Last update: December 2016 (Note: Since June 2017, Sentience Politics has been an independent entity. Moreover, as of June 2017, the newly formed Sentience Institute conducts research on effective animal advocacy previously conducted by Sentience Politcs. For more information see our blog post.)
The Effective Altruism Foundation has three ongoing projects which operate very differently, and our activities generally have an indirect and multiplicative impact (“meta”). One example is our work on spreading the ideas of Effective Altruism and supporting EA local groups, many of which in turn inspire many new people with EA ideas. We are always looking for new ways to improve both our impact assessment criteria and methodology, and will continue to update this page with fresh results. In the meantime, we have provided an outline of our activities below so that you can personally assess our impact. Detailed information on our work can be found on our transparency site.
Effective Altruism Foundation
- EAF and its predecessor organizations have generated $1,630,800 in donations to effective charities since January 2014.* This money financed the work of organizations in the fields of poverty reduction ($1,074,150), animal activism ($298,350), research into the safety of future technologies ($221,000), and the growth of the EA movement ($37,300).
- EAF offers tax-free donation to numerous international EA organizations. We choose to offer this service for free despite its administrative cost.
*Donations to EAF projects are not included. Includes total donations up until 30.09.2016. Exchange rate: Google Finance (14.12.2016).
EA content work
Policy papers and other content
- EAF is the first and only organization in the German-speaking world to raise awareness on the risks of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our policy paper on this topic was supported by numerous professors and AI experts.
- EAF has written extensive introductory material on Effective Altruism, including an FAQ.
- Over 100 articles were published on rationality, ethics and science on the blog of EAF’s predecessor, GBS Switzerland.
- The EAF projects Sentience Politics and the Foundational Research Institute have published additional policy papers and academic articles (see below).
- Through a popular initiative, EAF requested the city of Zurich to set aside one percent of its budget for effective development projects. If adopted, the initiative would result in an allocated 80 million euros per year. The signatures for this initiative have already been gathered and the referendum will be held in 2018.
- Numerous further initiatives were started by the EAF project Sentience Politics (see below).
Careers and donation advice
- EAF has already coached over 160 people through individual career and donation advice.
Members & EAF/Sentience Network
- The EAF/Sentience Network has connected over 120 people. Members have committed to donate at least 10% of their income to effective charities over their lifetime.
- Under the umbrella of EA Global X, EAF has already organized two international events: one in Basel (2015) and one in Berlin (2016). The conference in Berlin, which brought together over 300 people, was the largest conference so far on Effective Altruism in continental Europe.
- From 2012 to 2014, EAF organized a total of five well-attended EA camps.
- The EAF project Sentience Politics organized the Sentience conference in 2016 (see below).
Media and publicity work
- EAF has published reports on Effective Altruism in numerous influential media outlets (3sat, Beobachter, Deutschlandradio Kultur, NZZ, FAZ, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, SRF, Tages-Anzeiger, and many more).
- Adriano Mannino has talked about humanism and related ethical questions on the renowned Swiss television program Sternstunde Philosophie in 2016. That same year, Jan Dirk Capelle also gave an inspiring and incisive introduction to Effective Altruism at TEDxDresden.
- To expand the EA movement, EAF has supported or initiated the formation of over 20 EA local groups in the German-speaking world.
- In collaboration with EA local groups, EAF organizes around 30 large public events annually on EA topics, including lectures, panel discussions, and workshops.
Raising for Effective Giving
- The EAF project Raising for Effective Giving (REG) promotes Effective Altruism within the world of poker and currently has over 300 professional poker player members.
- Since 2014 REG has moved over 2.5 million euros to particularly cost-effective charities.
- REG was supported by at least one poker player at the world championships in all of the three years since its inception: Martin Jacobson and Jorryt van Hoof (2014), Max Steinberg (2015), and Griffin Benger (2016).
- The idea of effective giving has been taken up by many notable poker players. Alongside the co-founders Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov, and Philipp Gruissem, this includes international poker stars like Jason Somerville, Erik Seidel, Dan Shak, Dan Smith, Justin Bonomo, Cat Hall, Andrew Barber, Luciana Manolea, Tony Gregg, and Dan Colman.
Foundational Research Institute
- The Foundational Research Institute (FRI), another EAF project, has pioneered the field of suffering-focused ethics, including publishing the first introductory material on the topic:
- Despite having limited resources since its inception in 2013, FRI has published several high-quality academic articles:
- Backup utility functions as a fail-safe AI technique
- How Feasible Is the Rapid Development of Artificial Superintelligence?
- How the Simulation Argument Dampens Future Fanaticism
- Measuring Happiness and Suffering
- Suffering-Focused AI safety
- What Is the Difference Between Weak Negative and Non-Negative Ethical Views?
- The EAF project Sentience Politics has organized numerous public events. In addition to lectures by Melanie Joy and Professor Steven Wise, the first Sentience Conference was held in 2016, attended by more than 300 people with backgrounds in politics, academia, and activism.
- One way in which Sentience Politics exerts influence is through direct democracy. The following political initiatives have already taken place and are now awaiting referenda:
- Initiative on sustainable food (Basel, Luzern, Zurich)
- Initiative on fundamental rights for primates (Basel)
- Research on anti-speciesist topics is another essential component of Sentience Politics’ work. The results were summarized in well-founded academic policy papers:
- Sentience Politics has attracted a lot of media attention, especially in Switzerland, where it was featured in a national television documentary viewed by over half a million people.
Do you think we are doing a good job? If so, please consider donating! We are financed exclusively through the donations of people interested in EA, and every little bit goes a long way.