Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

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Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

Postby WeAreNow on 2012-06-07T00:34:00

Fellow would-be worldchangers,

Making the world a better place has been a consistent idea throughout human history, but surprisingly
few groups have existed to approach this goal strategically and effectively.

We're launching such groups.

The Effective Altruism (EA) Network is building a nationwide movement around creating the best world
possible by the most effective means. Similar groups exist around more targeted domains, such as
80,000 Hours (.org) for ethical career choice, and Giving What We Can (.org) for effective philanthropy.
We will bring these ideas and more to colleges across the US and internationally.

We have a core team of 20 people working on finding chapter leaders at top colleges, developing EA
content, and building up infrastructure for the network. But we can always do more, and better, so
come join the team!

Here are some of the nuts and bolts of the project. We want to launch EA chapters at as many colleges
as we can, starting THIS FALL. We’re pre-packaging content and exercises – on effective philanthropy,
ethical career choice, high impact research, personal effectiveness and self-improvement, and
discussion of the best causes – in a form that any bright person can deliver without prior knowledge of
the ideas. These ‘modules’ will form an epic open library that chapter leaders can select whatever they’d
like from to present to their groups. We’ll also be streamlining the launching and running of chapters in
other ways – it’ll still take some work to run a chapter, but all the steps will be laid out and your hands
will be held.

For the EA network to be successful, we need chapters. We get chapters by: 1) finding contacts at top
colleges to spread the word for us; 2) calling up all the people who respond with interest; 3) working
with them to set up shop. The first step involves finding well-connected students (student body
presidents, newspaper editors) and like-minded students (leaders of related student groups), and having
them forward a message from us to their friends and listservs.

An education reform organization used roughly this method to get 80 chapters in one year, with
the effort of 2 people. We have 20 people (some full-time) and rising, and are well-connected in the
EA community. Just through word of mouth we’ve gotten interest in starting chapters at Harvard,
Princeton, Stanford, Brown, NYU, Berkeley, and a handful of other great colleges (and we haven’t
started the mass contacting yet!). We have subteams for all parts of the process, but having more
people means we can scale up even more and grow quicker. We’re in favor of getting exponentially
beneficial processes going sooner rather than later.

If you’d like to get involved, let us know (, and we’d be happy to Skype with you.

All the best,

The EA Network Team

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Re: Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

Postby Arepo on 2012-06-07T13:27:00

Hi WAN, this is the group Mark Lee works for, right?

It sounds like a great project, though I've heard one criticism, which is that in terms of population the Less Wrongers dwarf all the other EA groups, so that they're likely to be the dominant force in any EA network, potentially scaring off newcomers and those who don't think Xrisk (or the singularitarian approach to it) is the best focus.

Do you have a plan to avoid this?
"These were my only good shoes."
"You ought to have put on an old pair, if you wished to go a-diving," said Professor Graham, who had not studied moral philosophy in vain.
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Re: Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

Postby Ruairi on 2012-06-07T20:46:00

Thanks WAN! This looks fantastic!

Arepo, I thought Mark Lee works for leverage research? Are these going to be the same thing/connected?

I'm wondering the same thing as Arepo as I'm certainly not convinced by the "minimize X risk" approach. Will this org. be considering non-human animal charities and the like?

I'm definitely interested in getting invloved but I'm not at university yet so I dunno if I'm really what you're looking for, should I send an email anyway or what?
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Re: Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

Postby Brian Tomasik on 2012-06-09T04:48:00

Is there a website for the EAN, WAN?
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Re: Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

Postby yboris on 2012-06-10T03:31:00

Alan Dawrst wrote:Is there a website for the EAN, WAN?

The website is forthcoming :)
There is a Facebook page that will go public once we settle on the final name :D
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Re: Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

Postby WeAreNow on 2012-06-13T18:22:00

I'm glad you guys are excited! Mark Lee is working on this project. And we haven't had any problems with being dominated by Xrisk-concern or LessWrong. We seem to have a very diverse group of interests within the broader EA interest, and a lot of members who haven't been heavily involved with the movement before.

This won't be directly involved with Leverage, although we are not opposed to collaboration with other EA groups. Ruari, you should definitely get involved if you're not in university yet! I'm sure you can do something :)

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Re: Strategic/Effective Altruism Network

Postby yboris on 2012-08-15T19:33:00

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