Updated 28th May 2021
This page contains content ideas for EA discussion groups. Also check out these tips on how to run discussion groups.
Articles with pre-prepared questions or worksheets
- EA Fellowship curricula have a carefully curated list of readings with sample questions. If your group is not running a fellowship you can adapt this content to suit standalone discussion events. Most fellowships require a couple of hours of reading per week so you might want to choose a subset of that week’s reading unless your group has plenty of time to read between meetups.
- CEA/EA Oxford Introductory fellowship. They have a full curriculum and an abridged reading list (1 hour of reading per session). Each week has sample questions to discuss and exercises that could be completed in small groups during the meetup.
- EA Oxford’s In-Depth Fellowship curriculum
- Harvard EA’s Arete Fellowship curriculum
- South Bay EA has an extensive set of worksheets that cover many EA related topics. Each topic has reading suggestions and a worksheet with discussion questions.
Other good sources for articles
- EA Introductory Program on the EA Forum (this is a similar list of content to the CEA/EA Oxford Intro Fellowship)
- Many of the top rated posts on the EA Forum provide interesting discussion material.
- The average “karma” of EA Forum posts has risen over time, so the top-rated posts don’t capture the best classic posts. Instead check out this excellent list of classic posts from 2012-2017.
- 80,000 Hours’ Problem Profiles cover many key cause areas of interest to the EA community
Lists of reading lists for different EA related topics:
- Collections and Resources tag on the EA Forum
Answers on the EA Forum question (What are things everyone here should (maybe) read?
CEA’s YouTube channel has recordings of EA Global and EAGx talks. Many of these talks are less than 30 minutes long if you don’t include the Q+A sections, so they can be played at the start of a meetup. This is a great option if your group members often don’t have the time to read much between meetups.
Some of the 2020 EA Student Summit talks are particularly well suited to people newer to EA.
Some videos that groups have tried and found worked well:
- Why aren’t people donating more effectively? - Stefan Schubert
- How to replace our broken voting system - Aaron Hamlin
- The future of effective altruism - Panel discussion
- Philanthropy timing and the hinge of history - Phil Trammell
- Best ways to improve world happiness - Michael Plant
- Evidence, cluelessness, and the longterm - Hilary Greaves
- What we know and don’t know about Universal Basic Income - Alison Fahey
- Risks from great-power competition - Dani Nedal
- The Precipice - Toby Ord
- Decision-making workshop: learn how to make better decisions - Spencer Greenberg
- Representing Future Generations - Tyler John
- A pair of contrasting talks that could be shown at the same event, showing contrasting points of view about randomised controlled trials to reduce poverty:
- Social Experiments to Fight Poverty - Esther Duflo
- Growth and the case against randomista development - Hauke Hillebrandt
You can also find a long list of EA video sources on this Forum post.
Book clubs usually last for several weeks, with participants reading a chapter or two each week. CEA is able to provide funding to purchase books.
Some books that groups have used in reading groups:
- The Precipice by Toby Ord (Stanford EA’s guide has sample questions)
- Doing Good Better by William MacAskill (EA Estonia’s book group guide has sample questions)
- The Alignment Problem: How Can Machines Learn Human Values? by Brian Christian
- Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell
- The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t by Julia Galef
- Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
- Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
- How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach by Tobias Leenaert
These final two are more technical than the rest of the list:
- Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
- Moral Uncertainty by William MacAskill, Krister Bykvist, Toby Ord
Before choosing a book, check out a review or two and scan through the book to gauge the level, then advertise your book club accordingly.
- The 80,000 Hours podcast is a great source of interesting EA related discussions. Note that many are very long, so you might want to let your group know the sections that you think are the most important, so time-poor members can listen to the essential parts.
- Learn Effective Altruism is a selection of ten 80,000 Hours podcast episodes selected to help listeners quickly get up to speed on effective altruism from a longtermist perspective.
- Also check out this long list of EA-related podcasts
Lists of possible content
Want more content? The Collections and Resources tag on the EA Forum has numerous posts sharing lists of recommended articles, videos and books that cover a variety of EA related topics.
If you have suggestions on how to improve this page, please comment or suggest edits on this google doc.