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AmAristizabal

999 karmaJoined Jun 2020

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Hey Sandra, thanks for your questions. Hopefully the following clarifications will help give useful context as to why we’re excited about this space. 

The scope of our program

  • The office space and our broader project is a university program focused exclusively on AI. It is not an EA space, and it’s not meant to do EA community building in Mexico. Many of our fellows and visitors are not part of the EA community. We would be happy to see other initiatives aimed at EA community building in Mexico and Mexico City. 
  • We would like to point out that the program is part of a Mexican university. Jaime and I (the two primary staff members) are from Colombia, and the vast majority of our colleagues at ITAM who have worked closely with us on various aspects of the fellowship are Mexicans. We're really grateful for their work and want to make sure their work is acknowledged.

Some benefits of this space

  • We have carefully considered the upsides and downsides of the current coworking space, and are now pretty confident about choosing it. This is both for logistical reasons and because we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from fellows and visitors (several of them Latin Americans). 
  • We’ve found the space is worth the cost and in practice cheaper than many alternatives because it offers all the operational facilities that the fellowship needs. If we had picked a different coworking space, we would have had to compensate by hiring an additional staff member to figure out things like catering, hosting talks, furniture, etc. It is worth noting that the staff curates a weekly menu for us to accommodate vegans. From our experiences with other event spaces in CDMX and LMICs, this is quite hard to find. Given this is a university program, there are additional constraints and requirements for the space(s) we use. 

We also have considered locals, and people from latam and LMICs more generally

  • We have thought a lot about the effects of programs like these on locals, and much of our work is aimed at diversifying the pool of people working on important problems within AI. 
  • The current set up of the coworking space has meant we have been able to accept visitors from LMICs and subsidize spots for those who wouldn’t be able to attend otherwise. 
  • Condesa is a more gentrified and international area of Mexico City. In our experience, that has come with some benefits for a global program like ours. For example amenities as you mention, but also allowing fellows and visitors from other low and middle income countries and underrepresented backgrounds to move comfortably around the area (e.g. non-spanish speakers from other LMICs).
  • We were surprised to hear your concerns, as we haven’t received any similar feedback so far (just for quick context to readers: the writer of these comments has never been to our office space). We aren’t aware of any incidents of discrimination experienced during our fellowship or the co-working space more generally -  we’ve found the staff (most are Mexican) of the broader co-working space (imagine a WeWork) to be very kind and welcoming. If there are specific incidents you’re aware of, we’d encourage you to let us, or the Community Health team know. 

While we are part of a Mexican university, and are mindful and respectful of local norms, we are also proud of having kickstarted a programme with a truly global focus in which members from various cultural backgrounds feel welcome.

Thanks Michel! I think it should be fixed now :) 

Gracias por escribir esto Simón y espero que nos mantengas al tanto de los avances de la iniciativa en UPB. 

Mi experiencia ha sido que hay bastante demanda de creación de contenido en español y que aun creando artículos cortos y sencillos se puede llenar un vacío importante. Creería que un posible paso concreto a seguir puede ser crear espacios o talleres de creación de contenido original (y universidades como UPB pueden ser un buen experimento) para que los creadores de contenido hispanohablantes ganen experiencia y practiquen. Creo que hay muchas normas de comunicación en la comunidad angloparlante de AE que pueden nutrir el contenido en español y animaría a los escritores nuevos a que consuman mucho contenido de AE, interioricen esas normas, sepan usarlas, criticarlas, y a su vez nutrir a la comunidad angloparlante con nuevas maneras de comunicación. 

Creo que un modo fallido de promover creación de contenido sin interacción suficiente con el mundo angloparlante puede resultar en dos comunidades aisladas  (y una con muchos más recursos y capacidad de tomar decisiones) así que definir bien los espacios para ambos idiomas (como las sugerencias de opciones multilingues para el EA forum) parece ser importante. 

Gracias de nuevo :) 

Thank you Eyad!! I'm very happy to hear that this was useful :) 

Thanks! It would be great to see more research about this 

Hi! 
Thanks for your message. Sadly we don't have very good answers to this question yet but I can send some resources that can be useful: 
-You can contact Andres Gomez who is starting a charity evaluator in Colombia: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andresfelipegomez/?originalSubdomain=co
-Open Philanthropy has recommended Sinergia Animal in the past as a potential impactful cause in many south american countries, including Colombia: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/farm-animal-welfare/sinergia-animal-corporate-cage-free-campaigns
-If you're not committed to Colombia in particular, Brazil has its version of Givewell:  https://doebem.org.br/
-If you want to be more involved in EA in Colombia and start new projects feel free to send me a message :)  Also you're welcome to join the Spanish Speaking EA group on Slack where there are lots of new initiatives to find impactful causes in South America: https://join.slack.com/t/altruismo-eficaz/shared_invite/zt-9dcv7eki-jrN6GerS0NAI~97RH4dB2A

I'm looking forward to know more about your interests :) 
 

This makes me wonder if current hair removal/depilation methods for women could fit the definition (or curious why they would not). We could think of them as minor inconveniences, but maybe women perceived foot binding as a minor inconvenience too (I can think of examples in which we don't categorize things as major inconveniences even when they have huge levels of pain). 

Thanks Fer! 
Good points, I will add info hazards. 
Thanks for the TED talk! ugh yes... violence sucks haha :(   I also haven't seen too much about that in EA circles but I have seen it more present in development circles, like JPAL and IPA with their crime and violence initiatives. I'm curious why on the longtermist side of interventions violence and crime play such an important role in EA (like preventing great power conflict or nuclear weapons) but on the shorttermist side it's more focused on health interventions (is it because it's harder to measure than health interventions so they will never beat a GW recommended charity, which is not a problem for the longtermist side when expected value can make violence prevention a great deal?) 

Thanks again for your comments!

Thanks Ramiro! 
Yes, the efforts private and public companies make in order to be or at least appear to be "aligned" with SDGs is one of the things I find most interesting and worth making use of.  They have been widely adopted across different sectors perhaps because they included private & non-profit sector in their elaboration (and great outreach and communication strategies as well I'm guessing). Also worth studying how they became such a big deal (and also explore until what extent they are a big deal or more a symbolic statement).

The concern for animal welfare is a very interesting case study, thanks for pointing that out! I've had it in the back of my head but haven't thought too much about it. I will point this out to Ana Diez from Argentina, she was interested in finding case studies of overlaps (or significant differences) between SDGs and EA's cause prioritization. 

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