Comment author: Sanjay 11 March 2017 12:27:23PM 2 points [-]

Will this be publicly available on the internet? eg on

Comment author: Julia_Wise 11 March 2017 10:40:06PM 2 points [-]

Yes! Working on it.

Comment author: AdamHoffman 06 March 2017 02:12:20AM 1 point [-]

Thanks for posting! I'm in the CA Bay Area and just wrote a similar letter along with a group here to Barbara Lee (on committee).

Comment author: Julia_Wise 09 March 2017 02:40:31PM 0 points [-]


Comment author: SoerenMind  (EA Profile) 09 March 2017 11:16:36AM 2 points [-]

Congrats on making this, it seems like a modest but still powerful way forward.

Have you thought about making it possible for community members to officially endorsement these principles?

Comment author: Julia_Wise 09 March 2017 02:36:57PM *  3 points [-]

We did think about it, but didn't come up with anything that seemed particularly good. (Happy to hear ideas.)

I'm thinking of other parallel documents: for example, when the Universal Declaration on Human Rights came out, there was a list of official signatories (nations). Then there were organizations that promoted the declaration on their own (without participation of the UN). Then there were individuals who supported it by telling their friends they approved of it, writing letters to the editor in support of it, etc.

The main way I would love to see individuals endorsing the principles is to refer to them when disagreements arise and it's unclear how people should behave or make decisions. That's where the rubber meets the road, much more than whose name is on what list.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 08 March 2017 07:07:23AM *  2 points [-]

I like this, but I think collaborative spirit should be augmented by remembering the value of unity and solidarity, which is rather different than mere collaboration and cooperation. Curious why it didn't get included.

Comment author: Julia_Wise 09 March 2017 02:23:45PM 7 points [-]

We recognize that there are major areas of disagreement between people who are committed to the core ideas of EA, and we don't want emphasis on "unity" to sound like "you have to agree with the majority on specific topics, or you should leave."

Comment author: joshjacobson  (EA Profile) 08 March 2017 04:54:58PM 4 points [-]

"We want to get input from people who have different viewpoints from our staff and can provide us with an outside view."

This group feels quite far from assembled to provide an 'outside' view. Is there a reason that these provide a different perspective? Perhaps you need some less-insider-type people on this if it is to accomplish the goals you foresee?

Comment author: Julia_Wise 09 March 2017 02:18:15PM *  2 points [-]

Yes, we certainly could have gone farther in the direction of people with less connection to CEA.

We asked these people partly because they've provided helpful pushback in the past. For example, Alexander provided some of the most thorough and helpful criticisms of Will's proposal for a community-wide panel.

Comment author: AlasdairGives 08 March 2017 09:06:19PM *  3 points [-]

One thing I am disappointed about is that this has just been announced - there was no public process or call for comment on the advisory council, its role or what criteria should have been used to choose its members - to the extent that happened all of that was in private as far as I can tell. So all of the power in this situation was held by the CEA and people close to you in informal networks. To get wider views you have chosen a team of 4- 3of whom are or have previously been employed by CEA.

To the extent this is about opening CEA to wider views I can't see how it does that. Perhaps to mitigate my meandering can the members of the council give one example of something the CEA has done in the last 12 months they are willing to publicly disagree with?

Comment author: Julia_Wise 09 March 2017 02:11:50PM *  3 points [-]

One way to think about this is as a complement to a nonprofit board. My understanding is that in the US, nonprofits usually have a largish board which advise partly on how the nonprofit's actions might affect the wider community. As with most UK organizations, the CEA board is small, so we wanted to add in a few more voices. In neither case is the board typically suggested or drawn up by the public. Of course, anyone who wants to give us input on decisions we make is welcome to do so at

I'd like clarify that of the 3 people who are outside voices on the board, only one (Peter) did a summer internship for a CEA project years ago.

Comment author: Julia_Wise 08 March 2017 09:56:51PM *  10 points [-]

I spoke with one of the event organizers before the event. It's not a hoax.

Edit: It's also not new. This kind of thing has been happening to Singer periodically since the 1980s. I think it's easy for us to see it as more of an aberration than it is.

Comment author: Larks 07 March 2017 02:16:36AM *  0 points [-]

Julia Wise: I work as Community Liaison at CEA, trying to help the effective altruism community thrive. Because I work at CEA, my role is of course not to give an outside view but to present issues that CEA wants input on, and to incorporate the panel’s feedback into CEA decision-making.

Claire Zabel: Claire is a research analyst at Open Philanthropy Project and serves on the board of Animal Charity Evaluators. She is a moderator of the Effective Altruism Facebook group.

Julia is also an EA facebook group moderator?

Comment author: Julia_Wise 07 March 2017 02:41:12AM 1 point [-]

True, and a couple of other hats. I was focusing on my role at CEA since I'm not in a role of bringing outside view.


Advisory panel at CEA

A few months ago, Will MacAskill (who is CEO at the Centre for Effective Altruism) proposed that given the problems arising in the community, some kind of body should be formed to make recommendations to the community on how to handle these problems. We looked into the possibility of forming... Read More
Comment author: MondSemmel 09 February 2017 11:15:53PM 1 point [-]

Thanks for writing this. I found it helpful.

One question:

"People who have retired or partially retired [...] can join Giving What We Can and remain members for as long as they continue to donate at least 10% of their spending money (as defined above)."

Is the "10%" number here accurate? At all other locations where "spending money" is mentioned, the corresponding percentage is 1%.

Comment author: Julia_Wise 01 March 2017 02:47:10PM *  0 points [-]

Sorry I missed seeing this earlier.

The difference to me is that the other situations are usually temporary. If you're a student, or unemployed, or a full-time parent, you're donating 1% of spending money to keep some skin in the game with the expectation that at some point you'll earn enough to do a normal pledge. If you're retired, pledging 1% of spending money with no plan to ever donate more isn't much of a commitment.

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