Effective Altruism 80,000 hours workshop materials & outline (and Feb 10 ’19 KC meetup notes)

In­tro & overview

This is a brief overview of an “In­tro­duc­tion to 80,000 Hours” work­shop writ­ten by fel­low LessWronger Bae’s The­o­rem. It’s to the point - a set of slides & an out­line go­ing over 80k hours’ key points and core ad­vice, then helping at­ten­dees ap­ply it first to an out­side party, then to them­selves.

You can find the 15-slide pre­sen­ta­tion here: https://​​docs.google.com/​​pre­sen­ta­tion/​​d/​​1raV5fr7HryQ-3tEskHgfemje2SlSgtLCESo-mqZ2nVo/​​edit#slide=id.p

The (re­vised) ar­ti­cle that Bae’s The­o­rem based the con­tent off of can be found here: https://​​docs.google.com/​​doc­u­ment/​​d/​​1clHJQaoAt9YaguMZFH6gkDSPT­solEylME92X2dB­naWk/​​edit This doc­u­ment also in­cludes the 1-page hand­out he used in the work­shop for easy refer­ence dur­ing the ac­tivi­ties.

Gen­eral con­tent out­line:

  • In­tro­duc­tion to 80,000 Hours as an organization

  • A sum­mary of 80k Hours’ claims

  • The 80k Hours’ ca­reer de­ci­sion process

    • Check­ing per­sonal fit

    • Ca­reer exploration

    • Miti­gat­ing ac­ci­den­tal harm

    • Build­ing ca­reer capital

    • Tak­ing care of your­self and your men­tal health

    • Co­or­di­nat­ing with oth­ers & communities

    • Tak­ing mea­sured risks

  • Op­tions to make a differ­ence in any career

  • Ad­di­tional resources

  • ACTIVITY: Mock ca­reer ad­vis­ing in­ter­view with an im­pact-minded col­lege stu­dent (done to give prac­tice think­ing in EA mind­set with­out touch­ing per­sonal iden­tity)

  • BREAKOUT: Split into groups of 2-3 and take 6 min­utes to think of pos­si­ble short-term and long-term ac­tions each can take to im­prove the im­pact of their ca­reer. Dis­cuss with the group.

Other notes

After the work­shop, we had a brief dis­cus­sion on group norms, talked about other ac­tivi­ties we could take on as a group to boost our im­pact, and the topic for the next meetup (effec­tive in­ter­ven­tions for global poverty).

There’s a slight schism in the group, be­tween peo­ple who want to *take ac­tion NOW* even if it’s not strictly the most effec­tive (e.g. do re­search on the effi­cacy of lo­cal char­i­ties, vol­un­teer some­where), and peo­ple who want to fo­cus more strictly on gen­er­at­ing dona­tions & aware­ness for EA causes.

There are two re­cur­ring ar­gu­ments for the first ap­proach. First, by tak­ing lo­cal com­mu­nity ac­tion, we’d raise the visi­bil­ity of our EA group and EA in gen­eral, while also paint­ing it in a pos­i­tive light for any­one en­coun­ter­ing it. This would (hope­fully) have the effect of in­creas­ing group mem­ber­ship and EA dona­tions in the medium and long run. Se­cond, tak­ing reg­u­lar ac­tion to do good in our com­mu­nity would “foster our moral core”, con­nect­ing us more deeply to the peo­ple we’re try­ing to help and prac­tic­ing minor self-sac­ri­fice for the good of oth­ers. This would, in the­ory, help us stick to our al­tru­is­tic as­pira­tions by keep­ing us con­nected to those need­ing help.

We’re still dis­cussing paths for­ward, but there may be mid­dle op­tions (e.g. at­tempt­ing sys­tem­atic fixes for neigh­bor­hoods with ex­treme con­cen­trated poverty). Re­gard­less, we’re still a new group so there’s some time to figure these things out.

We’re also sta­bi­liz­ing the or­ga­nizer group—one early team mem­ber quit, so we’re bring­ing on two new peo­ple to help out and ex­pand the voices on the team. They’ll help with so­cial me­dia and plan­ning growth.

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