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Bumping a previous EA forum post: Key EA decision-makers on the future of EA, reflections on the past year, and more (MCF 2023).

This post recaps a survey about EA 'meta' topics (eg., talent pipelines, community building mistakes, field-building projects, etc.) that was completed by this year's Meta Coordination Forum attendees. Meta Coordination Forum is an event for people in senior positions at community- and field-building orgs/programs, like CEA, 80K, and Open Philanthropy's Global Catastrophic Risk Capacity Building team. (The event has previously gone by the name 'Leaders Forum.')

This post received less attention than I thought it would, so I'm bumping it here to make it a bit more well-known that this survey summary exists. All feedback is welcome!

I agree. Of all of CEA's outputs this year, I think this could be the most useful for the community and I think it's worth bumping. It's our fault that it didn't get enough traction; it came out just before EAG and we didn't share it elsewhere.

(As someone who filled out the survey, I thought the framing of the questions was pretty off, and I felt like that jeopardized a lot of the value of the questions. I am not sure how much better you can do, I think a survey like this is inherently hard, but I at least don't feel like the survey results would help someone understand what I think much better)

Thanks, Oli. Yes, I don't think we nailed it with the questions and as you say, that's always hard to do. Appreciate you adding this context for readers.

Glad you bumped this Michel, I was also surprised by how little attention it received. 

You requested feedback, so I hope the below is useful.

High level: we've been working on our strategy for 2024. I was expecting these posts to be very, very helpful for this. However, for some reason, they've only been slightly helpful. Below I've listed a few suggestions for what might have made them more helpful (if this info is contained in the posts and I've missed it I apologise in advance):

  1. Information to help us decide how to allocate our social change portfolio
    1. (I.e., within meta work, how much of our resources should we spend on, e.g., lobbying, field building, social movement support, or network development?)
  2. Information to help us determine our community size goals (bigger or smaller) 
    1. (The rowing vs steering q was helpful here, but I would have preferred something like 'What do you envision as the optimal size of the EA community in five years?' or 'For the upcoming year, where should our primary focus lie: expanding the EA community's size or enhancing the depth of engagement and commitment among existing members?')
  3. Information on talent bottlenecks. 
    1. (The AIS survey was useful here, but we would have liked info about other fields. This Q from the Leader's Forum would have been useful)
  4. Information to help us decide how to handle PR, or even just how much of a priority PR ought to be
  5. Information to help us figure out what to do with all of those EAs who want to excel in using their careers to do good, but lack advice from the EA community on how to do this (because their talents don't match identified talent bottlenecks)

Consider keeping a running list of people you’d like to meet at the next EAG(x)

I used to be pretty overwhelmed when using Swapcard to figure out who I should meet at EAG(x)s. I still get kinda overwhelmed, but I've found it helpful to start identifying meetings I'd like to have many weeks before the event.

I do this by creating an easy-to-add-to list in the months leading up to the event. Then when I encounter someone who wrote an interesting post, or if a friend mentions someone scoping a project I'm excited about, I add them to this list. (I use the app todoist to do this quickly with a keyboard shortcut). When Swapcard goes live, I just look up which people on that list are attending.

I still value spontaneous meetings though; at least a few of my meetings are typically prompted by random scrolling through the attendee list.

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