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CEA is Fundraising! (Winter 2016)

The Centre for Effective Altruism has begun its 2016 fundraising round. We’ve put together a document that summarises our activities, impact and mistakes in 2016, and plans for 2017. You can read it here (there’s an option to download it as a PDF file); we’ve also reproduced the executive summary... Read More
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[CEA Update] October 2016

Hi everyone, In October, we gained 105 new Giving What We Can pledges, more than double the number for October 2015, and gained 6,863 newsletter subscribers (including the remaining Student Freshers’ Fair imports).  We ran a week-long retreat in Barcelona to bring everyone together in one place. This was a... Read More
Comment author: William_MacAskill 31 October 2016 10:31:52AM 10 points [-]

Hey, I haven’t had much time to respond here, and won’t for the next week, but just to say I’m really loving the statements of the concerns (AGB in particular, thank you for working through a position even though you’re unsure of your views - would love this to become a more regular norm on here). My views are that this issue is sufficiently important that we should try to get all considerations, and all possible permutations of solutions to the issue, on the table; but I’m not wedded to any particular proposal at this stage, so all the comments are particularly helpful. Plan to write more in the near future.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 30 October 2016 10:38:21PM 16 points [-]

FYI, we removed references to GWWC and CEA from our documents

Comment author: William_MacAskill 31 October 2016 10:10:51AM 5 points [-]

Thanks, Gleb, it's appreciated.

Comment author: vipulnaik 27 October 2016 05:44:28AM 3 points [-]

The jargon used in this post is confusing. An "Open Letter" addressed to Gleb was indeed drafted by Jeff and others, but that's not the document that was published. As Jeff writes at http://www.jefftk.com/p/details-behind-the-inin-document:

I had initially hoped to create both a listing of concerns and an "open letter" that summarized the problem and recommended a course of action to the community, but we weren't able to agree on what that should be. Instead we decided we would just post the evidence doc to the EA forum, and let the community go from there.

Perhaps you drafted your post earlier, when Jeff was still planning to publish the open letter?

Comment author: William_MacAskill 27 October 2016 09:28:04AM 3 points [-]

I drafted the document afterwards, but didn't realise that the blog post was something different than the originally-planned 'open letter'.

Comment author: ClaireZabel 27 October 2016 12:29:35AM 3 points [-]

I would recommend linking to Jeff's post at the beginning of this one.

Comment author: William_MacAskill 27 October 2016 09:24:06AM 1 point [-]

Done!

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 27 October 2016 02:48:30AM *  15 points [-]

For example, internally we discussed whether we should ban Gleb from the EA Forum, which we run, for a three-month period. I think that this response would easily be warranted in light of Intentional Insights’ activities. But, for me, that proposal rang alarm bells of overreach: the EA Forum seems to me to be a community good, and it seems to me that CEA doesn’t have the legitimacy to take that action. But, unfortunately, neither does anyone else.

If done unilaterally, I think this would be overreach, so I'm really glad CEA has sought community input. However, the EA Forum, as I understand it, was always meant to be a community good run by the community. The EA Forum is currently maintained technically by non-CEA volunteers, non-CEA volunteers serve as community moderators, and the vast majority of content is written by people not affiliated with CEA. While I'm very grateful for everything CEA does to make this forum, and EA, a great place, I think claiming the EA Forum as run by CEA does a disservice to all the non-CEA work that myself and others have put into also making this forum great.

I agree, however, that it is a problem that there is no centrally agreed policy for handling bad actors or banning people from the forum. It's lucky we haven't had a problem with this yet, but I'd be really interested in seeing such a proposal. I'm glad CEA is taking a very community-focused approach to this and I'm interested in seeing what the community will come up with.

Comment author: William_MacAskill 27 October 2016 09:23:01AM *  13 points [-]

HI Peter - thanks for this comment. I didn't mean to belittle all the non-CEA contribution to the forum, which is of course very great, and much greater than the CEA contribution to the forum. So I'm sorry if it came across that way. I only put in "which CEA runs" because I thought that many readers wouldn't know that we are involved at all with the forum, and so wanted to give some explanation for why this might be an avenue of action for us at all. I've modified the text to "help to run" to make it more accurate.

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Setting Community Norms and Values: A response to the InIn Open Letter

I’m writing this in response to the recent post about Intentional Insights documenting the many ways in which Gleb and the organisation he runs has acted in ways not representing EA values. Please take this post as representative of the views of the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) on the... Read More
Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 14 October 2016 04:45:21PM 0 points [-]

I'm confused about the ongoing status of GPP. Has GPP been fully folded under the "Special Projects Division", or is that happening in the near future? Also, my impression was Special Projects would fill the role of GPP and GWWC's original research. Is that the case? Also, will Owen and Seb be continuing on with Special Projects and its work, or focusing on FHI's research priorities?

Comment author: William_MacAskill 15 October 2016 11:28:10AM 4 points [-]

GPP has fully folded under Special Projects. GPP had two tracks: policy research and outreach, and fundamental EA theory. These now have their own distinct teams under the special project division. The third team is philanthropic advising, which was previously under GWWC. Owen and Seb are continuing with Special Projects.

Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 14 October 2016 04:48:08PM 1 point [-]

If GWWC will continue on as an internal brand within the Community & Outreach Division, how open is CEA in taking donations earmarked for GWWC instead of general operations funding? I ask because some donors may evaluate GWWC as substantially more impactful than CEA's other activities.

Comment author: William_MacAskill 15 October 2016 11:25:54AM 4 points [-]

My current plan is that to a first approximation we won't accept restricted donations, including to GWWC. (It's a fiction that truly restricted donations are possible, anyway). But we will give donors the chance to express their preferences about how the money is to be used, which we'll consider in the aggregate when making strategic decisions. If donors think we're making major mistakes in allocation of resources between different activities, I'd love to see that written up, it would be very helpful to us.

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