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Edit: We had to reschedule this event to early 2020 due to various issues.

We are excited to announce our next major workshop: The fundamentals of power & governance. Together with Carin Ism we are hosting this event in Cologne early November 2019. The goal is to significantly improve the participants knowledge about various aspects around governance and to apply these skills to the Effective Altruism movement.


Date: to be announced
Application-form: https://forms.gle/qnKrrdjiJ642qSnK7
Application-process: Online application followed by a self-scheduled 10min video call.
Location: Cologne, Germany
Costs: 100 - 250€, discounts available.
Topic: Upskilling people who can impact governance structure both in- and outside of the EA community
Limited to: 20 attendees
Target Group:
• EA's with extraordinary leadership skills and/or high research/writing/social abilities
• People with emphasis in engineering rather than social engineering
• EA's able to influence governance of EA organisations
• Selection based on geographic diversity, enabling knowledge spread throughout the movement

Overview / Schedule (with potential changes over the next two months)

Day 1:
• What is Power and Governance? Introduction
• Discussion: What does power look like, and who has power in your contexts?
• Lunch
• Established Tools – the 101 to how decisions are made and enforced
• Emerging tools – an expose of the new mechanisms possible to levrage to exert control
• Discussion: Tools in power and governance and how to implement them

Day 2:
• Teamwork: Pick one governance structure and use the tools we‘ve discussed to suggest improvements
Presentation + discussion round
• Lunch
• Concrete roadmaps to implementation - input session
• Teamwork: embellish / improve your proposals
• Present the improvements
• Concrete next action regarding power and governance

This two-day workshop starts with an introduction to what power and governance is. An expose of the social innovations that constructed society as we know it is followed by a reflective discussion on how these tools are implemented in the participants' own contexts be it in their families, EA-chapters/organisations, schools, jobs, municipalities, nation states, or beyond. We start here in order to make the structures that many times are so familiar they can appear inevitable and unremarkable, whereas they are in fact products of human design. The point of this morning session is to make the existing structures visible, in order to move on to look at improvements and alternative structures.

After lunch the focus is on emerging tools. This starts with an outline of the current geopolitical landscape, emphasising where the established tools fall short. Then, a similar expose is given of the innovations that are being discussed, but are yet to be integrated into most governance structures. These topics usually garner much debate and as such, this afternoon session will be highly interactive. The day will end with the introduction to day two, wherein the participants will look at one governance structure each or in pairs or groups of three, depending on the number of participants and their individual preferences. Using the tools presented they will account for how it is currently constructed and which improvements they see would be possible through the emerging innovations and/or other applications of the established tools. The groups will be asked to present their cases and comment and build on each others' proposals. This session will wrap at 1 pm.

The rest of the final day is spent on the topic of "how to fork a system”, where we explore roadmaps to implementation. This starts with a walkthrough of different "rules to change the rules” that are at play in different environments, along with cases for how making small and large scale changes has previously been achieved. The participants are then free to explore the territory applicable to the case they’ve been working on. The final part of the workshop is another round of presentations, with focus on their hypothesis regarding implementation and/or how they would go about collecting the complementary data needed to form that hypothesis.

The workshop is wrapped by each participant having a clear next action. As power and governance is at play for every individual, at each level of ones life, this can be as minor as in relation to updating the governance of ones own behaviours, or as ambitious as attempting to introduce pendulum justice in an entire jurisdiction. The purpose of this final exercise is to keep the eye for power and governance vigilant and active well beyond the workshop.


• Significantly improve the understanding of governance
• Concrete actions for participants to apply to their local groups / organizations
• Continue our very well received workhsop-series
• Have fun and socialize


We are thrilled that Carin Ism, chair of Effective Altruism Sweden, thankfully agreed to be our speaker for this weekend-workshop. Carin is the founder of the Future of Governance Agency (FOGA) which works to bring governance innovations and power literacy to the public and its institutions. Carin is the co-author of “How to Rule a World – a guide to the established an emerging tools for power and governance in the 21st century” to be released in 2020. Carin is also the faculty of Singularity University’s Nordic Branch and teaches in two subjects:  Distributed Ledger Technology and Governance.
Carin is the principal investigator of the first governance study in a Mars simulation. She will spend September of 2019 in the Himalayas, living at 4 500 meters above sea-level, in an isolated environment with a crew to develop a governing protocol for space societies – in accordance with nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom’s design principles. Carin is also the project lead of a comprehensive literature review of all that has ever been written on the topic of Mars governance.
She is the chair of Effective Altruism‘s Swedish branch.
Previous to this she was the Executive Director of the Global Challenges Foundation and led the inception and development of the New Shape Prize – the largest prize competition in the social sciences to date. More than 14,000 teams from more than 180 countries worked on ideas for how to improve governance of global risks.
Carin is the recipient of the 2019 Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award in International Policy.





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