Based on our best understanding of the risks from COVID-19, and after seeking the advice of experts in public health, we have sadly decided not to hold EA Global: San Francisco in March.
We will provide an update as soon as possible about whether the event will be postponed to later in the year, or whether it will be canceled.
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 the biannual conference of the effective altruism community; a global network of people who have made helping others a core part of their lives. Speakers and attendees discuss new thinking in the field of effective altruism, share new research, familiarize themselves with core concepts, and coordinate on global projects.
What is EAGx?
In addition to the EA Global conferences organized by the Centre for Effective Altruism, some local EA groups are supported to run their own EAGx conferences to promote and discuss effective altruism. See the EAGx page for more information.
Attending the conference
How can I attend EA Global?
You must submit an application to attend EA Global. This helps us allocate our limited spots to the applicants who seem most able to help each other pursue their goals. You can read more about our admissions process further down the page.
The following people are particularly likely to find the conference valuable:
- People already familiar with the key ideas of effective altruism
- People further advanced in their studies or careers
- People seeking the opportunity to master more complex problems in effective altruism, learn new skills, or get help from the community
- People actively seeking work focused on high-priority global issues
- People from the groups above who are interested in mentoring other attendees
How much are tickets?
Ticket prices for EA Global: San Francisco (March 20-22) are $400 for early bird and $500 for general admission.
We don't want cost to keep anyone away so we provide discount codes on the registration page for anyone who needs them. This is true even if you are not low-income but, for example, are prioritizing donation. Please take financial aid rather than stay home.
You can also apply to volunteer in exchange for a free ticket.
How do I volunteer?
Volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring a successful conference. Volunteers are required to work a number of shifts during the event and are welcome to participate in the conference when they are not working their shifts. Volunteers are usually assigned about three shifts covering a total of about half the time of the conference.
Since volunteers spend some of their time attending EA Global, we only accept volunteers who have already applied and been accepted to the conference.
You can apply to volunteer at EA Global: San Francisco here.
Is my registration fee refundable?
Refunds for EA Global are possible until a few weeks before the conference. Please contact us if you require a refund.
Can I submit speaker and workshop suggestions?
You can nominate a speaker (including yourself) or share other content suggestions using this form.
What kind of food will be served?
We serve vegan food at all events. If you need to bring your own food, we may be able to help you with refrigerator space — please ask at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you recommend accommodation?
We've compiled a range of accommodation options for EA Global: San Francisco here.
Please contact us if you have questions about accessibility or if you need us to make any accommodations.
More about admissions
See also this EA Forum post about EA Global admissions.
Why is there an application process for EA Global?
We use an application in order to allocate our limited spots to the attendees who seem most able to help each other pursue their goals.
If an application is rejected, does CEA provide feedback about why?
We receive roughly 900 applications for each conference, so we usually aren’t able to go into detail about specific decisions, but we hope this general overview is helpful. When we’re able to do so, we also respond to emails from applicants about their applications.
What reasons might cause CEA to reject an application?
Most commonly: We don’t have any concerns about the applicant, but we have limited space and don’t think they will be able to make as much use of the conference as the applicants we accept. Some common reasons are:
Early in education or career (for example, an undergraduate, or someone early in their professional experience)
Working or planning to work in an area where EA Global is not likely to be very helpful (for example, someone focusing on mental health research or policy is likely to get more from the conference than someone focusing on providing direct mental health services as a therapist)
Since some people have been to EA Global several times, we try to free up spaces for newcomers. If you've attended before, we may not take you every time in order to let someone else come for the first time.
Occasionally: We’re mildly concerned about past behavior from the applicant that has caused, or that we expect would cause, negative experiences for other attendees. This could include a record of overconfidence, excessive self-promotion, or rudeness. We likely won’t go into detail about this when responding to applicants, but we will look for evidence that these behaviors have improved when we consider someone’s future applications. In some cases, we’ve seen people make positive changes over time and admitted them to subsequent EA Global conferences.
Rarely: We have serious concerns about an applicant’s past behavior that we think might come up again at EA Global or with people they meet at EA Global (for example, harassment or fraud).
What does it not mean if my application is rejected?
It is not necessarily a judgement about the value of your project or work, and it is not intended to signal to funders or potential employees that they shouldn’t collaborate with you.
It does not mean you are not part of the EA community. EA Global is just one of many ways to stay connected.
How can I find out if you have concerns about me, my behavior, or my organization?
If you want to know whether we have concerns about your behavior, ask us and we will tell you. (In most cases, the answer will be 'no'.) If we are free to share specific details about our concerns, we will also do this; however, because we must respect the confidentiality of people who report concerns, we will sometimes only be able to tell you the broad nature of a concern rather than the specifics.
What can I do if my application was waitlisted or rejected?
If there's information that wasn't included on your original application that you think it might be relevant to our decision, you or a friend can contact us at email@example.com and provide any information you think we should know. We will consider the new information and get back to you.
Why did someone with similar qualifications or interests to mine get in when I did not?
Some people will be admitted while others with similar qualifications are not. There are often groups of applicants with fairly similar backgrounds or interests, and in these cases, we may accept some but not all applicants from the group. Examples include people who are starting to get involved in fields like cultured meat or AI safety - the good news is that lots of EAs are interested in those fields, but the bad news is that we don’t have room for all of them.
We think it’s valuable for local EA groups to have at least some members attend EA Global in order to bring back news and ideas to other members of their group. This means we try to accept representatives from a variety of groups. If a large proportion of your group applies, we probably won’t accept everyone from your group.
What about beliefs?
We don’t reject people for disagreeing with CEA or for expressing controversial ideas.
We might reject someone’s application for things like:
Expressing disagreement in a destructive or irresponsible way
Advocating or taking actions that we see as harmful (for example violence, or projects with a lot of downside risk)
What does it mean if I’d like to be a speaker and I’m not selected?
Most likely, it means that the material you’d like to present is not a good fit for this event, or that we’ve already selected a speaker for a similar topic.
We also recognize that conference organizers are sometimes perceived as “endorsing” speakers. While we want speakers to express their own views and not CEA’s, we do still need to consider how a speaker or topic may reflect on CEA. This means that we will sometimes not take speakers who have expressed particularly controversial beliefs in the past.
We try to make our evaluation process as fair as possible, but we realize we don’t have perfect information. If you or someone you know hasn’t been admitted, it’s completely possible that we misunderstood something, or would have liked to admit you but had a lot of similar applicants. We know that attending the conference is important to community members, but this admissions process is not the sole determinant of a person’s involvement with EA, and we don’t want it to be treated as such. We hope that applicants will consider other ways to stay involved, whether or not they are accepted.
How can I contact the EA Global team?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.