Executive Associate @ Centre for Effective Altruism
2191 karmaJoined Oxford, UK



I'm trialing for the Executive Office Team at the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) after a year of work on the Events Team. 

Previously, I scaled up the EA Opportunity Board, interned at Global Challenges Project, and founded the EA student group at University of Wisconsin–Madison, where I studied Neurobiology and Psychology. 

If you think we share an interest (we probably do!), don't hesitate to reach out :)


Meta Coordination Forum 2023


Topic contributions

Thanks for sharing this! I've really been liking your forum posts recently :) 

Oh sorry, I missed this! I should have read that more closely before commenting.

Fair enough. Interesting to see people's different intuitions on this. 

Registering that this line of questioning (and volume of questions) strikes me as a bit off-putting/ too intense. 

If someone asked about what "What were the key concerns here, and how were they discussed?" [...] "what questions did you ask, and what were the key considerations/evidence?" about interactions I had years ago, I would feel like they're holding me to an unrealistic standard of memory or documentation.  

(Although I do acknowledge the mood that these were some really important interactions. Scrutiny is an appropriate reaction, but I still find this off-putting.) 

the EA community is not on track to learn the relevant lessons from its relationship with FTX. 

In case it helps, here’s some data from Meta Coordination Forum attendees on how much they think the FTX collapse should influence their work-related actions and how much it has influenced their work-related actions:

  • On average, attendees thought the average MCF attendee should moderately change their work-related actions because of the FTX collapse (Mean of 4.0 where 1 = no change and 7 = very significant change; n = 39 and SD = 1.5)
  • On average, attendees reported that the FTX collapse had moderately influenced their work related actions (Mean of 4.2 where 1 = no change and 7 = very significant change; n = 39 and SD = 1.7)

My interpretation of this is that MCF attendees have changed their professional behavior a reasonable amount (according to MCF attendees), although maybe this doesn’t address broader questions of reform (eg., ecosystem-wide work that requires substantial coordination). 

And here’s a summary of responses to the question “what lessons do we need to learn from the past year”, asked directly after the above question:  

  1. Improve governance and organizational structures (mentioned by 7 respondents):
    • Shore up governance, diversify funding sources, build more robust whistleblower systems, and have more decentralized systems in order to be less reliant on key organizations/people.
  2. Build crisis response capabilities (mentioned by 6 respondents):
    • Create crisis response teams, do crisis scenario planning, have playbooks for crisis communication, and empower leaders to coordinate crisis response.
  3. Improve vetting and oversight of leaders (mentioned by 5 respondents):
    • Better vet risks from funders/leaders, have lower tolerance for bad behavior, and remove people responsible for the crisis from leadership roles.
  4. Diversify and bolster communication capacities (mentioned by 5 respondents):
    • Invest more in communications for crises, improve early warning/information sharing, and platform diverse voices as EA representatives.
  5. Increase skepticism and diligence about potential harms (mentioned by 4 respondents):
    • Adopt lower default trust, consult experts sooner, and avoid groupthink and overconfidence in leaders.
  6. Learn about human factors in crises (mentioned by 3 respondents):
    • Recognize the effect of stress on behavior, and be aware of problems with unilateral action and the tendency not to solve collective action problems.
  7. Adopt more resilient mindsets and principles (mentioned by 3 respondents):
    • Value integrity and humility, promote diverse virtues rather than specific people, and update strongly against naive consequentialism.

I thought that this might be relevant when discussing how much or little has been done post-FTX.

My personal guess is that public discussions on the Forum under-represent changes to org policies, institutional norms, and fuzzy updates about who to trust how much.

(I work at CEA, so I could be very biased.)

Thanks! It's something very similar to the 'responsibility assignment matrix' (RACI) popularized by consultants, I think. But in this case BIRD is more about decisions (rather than tasks) and stands for Bound (set guidelines), Input (give advice), Responsible (do the bulk of thinking decision through and laying out reasoning), and Decider (make decision). 

Interesting post!

these PF basically think being EA-aligned means you have to be a major pain in the ass to your grantees.

This surprised me. I wonder why this is the case? Maybe from early GiveWell charity investigations where they made the charities do a lot of reporting? My experience with EA grantmakers is that they're at least very aware of the costs of overhead and try hard to avoid red tape.

Fwiw, I don't know anybody actively promoting 'EA has to be all-or-nothing.' Like, there's not an insider group of EA thought leaders who have decided that either you give "100% to AMF or you're not an EA." I'm not denying that that vibe can be there though; I guess it may just be more of a cultural thing, or the product of a mostly maximizing philosophy.

Context: As part of CEA events team I help organize and attend a lot of events that draw EA thought-leaders. 

I'm glad you posted this! I like it :) 

I hadn't heard of the moral saint thought experiment or the "one reason too many"—both of these are interesting.

Cool that you're doing this for such a good cause. Good luck!

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