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EA Global 2017 Update

Overview

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:

  1. Boston / Cambridge, MA - in May (Edit: June)

  2. SF Bay Area - in July or August

  3. 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.

Program

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.

Comments (19)

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 07 December 2016 03:15:33AM 13 points [-]

Thanks a lot for publishing this so early relative to the date of the conference -- that has always been a huge hurdle for me in past years and why I've been unable to attend prior conferences. The sooner you can nail specific dates, the better!

Comment author: EricHerboso  (EA Profile) 23 February 2017 05:27:30PM 5 points [-]

Please try to announce specific EAG dates soon.

My original plan was to prioritize EAG over any other conferences happening at the same time. But early bird pricing and limited ticket availability on other conferences has forced me to purchase tickets to three separate conferences in June, July, and August. I am hoping that these will not conflict with EAG, but, if they do, now I will have to skip EAG rather than these other conferences.

I'm sure I'm not the only one in this position. EAG is likely losing out on attendees because it is taking so long to finalize dates.

Comment author: AmyLabenz 20 March 2017 07:51:13PM 0 points [-]

I'm sorry about the delay! I wanted to comment here just in case you haven't seen the update: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/17z/save_the_date_for_ea_global_boston_and_san/

Comment author: Gina_Stuessy  (EA Profile) 10 January 2017 12:33:47PM 3 points [-]

Is there any reason this info isn't yet up at https://www.eaglobal.org/events/ ? I know some other people were looking for info on EA Global this year...

Comment author: AmyLabenz 20 March 2017 07:51:40PM 0 points [-]

This should be up to date now, thanks!

Comment author: zdgroff 06 December 2016 11:28:26PM 3 points [-]

Is there an easy way for us to get relevant updates on the conference as they come in? What about participating in planning - how can people do that?

Comment author: AmyLabenz 13 December 2016 08:50:55PM 1 point [-]

Thanks for your interest!

We will be posting updates here, at eaglobal.org, and in the EA Newsletter (you can sign up at effectivealtruism.org).

If you’d like to provide additional feedback or planning help outside of what is available on the forms, please email hello@eaglobal.org.

Comment author: Gina_Stuessy  (EA Profile) 10 January 2017 12:36:38PM 1 point [-]

Amy, are you involved with EAGx events at all? I've had trouble reaching people at CEA regarding EAGxMadison. If you are involved in that, and could email me at gstuessy@gmail.com that'd be much appreciated! (And sorry this is off-topic; I didn't see a way to message you directly through the EA Forum.)

Comment author: AmyLabenz 20 March 2017 07:52:20PM 0 points [-]

Even though we have already resolved this issue, I thought I'd leave my contact information here in case anyone has a similar issue in the future: amy@centreforeffectivealtruism.org

Comment author: cafelow  (EA Profile) 19 February 2017 09:22:09AM 2 points [-]

Hi Amy, any progress on the dates? I live a long way from the EA Global events and have a not-so-flexible work schedule to work around so having early dates makes a huge difference to my likelihood of attending. I'd really appreciate the dates to be published as soon as they are known. Thanks, Catherine.

Comment author: AmyLabenz 20 March 2017 07:52:59PM *  0 points [-]
Comment author: joshjacobson  (EA Profile) 09 December 2016 12:36:11AM 2 points [-]

Can you provide further background on why you've decided to make each summit so tightly themed? I imagine most of us will only be able to choose to go to one, and I at least would like to be at a summit that touched on all these questions, rather than just one.

Comment author: AmyLabenz 13 December 2016 08:54:24PM 2 points [-]

Thanks for your question!

First, I should clarify that the event descriptions aren’t meant to suggest that the focus / themes will be the only thing discussed at the conference. We expect to have people who are interested in all of these things to all of the conferences. We will have workshops and community driven content, some core EA concepts, and some things that would fall into the category of “pushing the frontiers” at each.

We have themes because it is helpful for focussing the events, for getting people excited, and for encouraging people to attend more than one event. Having themes also allows us to attract more potential EAs who might not attend a “standard EA conference”. Our themes selections are based on the geographic locations to some degree: the Bay Area hosted the main event for a number of years and seems well-suited for community driven content, Boston / Cambridge is home to Harvard, MIT, MIT Media Lab, Tufts, etc and London / Oxford is home of philosophical EA.

Comment author: Taymon 07 December 2016 03:15:24AM 2 points [-]

Is the nomination form supposed to have contact information? I just nominated a potential speaker who I'm connected to, but realized that you may have no way to get in touch with me.

Comment author: AmyLabenz 07 December 2016 05:10:39PM 2 points [-]

Thanks for your question and for nominating a speaker! I've updated the form to include a request for contact information.

Comment author: IanDavidMoss 03 January 2017 04:58:52PM 1 point [-]

Hi Amy, I submitted a few programming ideas for last year's event that weren't selected. I'd like to review and consider resubmitting them this year, but I don't think I have a record of them since I typed them directly into the form. Would there be a way for me to get access to those submissions?

Comment author: Gina_Stuessy  (EA Profile) 15 January 2017 05:17:49PM 0 points [-]

Is the Boston one different from this? http://www.eagxboston.com/

Comment author: AmyLabenz 28 February 2017 04:14:33PM 1 point [-]

So sorry for the delay!

Yes, they are different events. That is the EAGx Boston from last year. This year we will hold one of the three main EAG events in the Boston area. I expect the contract today so I will be able to announce dates shortly.

Comment author: HaydnBelfield 28 February 2017 06:03:50PM 0 points [-]

Excellent!