EA Global 2017 Update

Overview

The CEA team has started plan­ning the EAG 2017 con­fer­ences. After con­sid­er­ing the les­sons from EA Global 2016, as well as com­mu­nity feed­back and sur­vey re­sults, we are plan­ning to have three EA Global Events this year. The lo­ca­tions will be:

  1. Bos­ton /​ Cam­bridge, MA—in May (Edit: June)

  2. SF Bay Area—in July or August

  3. Lon­don /​ Oxford—in Oc­to­ber or November

We are pub­lish­ing these plans now so that peo­ple in the EA com­mu­nity can provide feed­back and can start think­ing about travel plans. While we ex­pect most of this year’s at­ten­dees to come to only one of the three con­fer­ences, each will have its own dis­tinct and com­ple­men­tary con­tent, so we en­courage peo­ple to con­sider at­tend­ing more than one.

Why Three Con­fer­ences?

Last year we found that a sur­pris­ingly small per­centage of at­ten­dees trav­el­led to at­tend the sin­gle main con­fer­ence. Sur­vey data and par­ti­ci­pant feed­back in­di­cate that hav­ing sev­eral con­fer­ences that are eas­ily ac­cessible from differ­ent ge­o­graphic re­gions will sub­stan­tially in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple who can at­tend an EAG event, and we think this is a good thing. Con­fer­ence sizes will be partly de­ter­mined by com­mu­nity in­ter­est and venue ca­pac­ity, but we ex­pect at least 400-500 at­ten­dees at each event.

Program

While this year’s con­fer­ences will all have pro­gram­ming that at­ten­dees of past EAGs will rec­og­nize, each will have its own dis­tinct fo­cus. The EAG team will look for speak­ers, pan­els, and work­shops that fit with these themes as much as pos­si­ble.

Bos­ton: EAG Fron­tiers. The Fron­tiers con­fer­ence will be about new, up­com­ing, and spec­u­la­tive causes and in­ter­ven­tions. Likely talk tracks in­clude:

  • So­ciety—law, gov­ern­ment, policy, coordination

  • Tech­nol­ogy—re­cent de­vel­op­ments, pre­dict­ing im­por­tant ad­vances, novel applications

  • Science—re­cent and on­go­ing re­search, im­prov­ing the prac­tice of Science

There will be a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on figur­ing out how to think about im­por­tant, difficult, and spec­u­la­tive causes. Talks and work­shops will try to an­swer the ques­tion, “what could be the next Cause X?”

SF Bay Area: EAG Sum­mit. This event will be a less cu­rated, more com­mu­nity-driven event. There will be some large main-stage talks, but the pri­mary source of con­tent will be work­shops and side room talks in the style of an “un­con­fer­ence”. The main au­di­ence for this event will be EA Global alumni, though at­ten­dance at a pre­vi­ous event will not be a re­quire­ment for ad­mis­sion. Pro­gram­ming will fo­cus on the EA com­mu­nity it­self, with po­ten­tial tracks in­clud­ing:

  • Find­ing Cause X—how can the EA com­mu­nity find new causes and pro­jects to sup­port? How has this hap­pened in the past?

  • More “E”—how can we make peo­ple and pro­jects in the EA com­mu­nity more effec­tive?

  • More “A”—can EA’s be­come more al­tru­is­tic? Can we help oth­ers be­come more al­tru­is­tic? What makes peo­ple mo­ti­vated to do good?

We hope to so­licit the ma­jor­ity of the Sum­mit’s pro­gram­ming from mem­bers of the EA com­mu­nity in the form of talks, work­shops, fa­cil­i­tated dis­cus­sions, and other spe­cial­ized events.

Lon­don: EAG Fun­da­men­tals. This event will fo­cus on dis­cus­sion of the core philo­soph­i­cal and tech­ni­cal prin­ci­ples of Effec­tive Altru­ism. It will build on the work of CEA’s Re­search Team and that of the new EA In­sti­tute, and will in­clude dis­cus­sions of cause pri­ori­ti­za­tion, ethics, and philos­o­phy. There will also be an event similar to the EA Global 2016 Re­search Meet­ing, and we will look for sub­mis­sions from a va­ri­ety of dis­ci­plines, in­clud­ing eco­nomics, data sci­ence, and philos­o­phy. We ex­pect this event will have many at­ten­dees with spe­cial­ized knowl­edge in their fields who are fairly new to effec­tive al­tru­ism, so we plan to in­clude ses­sions fo­cused on the fun­da­men­tal ideas of effec­tive al­tru­ism as well as ways that spe­cific dis­ci­plines can fur­ther EA causes.

EA Com­mu­nity Input

Very lit­tle of the pro­gram has been fi­nal­ized for any of the three events. If you have any ideas about the over­all struc­ture and themes of the con­fer­ences, we would love to hear them! Please use this in­put form as many times as you like. We will post reg­u­lar up­dates as the plan­ning pro­cess con­tinues, so there will be mul­ti­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to give feed­back.

We also need your help find­ing ex­cel­lent speak­ers and other con­tent. Please use this form to nom­i­nate a speaker, work­shop, or topic area that you think would be a good fit at any of the con­fer­ences.

We are look­ing for more help with this year’s events, par­tic­u­larly from peo­ple lo­cal to each of Bos­ton, the Bay, and Lon­don. If you are in­ter­ested in join­ing the EAG 2017 team as a vol­un­teer, please let us know here!

We will con­tinue to provide up­dates as the pro­grams come to­gether both on the Fo­rum and at ea­global.org.