Possible events for local groups
This is a collection of possible events that local groups can run. If you have any suggested additions, please email them to the local effective altruism network team.
Hold a giving game in your area: present two or three effective charities to the room and discuss them. Ask everyone to vote for their favourite and donate $10-20 per person to the winning charity! Or, if you wanted a booth-style game, chat to people about the charities and give them $1 to donate to their preferred charity. And even better, free funding for giving games is available here!
Send around an article or two before the event as optional reading. Meet up and present the article’s main points to people who haven’t read it, and discuss its points, perhaps breaking up the discussion by reading short extracts from the article(s). You can find lists of good articles here and here.
Write to interesting speakers and invite them to give a talk in your area, or invite a few and organise a panel discussion. EA Cambridge had the CEO of Oxfam speak to over 150 people, while EA London had Peter Singer speak to over 400 attendees. As well as these large scale speaker events, groups have held successful talks by politicians, charity workers and people from the large community of EAs, which have stimulated good discussion between 10-20 people.
Get together and tackle some of the questions effective altruism asks. You can find inspiration on what to chat about in the modules here. Alternatively, you could hold a workshop dedicated to planning how to do good, from career choice to donation to promoting effective altruism.
Hold your own careers event: ‘Which careers make the most impact?’ Show this talk to spark discussion. Introduce 80,000 Hours and their advice to the group - maybe even invite people to take the careers quiz if you wanted to have people bring their laptops for a workshop style event. Or hold a panel discussion with people who can speak about how they’re making an impact with their career. If your college already holds a careers conference, see if you can tag onto that one!
See here for details on how to set up such an event.
Make your meetups fun! Organise dinner or drinks or hangout at a local pub or cafe. Sometimes it’s useful to have a topic in mind so that you have something to keep the conversation going, but other than that, just work on getting to know this amazing community!
Get together at a library or cafe (or even in a group call on Google Hangouts) and work together, either as a team or individually. Either way, working with people can be a really great way to boost productivity and achieve a sense of solidarity.
Set a topic and meet to discuss it. If it’s your first meetup, you might want to start with ‘Introducing effective altruism: how to do the most good with your time and money’, and go from there. You can find some good conversation starters here or could always show an EA talk like this one to spark discussion.
EA Action session
If you’re working or studying, you might want create a time that you can dedicate to taking action in effective altruism. Get together and do lots of small things to make a big impact overall. Write posts on the EA forum, start a reddit thread, email someone famous and ask them if they’d like to speak at an EA event, arrange a talk at your workplace, join some mailing lists, promote EA on social media, think up some fundraising ideas, write a blog post, reach out to other EAs you’d like to get to know, educate yourself about EA ideas, email your careers service to let them know about 80,000 Hours. Or use this task finder to see where you could make an impact.
Meet to build ideas, encouraging people to bring some of their own for discussion or come with an open mind. Chat about what you think the effective altruism movement is missing, what kinds of organisations/research/action would it benefit from?
Educate local students with SHIC
Students For High-Impact Charity (SHIC) is looking for EA group leaders and club members to run Giving Games and career development events at local high schools and universities. This would not only allow your group to become active in EA movement building, it would enable your group to develop strong collaborative bonds. You can use the contact form here to get involved.
If you're looking to change up your usual discussion-centered meetups with a project, you might find that a Wikipedia Researchathon is the way forward. Find a comfortable space to work in, bring your laptops and some snacks, and try writing or improving artilcles related to EA. See EA Boston's writeup of their researchthon here.