I’ve read a lot about “talent gaps” and how EA needs more top researchers, operations professionals, and policy analysts. I don’t doubt those gaps are real. You can contribute to the EA community by developing those skills.
However, you can also contribute to the EA community by developing rarer skills. There are many particular skillsets which would be very useful for a few EAs to develop. Although these skills may never turn into full-time jobs, I’d like to see people develop them because I think they could be quite useful.
Some suggestions of skills I’d like a few people to develop:
· Connecting EA and another group. I’d like to see a small number of people connecting EA to each of these:
-Religions (eg Methodists, Bahai)
-Social movements (eg Fair Trade, Black Lives Matter, drug reform/prison reform movements)
-Underrepresented cultural or demographic groups (eg people who haven’t gone to university, pensioners, Indonesians)
· Apply a methodology other than RCTs and Cost-Benefit Analysis to an EA problem. Can you measure large-scale education interventions using difference-in-difference? Are you a wizard at process tracing? We could really use your skills evaluating charity and policy interventions!
· Communicate important EA concepts. I’d like to see, for example, an illustrated guide to EA, or an infographic on charity evaluation. I’d like to see high-quality videos created promoting each of GiveWell’s top charities. I’d like to see high-quality education within EA, and high-quality PR to the outside world. We only need a couple of people working on each of these at this point, but they could all be quite useful.
Helpful fields: adult education; online education; marketing; writing; lobbying; communications; PR; art; graphic design; video production.
· Global poverty that isn’t health. I’d like to see a handful of people in EA with expertise in, for example, climate policy, or education charities, or energy poverty in a developing world context.
· Research and management. If you are an 80th percentile researcher and 80th percentile manager, I salute you. You should definitely stick around.
· Corporate Social Responsibility. Working in corporate social responsibility in a large corporation could probably have quite an impact? I really don’t know, but I’ve never heard anyone in EA talk about it, so if someone investigated it that would be useful.
· Psychiatry. EA is full of mental health problems. You could help us fix them. Sure, another psychiatrist could help us, but you already understand our weird lingo and worldview. If you could sort out our mental health, we’d be very thankful.
This is just meant to be the start to a long list—what other skills would you like a small number of people in EA to develop?