Database of orgs relevant to longtermist/​x-risk work

Here’s a version of the database that you filter and sort however you wish, and here’s a version you can add comments to.

Key points

  • I’m addicted to creating collections and have struck once more.

  • The titular database includes >130 organizations that are relevant to people working on longtermism- or existential-risk-related issues, along with info on:

    • The extent to which they’re focused on longtermism/​x-risks

    • How involved in the EA community they are

    • Whether they’re still active

    • Whether they aim to make/​influence funding, policy, and/​or career decisions

    • Whether they produce research

    • What causes/​topics they focus on

    • What countries they’re based in

    • How much money they influence per year and how many employees they have[1]

  • I aimed for (but likely missed) comprehensive coverage of orgs that are substantially focused on longtermist/​x-risk-related issues and are part of the EA community.

  • I also included various orgs that are relevant despite being less focused on longtermism/​x-risks and/​or not being part of the EA community. But one could in theory include at least hundreds of such orgs, whereas I just included a pretty arbitrary subset of the ones I happen to know of.

  • I made this relatively quickly, based it partly on memory & guesswork, and see it as a minimum viable product that can be improved on over time. So please:

    • If you spot any errors or if you know any relevant info I failed to mention about these orgs, let me know via an EA Forum message or via following this link and then commenting there

    • Fill in this quick form if you know of other orgs worth mentioning.

    • Let me know if you have questions about how best to use the database or how to interpret parts of it. (I expect many things will turn out to be confusing/​unclear, and I’m relying on people to ask questions.)

Here’s a snippet of what the database looks like (from the “view” focused on “Funders/​funding-influencers”):

I made this database and wrote this post in a personal capacity, not as a representative of my employers.

How, why, and when to use the database

(This is all how I use the database myself.)

You can filter, sort, and search the database based on the causes/​topics and types of work (e.g., grantmaking vs policy advising vs research) you’re interested in.

You can use the database to:

  1. Generally learn about the landscape of actors in a given area

  2. Get ideas about what orgs could “provide inputs to you” (funding, advice, feedback, connections)

  3. Get ideas about what orgs could act as “nodes on your path to impact”, e.g. whose actions could be improved by a research project you’re considering doing or who could translate and transmit your findings on to key decision-makers

This could be useful in situations such as when you’re:

  1. Getting oriented to a new area

  2. Trying to build career capital in an area

  3. Generating project ideas, generating theories of change for those project ideas, and prioritising among them

  4. Conducting a project

  5. Helping someone else do any of the above things

(For elaboration on points 3 and 4 in the context of research projects specifically, see here, especially Slides 14-15. Those points are more relevant the more you aim to operate like a consultancy or think tank.)

These benefits could occur via:

  1. The database making you aware of orgs you didn’t know about

  2. The database making you aware of info you lacked on some orgs, or

  3. The database “jogging your memory”

    • I find it’s easier to notice that an org is worth mentioning to someone I’m giving advice to or considering when making a project plan if I’m scanning a filtered list of maybe-relevant orgs than if I’m just doing free recall

Why I made this

Answer 1: As noted, I’m addicted to creating collections.

Answer 2: 18 months ago, I thought EAs should post more summaries and collections, and I still think that, and people seem to often like it when I do that.

Answer 3: 12 months ago, I made a smaller version of this database in hopes that it’d benefit the work of Rethink Priorities’ longtermism team (which I’m a part of) in the ways outlined in the previous section. I feel like it has indeed been useful (though mostly just through guiding my own work and my suggestions to other people; I think other people rarely use it directly). And I’ve also ended up fairly often using the database when giving career or project people advice (e.g., to remind myself what orgs I should suggest a person might want to talk to or check out the work of if they’re interested in nuclear risk or forecasting), or sharing snippets of it with people. So I figured I should make a publicly accessible version.

Caveats

Mainly just what I said earlier, but I’ll say it again in bold for good measure:

  1. I aimed for (but likely missed) comprehensive coverage of orgs that are substantially focused on longtermist/​x-risk-related issues and are part of the EA community

  2. I also included various orgs that are relevant despite being less focused on longtermism/​x-risks and/​or not being part of the EA community. But one could in theory include at least hundreds of such orgs, whereas I just included a pretty arbitrary subset of the ones I happen to know of.

  3. I created this fairly quickly and based partly on memory & guesswork

Other caveats:

  • A high level of focus on longtermism/​x-risks and a high level of involvement in EA are of course neither necessary nor sufficient for an org to be impactful, “good”, wise, etc.

  • Obviously I had to make many debatable judgement calls when filling the database in

  • These orgs vary massively in their significance and in their relevance to longtermism-/​x-risks

Possible next steps

  • More orgs could be added (using this form)

  • Info could be added and corrected (people can leave comments in the Airtable and then I’ll make the appropriate edits)

  • Perhaps some other way to structure/​display the info would be good?

  • Perhaps this should be somehow integrated with other things, like 80k’s job board or my list of EA funding opportunities?

  • People could duplicate and then adapt this database in order to make:

    • A version that’s relevant to all EA cause areas

    • A version that’s relevant to a particular other large EA cause area (e.g., animal welfare)

    • A version that “zooms in on” some specific longtermist/​x-risk-related area—adding more orgs, individuals, and info relevant to that area and cutting out other things

See also

If this database seems useful to you, you may also be interested in one or more of the following:

Acknowledgements

I drew on Pablo Stafforini’s and Jamie Gittins’ lists of EA-related orgs. An earlier version of the database benefitted from comments by Janique Behman, David Rhys Bernard, Juan Gil, and perhaps other people who I’m forgetting. The current version of the database and/​or this post benefitted from comments from Will Aldred, Aaron Gertler, Jaime Sevilla, Ben Snodin, Pablo Stafforini, and Max Stauffer.


  1. ↩︎

    ...well, I haven’t actually entered that info, but I’ve made fields for it in hopes of crowdsourcing it from you.