Published 20th September 2019
Image: EA NTNU
As a group organiser you will be communicating the ideas of effective altruism to a variety of people, and this can sometimes be challenging. Effective altruism is a complex set of interconnected ideas, so it is often difficult to give others an accurate and appropriately broad view of the movement. The controversial and counterintuitive nature of some of the movement’s ideas adds to the challenge. A broad base of knowledge will make it easier to communicate effective altruism ideas accurately and in an appealing way.
You don’t have to know everything about effective altruism to be a group organiser, of course, but you should understand and be able to talk about the basics.
It would be a good idea to:
- Read or watch introductory articles, books or videos about effective altruism. If you’ve gotten to the point of considering starting an effective altruism group you probably have this covered already, but here are some general resources about effective altruism if you are new to effective altruism or want a refresher
- Know a little about some of the EA-aligned organisations so that you can direct people to information that might be useful to them
- Have a few good ways of explaining effective altruism, so you can confidently talk about EA to newcomers
- Know some of the frequently asked questions and common criticisms of effective altruism and possible polite, constructive responses to them
More important than in-depth knowledge is being dedicated to improving the world, and being friendly, open, inclusive, and enthusiastic about helping others get more involved. A big factor in the success of any movement is whether people enjoy being a part of it, so do what you can to make your group a positive place.
If you feel you lack the skills to start a group, it might help to know that many people who start groups feel the same way. Consider that you might be suffering from imposter syndrome, where talented people underestimate their abilities – a common affliction among EAs. Having a chat with CEA or with other group organisers might help you work out whether starting a group is right for you.
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