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Mojmir comments on A lesson from an EA weekend in London: pairing people up to talk 1 on 1 for 30 mins seems to be very useful - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 12 July 2018 10:58:14AM 1 point [-]

People were free to talk about anything they want. I'm pretty sure we told that using the questions was optional. I changed the post slightly to make it more clear. Personally, I didn't use the questions in any of my 1 on 1s. I know some people used the questions and they said that the first two questions ("When did you know that you wanted to be altruistic and why?" and "When did you realise you care about effectiveness and why?") resulted in long and not very productive conversations. So I moved them to the end in the questions document. I think that the list of questions has a lot of room for improvement. Maybe next time I will say that if they want to use the questions, they should look through the list and decide which question they are the most curious about.

We paired people up ourselves. We tried to pair up people who don't know each other well and have something in common (e.g. both are excited about the same cause area). We considered letting people pair themselves up but had reservations because some people might get upset if no one wants to talk with them. However, at the end of the first day we told people that if there is someone they'd like to be paired up with on the second day, they can write it on a piece of paper and put it in the box (so that only we could see their preference). But very few (2-4) people did that.

Btw, we will run an event that is all about 1 on 1s (https://www.facebook.com/events/330349444169839/) to see if it is a good stand-alone event (because it could be that it works only in the context of a weekend/conference/retreat). I'll write here about how it went, if I'll remember to do it :)

Comment author: Mojmir 24 July 2018 11:31:54AM 0 points [-]

Those are really useful comments, thanks. I wonder how did the event go?

Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 24 July 2018 12:09:16PM *  0 points [-]

It went well, I asked ~8 people for feedback and it was all positive, almost everyone said that they liked it better than a regular social. One person said that it made them less socially anxious than regular socials. I think we'll organise these every other month or something like that (in addition to socials).

We first quickly presented what topics each of us would most want to talk about, then we paired people up, based on that (though a lot of pairings were random). Each person had three one on ones and then we all had a picnic. I'm not sure how well it would work if the weather was less nice and we couldn't do it in a park (or a building with many breakout rooms like at the EA weekend).