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About the conferences

What is effective altruism?

Effective altruism is about using evidence and reason to figure out how to benefit others as much as possible, and taking action on that basis. Visit www.effectivealtruism.org for more information.

What is EA Global?

EA Global is a conference series within the effective altruism (EA) community. Attendees and speakers coordinate on global projects, share new research and opportunities, keep up-to-date with the evolving ideas of effective altruism, and connect with each other.

EA Global conferences typically last around 3 days and involve talks, workshops, discussions, and many chances to connect and network with people in EA.

Who should attend an EA Global conference?

EA Global is designed for people who have a solid understanding of the main concepts of effective altruism, and who are making decisions and taking significant actions based on them.

This may sound like a high bar, but we do sometimes admit people who view themselves as less experienced.

If you want to attend but are unsure about whether to apply, please err on the side of applying!

What is EAGx?

EA Global conferences are not the only events for people interested in effective altruism! EAGx conferences are locally-organized conferences designed primarily for people:

  • Familiar with the core ideas of effective altruism
  • Interested in learning more about what to do
  • From the region or country where the conference is taking place (or living there)

See the EAGx page for more information, like what to expect and who should apply.

What’s the difference between an EAG and EAGx?

EAGx events are similar to EA Global conferences; they are opportunities for people interested in effective altruism to make connections, exchange ideas, and attend talks and workshops. EA Global conferences are organized by the Centre for Effective Altruism. EAGx events, on the other hand, are mostly community-organized with some support from the EA Global team.

The target audiences for the two types of event are also different. As described above, EA Global conferences tend to be meant for people already taking significant actions based on the principles of effective altruism. Read more about EAGx conferences here.

The process for attending a conference

How do admissions work, and how does the process work?

To attend a conference, you’ll need to submit an application, which the admissions team will evaluate. If you get in, you will then be invited to register for the conference and buy a ticket.

Our admissions system helps us select for applicants who seem most able to help each other pursue their goals. You can read more about how applications are evaluated here.

How much are tickets? Is there financial aid?

Ticket prices differ by event, but we offer discounts and financial support to make sure that cost is not prohibitive for anyone. Students are admitted to events free of charge by default.

We provide ticket discounts for everyone who needs them. You can apply these discounts on the registration page once you’ve been admitted.

We will also often provide travel support. If you may need travel support in order to attend, you should let us know during your application; there is a designated question about this. Requesting travel support does not lower your chance of being accepted to the conference. You can see more on travel support here.

Should I ask for financial aid? Why do you offer it?

Please take financial aid and travel support if you feel you need it — if we’ve accepted you, we think it will be valuable for you to come. Additionally, in order to ensure accessibility, we’re happy to provide travel support for everyone who feels they need it to the EAGx conference that’s most conveniently located for them (in any given year), or to EA Global if they’ve been accepted to that. This means that if you live in Estonia and it’s easiest for you to get to EAGxBerlin, you can apply for (and expect to get) travel support for that trip.

If you are a student, the ticket cost is waived by default. If the ticket costs are prohibitive, you should ask for discounts. If the costs are restrictive and you might find yourself making tradeoffs that don’t make sense from the point of view of impact (like booking a trip that’s $50 cheaper but 5 hours longer), then please still request financial aid. We feel that many people who should request financial aid don’t ask for it, so err on the side of asking.

As to our reasoning: strictly limiting ticket-price flexibility and funding makes sense if you are a provider of a service to paying customers. But, while we hope our conferences are fun and valuable for the attendees, we don’t believe that attendees are the ultimate customers of our conferences. Instead, we view attendees as contributors, too. Our hope is that, through these conferences, we help attendees help the world in a variety of ways — which is the Centre for Effective Altruism’s ultimate mission. So it seems reasonable to take a collaborative approach to event costs.

Should I volunteer, and how do I?

Volunteers are crucial to the success of our conferences. Volunteers sign up to work a minimum number of shifts and attend volunteer training before the event starts, but besides these times, participate in the conference as all attendees do. This is why we require you to be accepted to the conference as an attendee before you can offer to volunteer.

In the past, volunteers have found connecting with each other and the conference organizers to be extremely valuable, and we view this benefit as a crucial aspect of the volunteering process.

We think volunteering is particularly useful for:

  • Attendees who want to try their operations or event-running skills
  • Attendees who would like to help out with the conference
  • First-time attendees who don’t expect to be completely booked with meetings
  • Attendees who would like to meet other volunteers for a given reason

To volunteer, simply express interest in the application for the event itself.

What if I need a visa?

If you may need a visa in order to attend, you should apply as early as possible, and let us know during your application; there is a designated question about this. We can provide you with a visa letter if you are admitted.

What if I want to know more about how admissions work?

Please see this page about admissions.

Is my registration fee refundable?

Refunds are possible until a few weeks before the conference. Please contact us at admissions@eaglobal.org if you require a refund.

Before an EA Global Conference

Should I prepare for the conference? How?

Here are some concrete steps you can take:

  • Make a list of your priorities — what you’d like to get out of the conference
  • Make a plan of action based on those priorities
  • Follow the instructions in the emails you’re getting and make yourself a Swapcard profile.
  • Look through other people’s profiles and connect with people you’d like to meet with or who share your interests
  • Look through sessions on the agenda and register for the ones you’d like to attend (and bookmark the ones you’re interested in but which you’re less sure about)
  • Read Forum posts tagged “effective altruism conferences” for tips for during the conference to get the most out of it

Can I submit speaker suggestions or other ideas for sessions?

You can suggest a speaker (including yourself) or share other content ideas using this form. (We really appreciate it!)

During an EA Global Conference

What kind of food will be served?

Catered food at our conferences is typically vegan, and any non-vegan or allergy-specific food will be labeled. If you need to bring your own food, we are usually able to help you with refrigerator space — please ask at hello@eaglobal.org.

Accessibility

We try to make our conferences accessible to everyone. Please ask at hello@eaglobal.org if you have questions about accessibility or if you need us to make any accommodations.

How do you manage COVID risk?

The COVID protocols will vary by event, and we’re still working out the best things to do. We try to make our events as safe as possible by:

  • Requiring that attendees follow certain rules (like declaring their vaccination status and testing before the event)
  • When possible at our venues, setting up space outdoors space or areas with good ventilation.

How can I contact the EA Global team?

Please email us at hello@eaglobal.org.