Your July 2021 EA Newsletter    

Our top recommendation this month is to check out the EA Virtual Programs — free online courses on the core ideas of EA.

We also have a couple of really cool featured jobs, in journalism and technology policy (no experience required for either!).

— The EA Newsletter Team
Virtual Programs

EA Virtual Programs are now available every month!

If you're not active in the EA movement, It can feel hard to get involved — especially with COVID restricting events and meetups.

Enter the Virtual Programs. These free, 8-week courses are a great way to learn about key concepts and causes, so that you can start applying the knowledge in your own life.

The next round starts in September; to join, apply by 29 August.
Find a Virtual Program
If you’re already familiar with EA, consider signing up to facilitate, or sharing the link with a friend!

No time for a live course? Prefer self-directed learning?

There’s another option! 
We just launched a new version of the Effective Altruism Handbook, which collects some of the movement's best work into a reading list you can explore for yourself.
Read the EA Handbook

News and updates from the world of effective altruism

UK aid cuts threaten hundreds of development programs

The UK’s government voted this month for a massive cut to the country’s overseas aid — from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP, roughly £4.5 billion per year.

This will affect a huge number of organizations, so the precise impacts are difficult to estimate. To learn more, we recommend Sam Bowman on how the UK runs aid programs, as well as Devex’s timeline of related news

(If you live in the UK, you can still ask your MP to speak out against this.)
Image credit: BBC News


Reimagining cities to fight poverty?

Economic growth has lifted over a billion people out of poverty in the last few decades. How can we encourage further growth in poor countries?

One suggestion is to create “
charter cities” — areas of a country that use a new governance system to promote business development and healthy institutions. Past examples include Singapore, Dubai, and Hong Kong.

The research organization Rethink Priorities recently examined charter cities as a potential cause area for impact-focused philanthropists. Their conclusions were uncertain, but they were skeptical that work in this area would outperform support for GiveWell’s top charities.

Mark Lutter, head of the Charter Cities Institute, then published a response to Rethink’s report. (For more on this topic, see 80,000 Hours’ podcast interview with Lutter.)

What can we learn from the world's COVID failures? 

COVID-19 let us see how the world would respond to a fast-moving problem with millions of lives at stake. The results were not promising.

A recent EA Forum post lists many ways in which governments reacted slowly and fitfully as the virus spread, and tries to estimate how quickly a vaccine could have been available with better policy.

The author isn’t an expert on the subject, and made it clear which numbers were "guesses", but the post still sparked some good discussion:

A new blog from a major EA grantmaker

Holden Karnofsky, co-founder of GiveWell and co-CEO of Open Philanthropy, has a new blog: Cold Takes. The blog covers futurism, applied ethics, and other topics related to “avant-garde effective altruism”.

For a taste of the avant-garde, we recommend the post “All Possible Views About Humanity’s Future Are Wild”. It lives up to the title!

In other news

For more stories, try these email newsletters and podcasts

You can also check out EA Hub's list of Facebook groups. This month's featured group is Effective Altruism and Policy, for discussing ways to pursue high-impact political change.

Jobs and Grants

Opportunities to work on some of the world's most pressing problems

The 80,000 Hours Job Board features more than 500 positions. We can’t fit them all in the newsletter, so check out the others on their website!

You can also find opportunities in the EA Job Postings Facebook group.

We're featuring two unusual items this month — chances to get involved in EA-related work through journalism and public policy.

Future Perfect Fellow, Vox Media

We’re thrilled by Vox’s plans to expand Future Perfect, which has produced a lot of great stories on effective altruism. They’re hiring three writers for a full-time, one-year fellowship. 

Kelsey Piper, a current Future Perfect writer, talks about the fellowship and her own experience in this post.

Applications close on 4 August — get started soon!

Open Philanthropy Technology Policy Fellowship

Open Phil wants to grow the community of people at the intersection of U.S. policy and longtermism-related work, especially in AI and biosecurity.

Selected applicants will get policy-focused training and mentorship, and will be supported in matching with a host organization for a fully-funded fellowship in the Washington, DC area. Potential hosts include executive branch offices, Congressional offices, and think tanks.

Policy experience is not required; Open Phil may consider it, but there are other ways to show you might be a good fit for the work.

To learn more before you apply, see Open Phil's Ask Me Anything post.

Applications due soon

Available Funding, Survival and Flourishing Fund (Various locations or remote) (apply by 23 August)

Community Director, EA Anywhere (Remote) (apply by 21 August)

Congressional Innovation Fellow, TechCongress (Washington, DC metro area) (apply by 3 August)

Recruitment Specialist, Animal Advocacy Careers (Remote) (apply by 1 August)


Other positions

Copy Editor, 80,000 Hours (Remote)

Data Engineer // Senior Security Engineer, Anthropic (SF Bay Area)

Founder (Alternative Protein Startup), Counterfactual Ventures (London or remote)

Foreign and Security Policy Fellow // Polymath Initiative Fellow, Geneva Center for Security Policy (Geneva, Switzerland)

Grants for Existential Risk Reduction, Future of Life Institute (Remote)

Research Associate // Scientist (Assay Development), Telis (Boston)

Social Media Manager, The Long Now (Remote)

Technology Policy Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute (SF Bay area)

Various Positions, GiveWell (SF Bay Area or remote)

Various Positions, The Good Food Institute (Various locations)

Various Positions, Open Philanthropy (SF Bay Area or remote)

Various Positions, Ought (SF Bay Area or remote)


Books, events, community projects, and more!

Funding available for “non-EA-branded groups”

There are several funding sources for people who run effective altruism groups. But now, you can also get paid to run certain related groups.

Examples include:
  • Reading groups for books like The Precipice or The Scout Mindset
  • Groups focused on a single topic, like biosecurity or animal welfare
  • Groups focused on discussing content from blogs and forums like LessWrong or Astral Codex Ten
If you run a group like this, or plan to start one, consider applying to the Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). See this post from EAIF grantmaker Buck Shlegeris for details, or to contact him with questions.

Mentorship available for economics PhD applicants

Planning to apply for an economics PhD in the upcoming cycle (2022)?

Know someone else who plans to apply, and has an interest in EA?

The Global Priorities Institute is offering a mentorship program for PhD applicants; to apply, fill out this short questionnaire by 8 August.

Start a new venture in the alternative protein space

Do you want to build a startup that helps to change the global food system?

Counterfactual Ventures runs an incubation program for alternative protein startups. They’re currently seeking applicants for the program. You don’t need an existing startup, prior experience in the field, or even your own idea; bring relevant skills, and Counterfactual can help with the rest.

Learn more about the program here, and apply using this form.

Call for proposals on wild animal welfare

Wild Animal Initiative is soliciting proposals for research projects on the welfare and ecology of juvenile wild animals. Submit an expression of interest form by 29 August. Full proposals are due on 5 December.

Coming soon: Applications for EA Global: London 2021

CEA plans to open applications for EA Global: London in September. We’ll have more details next month, plus exciting news about upcoming EAGx conferences in Prague, Oxford, Singapore, Australia, and the United States.

Timeless Classic

Ideas that have shaped the way we think about doing good

One facet of effective altruism is “moral circle expansion” — increasing society’s concern for the interests of different groups (like animals, or people in future generations).

For years, Sentience Institute has been studying cases of successful expansion, and the movements that made them possible. They sum up the most important things they learned in this month’s classic: “Key Lessons from Social Movement History”.

(The summary is new; the studies aren’t.)

Case studies include the British antislavery movement, the U.S. prisoners’ rights movement, and more.

If this work interests you, you might also enjoy Open Philanthropy's case studies on early field growth.
Organizational Updates

You can see updates from a wide range of EA-aligned organizations on the EA Forum. (Organizations submit updates, which we edit for clarity.)
We hope you found this edition useful!

If you’ve taken action because of the Newsletter and haven’t taken our impact survey, please do — it helps us improve future editions.

(Actions we'd love to hear about include donating to charity, applying to a job, or joining a community group.)

Finally, if you have feedback for us, positive or negative, let us know!

– The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team
Click here to access the full EA Newsletter archive
A community project of the Centre for Effective Altruism, a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1149828) – Centre for Effective Altruism, Littlegate House, St Ebbes Street, Oxford
OX1 1PT, United Kingdom
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.