The CEA team has started planning the EAG 2017 conferences. After considering the lessons from EA Global 2016, as well as community feedback and survey results, we are planning to have three EA Global Events this year. The locations will be:
Boston / Cambridge, MA - in May (Edit: June)
SF Bay Area - in July or August
London / Oxford - in October or November
We are publishing these plans now so that people in the EA community can provide feedback and can start thinking about travel plans. While we expect most of this year’s attendees to come to only one of the three conferences, each will have its own distinct and complementary content, so we encourage people to consider attending more than one.
Why Three Conferences?
Last year we found that a surprisingly small percentage of attendees travelled to attend the single main conference. Survey data and participant feedback indicate that having several conferences that are easily accessible from different geographic regions will substantially increase the number of people who can attend an EAG event, and we think this is a good thing. Conference sizes will be partly determined by community interest and venue capacity, but we expect at least 400-500 attendees at each event.
While this year’s conferences will all have programming that attendees of past EAGs will recognize, each will have its own distinct focus. The EAG team will look for speakers, panels, and workshops that fit with these themes as much as possible.
Boston: EAG Frontiers. The Frontiers conference will be about new, upcoming, and speculative causes and interventions. Likely talk tracks include:
Society - law, government, policy, coordination
Technology - recent developments, predicting important advances, novel applications
Science - recent and ongoing research, improving the practice of Science
There will be a particular emphasis on figuring out how to think about important, difficult, and speculative causes. Talks and workshops will try to answer the question, “what could be the next Cause X?”
SF Bay Area: EAG Summit. This event will be a less curated, more community-driven event. There will be some large main-stage talks, but the primary source of content will be workshops and side room talks in the style of an “unconference”. The main audience for this event will be EA Global alumni, though attendance at a previous event will not be a requirement for admission. Programming will focus on the EA community itself, with potential tracks including:
Finding Cause X - how can the EA community find new causes and projects to support? How has this happened in the past?
More “E” - how can we make people and projects in the EA community more effective?
More “A” - can EA’s become more altruistic? Can we help others become more altruistic? What makes people motivated to do good?
We hope to solicit the majority of the Summit’s programming from members of the EA community in the form of talks, workshops, facilitated discussions, and other specialized events.
London: EAG Fundamentals. This event will focus on discussion of the core philosophical and technical principles of Effective Altruism. It will build on the work of CEA’s Research Team and that of the new EA Institute, and will include discussions of cause prioritization, ethics, and philosophy. There will also be an event similar to the EA Global 2016 Research Meeting, and we will look for submissions from a variety of disciplines, including economics, data science, and philosophy. We expect this event will have many attendees with specialized knowledge in their fields who are fairly new to effective altruism, so we plan to include sessions focused on the fundamental ideas of effective altruism as well as ways that specific disciplines can further EA causes.
EA Community Input
Very little of the program has been finalized for any of the three events. If you have any ideas about the overall structure and themes of the conferences, we would love to hear them! Please use this input form as many times as you like. We will post regular updates as the planning process continues, so there will be multiple opportunities to give feedback.
We also need your help finding excellent speakers and other content. Please use this form to nominate a speaker, workshop, or topic area that you think would be a good fit at any of the conferences.
We are looking for more help with this year’s events, particularly from people local to each of Boston, the Bay, and London. If you are interested in joining the EAG 2017 team as a volunteer, please let us know here!
We will continue to provide updates as the programs come together both on the Forum and at eaglobal.org.