Accomplishments Open Thread - August 2016

Sharing about your good deeds helps inspire other people to do good and advances the EA movement (1, 2). After all, so many of our good deeds occur in private. You can have a really bigger impact if you speak up!



So please share any EA-themed accomplishments you have not yet shared on previous Accomplishment open threads, whether recent achievements or ones from long ago. This includes one-time accomplishments or ongoing activities on which you are  continuously working.


There is also a Facebook group devoted to sharing about EA-themed accomplishments, which you are welcome to join.


This thread is a completely safe space, with no social norms of "don't be a braggart" applying - just share and be safe in your sharing. Share as many or as few good deeds as you wish. Please both share about your own good deeds and respond to what other people share with your authentic responses, ranging from upvoting to supportive/curious comments :-) Doing so will help motivate each other to greater accomplishments going forward and build capacity for the EA movement. 

Now, sharing about our accomplishments may seek awkward at first, since it goes against social norms, but we in Effective Altruism know the benefit of trying out unorthodox approaches for good reasons. This is why the Accomplishments Open Thread was launched in January 2016, and received such positive responses that it became a monthly occurrence, and why the EA Accomplishments FB group is so active. Sharing about our goods deeds results in many benefits for the world:

1) Inspiring others to emulate some aspects of those good deeds through social proof and network effects.

2) Support each other doing good deeds through providing social connections, positive rewards, and warm feelings, which are vital forencouraging further pro-social activities.

3) Amplifying the signal about things you want others to know about, such as EA projects you are involved in, EA articles you published, etc.



P.S. The Accomplishments thread project is very open to optimization - besides sharing about your good deeds, please suggest ways to improve any aspects of it. For the history of previous Accomplishment Open Threads, see here and also this .impact FB discussion.

Comments (16)

Comment author: oliverbramford 27 August 2016 09:28:41AM 8 points [-]

I am super stoked to have completed the draft of my first article for the EA Forum! (In order to be able to post it, I'd really appreciate if you upvoted this comment.)

It is an actionable guide on 'How to Measure and Optimize EA Marketing'. It puts key marketing strategy best-practices into an EA context, to help EA organisation attract more volunteers, donations, etc. It is part of the EA marketing Resource Bank, which I intend to add more articles to over the coming months.

It has been a thoroughly enjoyable are rewarding creative process so far. I can honestly say that I'm proud to share this work with the EA community. I'd like to give a big thanks to Gleb and all the Intentional Insights volunteers who have facilitated the process and provided feedback on the article: you have significantly improved the quality and usefulness of this piece.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 28 August 2016 04:20:05AM *  6 points [-]

I think it's a really great piece, and look forward to seeing it on the forum!

Comment author: Denkenberger 03 August 2016 01:05:47AM *  7 points [-]

My work on catastrophic foods got mentioned in the journal Science; online version here.

Comment author: Chriswaterguy 08 August 2016 07:12:41AM *  2 points [-]

At first I assumed that "risks" was autocorrected to "foods", but then I got to the part at the end on "Feeding Everyone No Matter What" by you and Joshua Pearce. I know Joshua and I love that you've done this. For anyone interested, there's some more about it on Appropedia.

Great article.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 03 August 2016 02:36:36PM 1 point [-]

Good to hear this important project getting more attention. I think the benefits of such preparedness are underappreciated in the EA movement. After reading Taleb's Black Swan, I have much more appreciation for the need for such projects.

Comment author: angelinahli 03 August 2016 01:49:50PM 4 points [-]

I just received an email from the AMF that made me really happy: that by donating more than half of my research stipend this summer to various EA charities, I've moved 312 insecticidal nets to serve around 562 people. Somehow it feels more real to actually know the numbers :) I've also been writing more about EA things - I wrote an article about this summer online, which seemed to be pretty well received around my social circles. Hopefully I inspired some people to think more about their own donations.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 03 August 2016 02:35:18PM 1 point [-]

Yeah, it's nice to feel the specific quantitative impact of one's donations!

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 02 August 2016 03:10:46PM *  10 points [-]

A very exiting piece of news for me as the leader of Intentional Insights was a major piece in the largest newspaper in my region about how Intentional Insights promotes effective giving to a broad audience. Very good to see these messages going into the mainstream, and I'm really proud of the folks in our all-volunteer organization who made it happen!

We collaborated with Animal Charity Evaluators to publish a piece on their blog promoting effective giving regarding animal welfare to non-EA animal rights advocates. This piece was later picked up by Psychology Today, giving it even further impact.

Over the last couple of months, we ran experiments, funded by The Life You Can Save, promoting effective giving at both secular and religious conferences using tabling and Speed Giving Games. The experiments proved quite successful, and we wrote up the results here for anyone interested in the topics of religious and secular outreach, or promoting effective giving via conferences and/or tabling.

Our "Everyday Heroes of Effective Giving" video series is going quite well! We created three new videos, and posted them here. We got even more evidence that these videos moved a number of people who saw them to reconsider their giving and give both more and more effectively, just from observing the comments that people leave on the videos about their donations when the videos are shared on social media.

To address the third beneficiary group of EA, future sentient beings, we created a video about the most effective ways of communicating Artificial Intelligence risk to a broad audience.

This is the result of, and the tip of the iceberg, of much behind-the-scenes work we've been doing supporting folks communicating about this and similar issues. We regularly provide support for the EA movement in marketing EA ideas broadly, such as in this videotaped Google Hangout. For instance, we recently did a (non-videotaped) presentation on placing EA-themed articles in broad media venues to a local EA group. Get in touch with me at gleb@intentionalinsights.org if your local EA group needs support around these types of issues.

We ran two local EA-themed events, a Giving Game at a church and a presentation on Effective Altruism to a group of rationalist-oriented folks (slides for the latter here and I will post a video in the next Accomplishments thread).

We did a videotaped interview with Tee Barnett, the leader of Students for High-Impact Charity, to support their fundraiser - watch for that to come out in the next few days.

To advance systemic change on police racial profiling in the US, we published a piece in Salon and did a videotaped interview for Ohio State television.

We're continuing to work on fundraising for creating the EA Marketing Resource Bank, which aims to provide a central venue for guidelines, templates, coaching, and collaboration for those marketing EA. As some initial outputs, we created a FB group for EA Marketing, which you are welcome to join. We also collected the existing resources on EA marketing in a central document. We are slowly creating marketing-relevant guidelines and posting them on the EA Forum, with the tag EA Marketing Resource Bank. Further progress depends on volunteer and financial support. If interested in learning more, or providing support through your skills with anything relevant to marketing or your donations, please email me at gleb@intentionalinsights.org.

Finally, on a personal note, I'm excited to be at EA Global this year! Email me if you'd like to meet up :-)

Comment author: alfredoparra 10 August 2016 07:14:17AM 2 points [-]

Thanks for creating this space, Gleb!

Here are a couple of things I achieved in July:

  • I gave a talk on some philosophical ideas behind Effective Altruism at our last EA Munich meetup. The talk attracted 30 people and the feedback was very good. The slides can be downloaded from the Facebook event.

  • Our EA Munich group started a fundraiser to support the Basic Income project by GiveDirectly. So far we have raised $430 and our goal is to reach $3,000. Here is the link to our fundraiser (in German).

  • We were interviewed by a local magazine called GrĂ¼n & Gloria, whose main focus is to give their readers tips for doing good (very appropriate!). Here is the link to the article, titled "City Improvers: Doing Good Better with Effective Altruism" (in German).

  • I received an offer to be interviewed by the Bavarian radio station "Bayern 2" to talk about EA. The interview will be recorded at the end of August and could potentially reach thousands of listeners. :)

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 12 August 2016 04:59:13AM 0 points [-]

Excellent to hear about both the outreach work, and the fundraiser too. We tend to focus too little energy on doing outreach by comparison to moving money, so it's great to see you and the EA Munich group doing so much great outreach!

Comment author: Jon_Behar 08 August 2016 09:45:18PM 2 points [-]

I'm very excited about a fundraising campaign I recently started for the Giving Game project! Hitting our target will put the project on firm footing through the end of 2017. We've already found some new supporters, and I hope anyone looking to leverage their giving will check out our proposal.

I'm also feeling proud about a couple of nice recent hat-tips for GG. Gleb wrote a great blog post about using GG to talk to influencers at conferences about effective giving. And the survey of EA group organizers provided some really helpful data illustrating how important GG are to EA groups. They found that GG represent a significant portion of groups' activities, and groups chose GG funding as a favorite resource that could encourage them to do more outreach.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 12 August 2016 04:59:53AM -1 points [-]

I personally donated to the fundraiser and encourage other folks to do so as well, it's a great cause.

Comment author: Chriswaterguy 08 August 2016 07:33:40AM 2 points [-]

I played a small part in helping EAGx Melbourne to happen two weeks ago, by volunteering for the weekend. The team and the speakers and facilitators did a great job, there were lots of interesting and engaged people, and it was definitely a case of doing good while having fun.

Also at the conference, I facilitated a discussion group on Effective Environmentalism. It went fairly well - I'm still learning to facilitate and there are things I will do differently next time, but the discussion raised a bunch of important issues, and we got to meet others who are concerned about this.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 12 August 2016 05:00:40AM 0 points [-]

Interesting stuff about Effective Environmentalism. Can you share some relevant links for people who might want to learn more?

Comment author: yboris 03 August 2016 02:47:56AM 2 points [-]

I've been primarily focused on improving my programming skills this month. Two small EA-related contributions are helping Intentional Insights (InIn) with creating designs for bumper stickers promoting charitable giving, and creating a website for Theron Pummer, a lecturer in philosophy at St Andrews University who promotes effective giving TheronPummer.com.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 03 August 2016 04:06:17AM 1 point [-]

Thanks for helping out with the bumper stickers :-)