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Why is CEA orchestrating the EAGx conference series?

CEA believes that there are massive gains to be had from getting someone interested in EA to become very knowledgeable, strategic, and involved. While it’s easy to promote clickbait articles and mass advertisements, we believe that this poorly represents EA, and that the people who will become most engaged will usually take to long-form content and conversations instead. In many cases, in-person events are just this nudge, offering changes to meet potential collaborators to encounter mind-changing information.

Unfortunately, CEA has neither the capacity nor the local knowledge to run successful EA conferences in most regions. Local residents and university students are far better situated to spread the message in a manner to which the people near them will take. We’ve found that this also doubles as a means of building cohesion amongst the EAs who organize the event, solidifying their local presence.

Why run an EAGx event?

We believe there are three primary goals EAGx organizers can accomplish with their events:

  1. Cause significant plan changes

  2. Strengthen local chapters’ presences and consistency

  3. Maintain and steer the message and perception of effective altruism, both the concept and the community

However, Effective Altruism Global X events have the potential to be impactful on a variety of fronts, helping both directly by generating immediate value and indirectly by improving local chapters and the broader EA community. We believe that the indirect results of EAGx conferences are likely to generate most of the value.

Direct impact

  • Cause significant plan changes

  • Generate donations for high-impact charities and projects

Indirect impact

Chapter benefits
  • Strengthen local chapters’ presences and consistency

  • Create more and stronger members

  • Build skills the organizers didn’t yet have

Community benefits
  • Maintain and steer the message and perception of effective altruism, both the concept and the community

  • Generate new content and collaborations, such as academic papers, EA Forum posts, startups, or initiatives

  • Engage our network, both as attendees and as speakers, with meaningful ways to become involved and encouragement to do more so

  • Get new sectors on board with EA

  • Generate people who hold EA values

  • Recruit potential employees for CEA and other EA organizations

Since we have only had about a dozen events and were still in the process of systematizing data collection and analysis, the evidence that EAGx events accomplish these goals is mostly weak and anecdotal.

Historically we have used pre- and post-conference surveys, organizer applications and post-conference survey, speaker feedback form, CEA Chapter Affiliation Form, and the Annual EA Survey to track our counterfactual impact. As much as we would love to have an exact dollars-per-QALY figure, we believe that any such estimate will be unrealistic, and therefore focus on intermediate metrics like significant plan changes, Giving What We Can pledges, and new chapter members. As CEA standardizes its measures of impact evaluation we will publish a more comprehensive explanation of our approach.

Why run my EA event as part of the EAGx conference series?

EAGx organizers have special access to a host of resources.

Physical resources

  • A £3700 (US$5000) grant to use at your team’s discretion

  • A £1100 (US$1500) stipend per primary organizer (for up to 3 organizers)

  • Access to additional grants towards conference expenses

  • Access to monetary loans from CEA (for making purchases before selling tickets)

  • Free copies of Doing Good Better for attendees who complete the post-conference survey

  • A series of post-conference attendee engagement emails

Brand legitimacy

  • An official event logo, email address, hashtag, and style guide

  • A web page dedicated to your event on eaglobal.org

  • A CEA staff attendee at your event, who can present the introductory talk if requested

  • Access to our extensive speaker database and personal EA speaker network

Operational support

  • A pre-filled task management system in Asana

  • A pre-structured file organization system in Google Drive

  • A reduced-fee ticketing system on Tito

  • Pre- and post-conference impact evaluation forms

  • Templates for budgets, programming, emails, posters, etc.

Strategic advice

  • Strategy worksheets (in Google Forms) to help your team think through the important components of your event

  • Personalized strategic and logistical advice from CEA

  • One-on-one local group-building planning from CEA

We have made publicly available a collection of public how-to guides, templates, and guides for anyone in the community who wants to run an EA event. While we are working to become a general-use resource, some of the above resources we can only offer to EAGx-affiliated event organizers.