Published 22nd September 2019
Building a robust effective altruism community could have an extraordinarily large impact. The following resources discuss theories and approaches for building the effective altruism community.
General community-building theories and strategies
- 80,000 Hours’ cause profile on promoting effective altruism describes why this cause area may be one of the most important areas to work in, and reasons why you might or might not choose to work in this area
- The CEA community-building page explores some opportunities and challenges related to EA movement-building
- The funnel model of EA engagement models possible paths of involvement in EA, from people unaware of EA, through to core members and leaders
CEA’s Three-Factor Model of Community Building frames people’s impact in terms of
- Resources: The scale of the resources (money, skills, etc.) they have to offer
- Dedication: The proportion of those resources that they devote to doing good
- Realisation: How efficiently they are using those resources
A group aiming to have a significant impact could set goals to help their members increase their impact. We encourage group organisers to apply the three-factor model to their groups.
- Owen Cotton-Barrett describes the Awareness/Inclination Model of movements, and outlines possible trajectories that movements could take. This is followed by recommendations that the EA movement put more effort into improving people’s inclination towards EA than increasing awareness of EA
- Owen Cotton-Barrett also explains why communities of do-gooders should be exceptionally considerate
- Stefan Schubert and Ben Garfinkel explain why hard to reverse decisions destroy option value and discuss how this applies to EA movement building
- CEA on the fidelity model of spreading ideas, which argues that movement-building should prefer mechanisms for spreading EA ideas that are more likely to keep the nuance of the ideas intact
- Rebecca Baron outlines a few possible ways the EA movement could collapse, with additional scenarios provided in the comments
Models of an EA Group
- CEA’s model of an EA group discusses the funnel model of EA engagement as it relates to EA groups, covers ways of moving people down the funnel, and proposes metrics to evaluate the impact of a group
- A concrete model for running an EA group, from the EA Foundation, takes you through the stages of getting someone involved from introduction to EA to deep engagement
- Harvard and Oxford describe heuristics for running an EA group
Building the EA Movement Internationally
- Jan Kulveit on why we should develop national EA organisations and suggestions for building national-level EA organisations
- Jah-Ying Chung describes a framework for emerging EA locations
- Ben Todd discusses the potential for “lock in” of ideas when conducting mass outreach (especially in new languages) in this forum post.
Additional reading related to EA community building can be found on the EA Resource Hub’s Community Building Reading List.
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