Value of move­ment growth

TagLast edit: 10 May 2021 7:16 UTC by MichaelA

People often debate the value of movement growth in effective altruism.

It may seem that, in order for the effective altruism movement to do as much good as possible, the movement should aim to grow as much as possible. However, there are risks to rapid growth that may be avoidable if we aim to grow more slowly and deliberately. For example, rapid growth could lead to a large influx of people with specific interests/​priorities who slowly reorient the entire movement to focus on those interests/​priorities.

There could also be downsides to growing larger even if that’s done slowly and deliberately. For example, it may increase the difficulties of altruistic coordination.

This tag is meant for posts that discuss questions about how large the movement should grow, how quickly, and why, rather than posts that only cover strategies to bolster movement growth (for such posts, see the movement building tag). Posts that discuss growth strategies in light of potential downsides of growth could fit this tag.


Anonymous (2020) Anonymous contributors answer: Should the effective altruism community grow faster or slower? And should it be broader, or narrower?, 80,000 Hours, February 17.

Cotton-Barratt, Owen (2015) How valuable is movement growth?, Effective Altruism Forum, May 14.

Related entries

building effective altruism | community building strategy | global outreach | movement collapse | network building

How valuable is move­ment growth?

Owen_Cotton-Barratt14 May 2015 20:54 UTC
31 points
21 comments4 min readEA link

Rob Wiblin: Move­ment de­vel­op­ment I

EA Global28 Aug 2015 8:37 UTC
6 points
0 comments1 min readEA link

Kerry Vaughan: The fu­ture of effec­tive altruism

EA Global28 Aug 2015 9:21 UTC
6 points
0 comments1 min readEA link

Hard-to-re­verse de­ci­sions de­stroy op­tion value

Stefan_Schubert17 Mar 2017 17:54 UTC
20 points
16 commentsEA link

What ar­eas are the most promis­ing to start new EA meta char­i­ties—A sur­vey of 40 EAs

Joey23 Dec 2020 12:24 UTC
132 points
12 comments16 min readEA link

80,000 Hours: Anony­mous con­trib­u­tors on EA move­ment growth

Aaron Gertler18 Feb 2020 0:09 UTC
30 points
0 comments6 min readEA link