259 karmaJoined Tartu, Estonia


I'm Richard! I'm getting top talent in Estonia excited about working on the most important causes.


Difficult to say. I think it's just a lucky case of a small country that managed to get a few active organizers early on (and managed to get members fill out the survey 😁).

AFAIK, we haven't done anything significantly differently to other groups. It's been a fairly standard Intro Course, Career Course, Public Events, Core Volunteer Team setup.

Whether it's got something to do with the Estonian cultural landscape affecting people's readiness to join EA is hard to assess, as I have little experience recruiting outside Estonia :)

But most people I've spoken to in Intro Courses have been pretty much immediately sold on EA ideas, and have been familiar with animal welfare and global health concerns.

Have you considered the expected value (EV) calculations for the Effective Ventures (EV) effective ventures (EVs)? I would like to see the CEA EV EV EV calculations for the CEA's CEA.

I'd love to see the results of a good experiment in in the member-first approach.

I'm leaning more towards the cause-first approach, but possibly for the wrong reasons. It's easier to measure, it's impact is easier to communicate and understand, the funnel feels shorter and more straight-forward, the activities and tools to achieve impact are there for me to use, I don't need to invent anything from skratch. This all might be a streetlight fallacy.

The strongest for the member-first approach for me would be:

  • After your members take the job in a high-impact position, they will continue to make decisions. Decisions at their work, decisions about where to work next, etc. If they are not well equipped with tools and knowledge about how to make good decisions independently which optimize for impact, their choices might be far from optimal.
  • By delegating cause prioritization to a few small groups of researchers, we might succumb to effects of echo chambers, fail to identify important mistakes in our reasoning and even more effective causes.
  • The impact from a member-first approach might be >10-100x larger than that of a cause-first approach. It's the difference between motivating a few people to work on AI safety vs changing the societal norms themselves to be more impact-focused when doing career planning.

Thanks for the nice words!

Regarding the "active members" count, here are the stats:

  • That year, around 17 new people were added to the Slack from the Intro Course. Possibly 5-10 more.
  • Out of them, around 13 were engaged in activities after that
  • That means at least 13 other people had to become became less active during that time (not unreasonable)

So to increase activity on Slack, we'd either have to prevent people leaving or add people to Slack. We could:

  • assign each currently active person a mentor to keep them engaged
  • have a more obvious process of choosing activities to take part in
  • have more activities to take part in
  • think more about how to scale up our activities
  • invite people to Slack more liberally (also outside the Intro Course)

But another queston to ask is, whether activity on Slack should even be a metric to optimize for. I feel like it's okay to a have a static member count, as long you are creating lots of HEAs.

This touches a bit on the the question of what even is a national EA group: whether it's necessarily a big community of friends, or can it be a narrow attempt at getting more people working on top causes? I'm leaning more towards the latter lately.

PS! Looks like there's lots of collaboration to be done on the mushroom front :)

Calling all Lithuanians!

I'm on the lookout for people who are interested in effective altruism / rationality and living in Lithuania.  

If you happen to know anyone like that, let me know, so I could invite them to apply to the upcoming EAGxNordics conference.

For context, I am on the organising team for EAGx Nordics and one of our goals is to grow the smaller EA communities in the region. Most notably Lithuania, which is the largest country in the Baltics, but has the smallest EA presence. My hope is that the conference will help connect existing EA-aligned individuals living in Lithuania, who might not know each other.

Is there  a more up to date version of this somewhere?

That's a good point. I hadn't considered signalling benefits.

I am also curious to understand why you think that earning to give is more impactful than 98%+ of jobs. Also, did you mean 98% of EA-aligned jobs or all jobs?

Thanks for the answer.

Just to make sure I understand #1.

You're saying that if I donated 1000€ to GiveWell right now, my donation would be expected to have 10 times as much impact as a donation to GiveDirectly? However, in the coming years that might change to 5x or 2x?