database · 2022-02-09T17:09:46.384Z · EA · GW

Thanks a lot, this looks like a great resource. This would add a lot of value I think: Properly evaluate existing policy ideas to identify and promote the set of high-quality ideas.

I would be really interesting to see how different experts within the EA community rank the ideas within the same category (e.g. AI) on certain criteria (e.g. impact, tractability, neglectedness, but there are probably better critera). Or enrich this data with the group that is probably most able to push for certain reforms (e.g. American civil servants, people that engage with party politics etc.).

This would make the database actionable to the EA community and thereby even more valuable.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Should you work in the European Union to do AGI governance? · 2022-01-31T15:17:20.020Z · EA · GW

If you believe however that the EU becomes irrelevant at all (argument 5 against), all policy careers for EAs in mainland Europe become quite unappealing suddenly. This makes me think: if you believe the EU market and political environment favor AGI safety (argument 4 in favor), shouldn’t it be a priority for European EAs to keep the EU a relevant political force?

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Should you work in the European Union to do AGI governance? · 2022-01-31T15:16:51.384Z · EA · GW

I think there is one argument I really want to back, but I also want to provide a different angle: “Growing the political capital of AGI-concerned people”

I think that even when you think there are substantial odds that the EU doesn’t play an important role in regulation of AGI, having political capital could still be useful for other (tech-related) topics. Quite often I think there is a “halo-effect” related to being perceived as an tech-expert in government. That means that if you are perceived as a tech expert in government because you know a lot about AI, people will also perceive you as an expert on other technologies (where the EU might be more relevant). 

This is also one of the reasons that I advise people to work in AI/tech regulation, even when it’s not (solely) on the long term consequences of AI we care about, but e.g. on short term risks or even more on the side of economic stimulus of AI development. Often it will provide EAs with the political capital and credibility to deal with long term / x-risk relevant risks later on when there is an opportunity to switch roles.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Which EA orgs provide feedback on test tasks? · 2022-01-31T13:13:29.147Z · EA · GW

Applied for OPP strategy role during Sumer 2021 and received no feedback in first and second test task round. Wasn't disapointed, because it was well-compensated.

On a different note however: this is one of the largest advantages I see coming from an EA recruitment agency that would be able to give feedback to EA candidates. It feels like quite a miss I didn't get it, since I have to do very similar work for my own organisation Training For Good. Maybe there is something really obvious I can improve on, but due to the lack of feedback I don't know what.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on EA megaprojects continued · 2022-01-30T08:34:11.790Z · EA · GW

Hahah same here Jonas! Let me know if you know more

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on EA Analysis of the German Coalition Agreement 2021–2025 · 2022-01-27T10:37:16.301Z · EA · GW

I thought this was really interesting : we should open the way to a constitutional assembly leading to the development of a federal European state

Curious to hear thoughts from other EAs about the new German administration's appetite for a federalist Europe. I think a stronger, federalist Europe is something we should want from an EA perspective for the following reasons:

  • A stronger Europe increases the chance of European collective investments in AI leading to the development of "human-centric" AI
  • Increases the chance of a strong green European energy policy and other climate action, reducing the chance of +2 degrees scenarios
  • A strong federalist Europe is a good counterbalance against a market-oriented US model and the Chinese/Russian government that has a strong appetite for breaching human rights.  Just as the Western model looked so aspiring for former citizens of the DDR / Soviet states at the end of the cold war, Europe could be aspiring for American, Russian and Chinese citizens. Internal pressure could lead to welfare enhancing reforms in the US, Russia and China.

Some risks I see:

  • A strong federalist Europe would shake up the current international order with unknown geopolitical consequences. The current world order is not perfect, but was also quite peaceful compared to the pre-1945 era.
  • National European governments pushing too much for quick federalist changes could cause massive internal backlash, giving room to a further rise of populism. That would increase the odds of internal European warfare, less free trade etc. with negative consequences for welfare
Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on European Union AI Development and Governance Partnerships · 2022-01-20T08:35:46.551Z · EA · GW

Thanks, great overview! How can early stage career European EAs contribute to this? Do you know which organisations you mentioned have the capacity to absorb interns / starters from the EA community? 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on EA megaprojects continued · 2021-12-10T09:41:50.646Z · EA · GW

Also sent you an email for possible involvement from Training For Good

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Database of orgs relevant to longtermist/x-risk work · 2021-11-19T09:25:35.879Z · EA · GW

Great work Michael, I've already included this Airtable in the curriculum  of Training For Good's upcoming impactful policy careers workshop. Well done, this work is of high value!

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on FTX EA Fellowships · 2021-10-25T15:17:25.519Z · EA · GW

Hi, you say you will provide "housing in the Bahamas for up to 6 months".

Is there a certain minimum length of stay required (in terms of months)? 

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Notes on "Managing to Change the World" · 2021-10-14T09:50:18.265Z · EA · GW

Thanks Jared for thinking about TFG! We will make use of existing resources as much as possible. Never heard of this but just got the book .

Our focus on EMEA is temporary and dependent on the kind of programs. E.g. our program for policy makers is aimed at EMEA because of substantial differences with the US market

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Introducing Training for Good (TFG) · 2021-10-11T09:27:57.766Z · EA · GW

"People who expressed interest in a program about doing good" seems to be the best description. Marketing was focused on Dutch speaking people that wanted to do more good. 

No prior EA knowledge was needed and most people heard about EA but had no real prior knowledge.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Introducing Training for Good (TFG) · 2021-10-08T13:50:11.831Z · EA · GW

Hi Jack,

Jan-Willem here, one of the other co-founders of Training for Good. I actually have some data on tractability of outreach to an older generation. As chapter director at EA Netherlands we organised a serie of workshops targeted at a slightly older audience (average age ~35).

Three out of 25 people in this program comitted to considerable changes in their life (pledging large amounts of money and switching into high impact roles). We didn't use a control group, but it is a good sign of tractability.   

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Presenting: 2021 Incubated Charities (Charity Entrepreneurship) · 2021-10-07T21:38:44.008Z · EA · GW

Hi Michael! Thanks for your response and your question. About TFG: We are considering a management for EA orgs program for our second year of existence.  As mentioned in our longer introduction post we are even open to changes in the second half of this year's training schedule, if new information shifts our beliefs about the added value of certain programs.

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on More EAs should consider “non-EA” jobs · 2021-08-28T08:55:29.920Z · EA · GW

Hi Sarah, thanks for writing this great article.

As someone else mentioned in the comments most EAs work in non-EA orgs looking at the EA surveys. According to the last EA Survey I checked only ~10% of respondents worked in EA orgs and this is probably an overestimation (people in EA orgs are more likely to complete the survey I assume)

So I think the problem is not that EAs are not considering these jobs, I would say the bottleneck for impact is something else:

 1) Picking the right non-EA orgs, as mentioned in the comments the differences are massive here

2) Noticing and creating impact opportunities in those jobs

80k is able to give generic career advice, e.g. on joining the civil service but they often lack the capacity to give very specific advice to individuals on where to start, let alone on how to have impact in that job once you landed it. 

One solution could be to start a new career org for this, but I think it is very hard to be an expert in everything and I often think that specific personal fit considerations are important. Therefore I think we are better off through training people in picking the right orgs, through teaching them impact-driven career decision models and training and sharing impact opportunities in certain non-EA org career paths.

Summarized: I don't think people lack the willingness to join non EA-orgs but they lack the tools and skills for maximising their impact in those careers

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Most research/advocacy charities are not scalable · 2021-08-15T09:21:41.493Z · EA · GW

Interesting thougts Sanjay and I agree that we neglect the 60% for profit sector

My biggest concern with your solution in one sentence: as long as people mostly care about money they want to act  on advice that maximises their financial return. Of course we could " subsidise"  a service like that for social profit, but as long as it is not in the systems interest to act on our advice it's useless.

So changing the incentives of the system (through policy advocacy) or movement building (expanding the moral circle) seem more promosing from this viewpoint. On the other hand: once enough people are really interested in social profits we need to have the insights which companies do good and which do not.  Maybe it's more a question of the right timing...

Comment by Jan-WillemvanPutten on Is effective altruism growing? An update on the stock of funding vs. people · 2021-08-03T04:58:38.599Z · EA · GW

Thanks for your response Benjamin (and Ben West asking a question)

Sorry for not being completely clear about this, but I pointed towards the profile of a (EA-style) charity entrepreneur which is indeed different from the regular SV co founder (although there are similarities, but let’s not go into the details). I think the mini profile you wrote about a non profit entrepreneur is great and I am happy to see that 80k pushes this. Hopefully the Community Building Program will follow since national and local chapters are for many people the first point of entrance into EA. It would be good if this program also encouraged local and national chapters to make valuable cheap tests in non profit entrepreneurship viable. 

I am also very happy that you acknowledge that reaching out to get 2x as many people in is probably desirable. Also here I think that the “common EA opinion” shifted quite a lot over the ~two years I’ve been involved in EA, great to see!

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 https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/165846/donations-sci-deductible-across-european-union/ 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 https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/L9dzan7QBQMJj3P27/training-bottlenecks-in-ea

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 https://80000hours.org/podcast/episodes/tristan-harris-changing-incentives-social-media/? 

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 https://80000hours.org/podcast/episodes/tristan-harris-changing-incentives-social-media/ 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: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/BG68BvbaaT32u76kr/how-we-promoted-ea-at-a-large-tech-company-1). 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 (https://www.overcomingbias.com/2015/08/youth-movements.html).

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!