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Bruce Friedrich: Creating a New Agricultural Revolution

January 22, 2020

Demand for meat is projected to double by 2050. Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director of the Good Food Institute, believes we can meet that demand without massively scaling conventional animal agriculture (and the many adverse impacts of that industry). In this talk, he explains how our ability to produce meat directly from plants, or from animal cells, could lead to a new agricultural revolution.

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Neil Buddy Shah: What Animal Advocates Can Learn from Medicine and Global Development

January 21, 2020

Despite recent advancements, research on animal welfare is still underdeveloped compared to research in fields like medicine or development economics. In this talk, Neil Buddy Shah, the co-founder and CEO of IDinsight, draws on lessons from those fields to propose that a coordinated, multi-year research agenda can accelerate improvements in animal welfare.

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Helen Toner: Sustainable Motivation

January 17, 2020

Being involved in the EA community can be stressful — there are too many problems in the world, and each of us can only do so much. Feeling the need to work harder and do more can easily overwhelm us. So what’s the alternative? In this talk, Helen Toner describes a different way to frame this problem, and suggests how the community can aim for a better way to handle work.

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Niel Bowerman: Could climate change make Earth uninhabitable for humans?

January 17, 2020

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Leah Edgerton: Strategic Considerations for Effective Animal Advocacy

January 16, 2020

In this talk, Leah Edgerton, the executive director of Animal Charity Evaluators, describes the role of the EA movement in significantly increasing funding for animal welfare charities over the past four years. She considers EA’s uptick in influence alongside the difficulty animal welfare researchers encounter when attempting to measure impact. How, she asks, can we make good decisions about where to direct a growing amount of funding when we have so little evidence to guide us? She then shares how Animal Charity Evaluators is approaching this thorny question.

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Peter Hurford: U.S. Ballot Initiatives as a Pathway for EA Policy

January 15, 2020

Ballot initiatives have allowed many groups in the United States to achieve policy outcomes outside the traditional legislative process. In this talk, Peter Hurford, a co-founder and researcher at Rethink Priorities, describes how the EA movement can generate change through the initiative process by matching effective policies to promising states and cities.

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Alix Zwane: Using Evidence for Smart Impact Investing

November 11, 2019

Alix Peterson Zwane is CEO of the Global Innovation Fund, which invests in social innovations designed to improve the lives of the poorest people in the developing world. In this talk, she explores her current thinking around what it means to be an “effective altruist”and how this definition applies to the field of development finance. She proposes that the tools funders use have not kept pace with the rate of change in the world’s most “fragile” places — and she advocates for new approaches, such as supporting early-stage entrepreneurs.

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Catherine Hollander: GiveWell Incubation Grants and Learning Through Grantmaking

November 11, 2019

What makes a charity worthy of assessor GiveWell’s “top charity” recommendation? And what about organizations that aren’t quite ready for that designation, but could be with the right backing? Catherine Hollander, a research analyst at GiveWell, shares why the charity assessor decided to launch its Incubation Grants program, the main criteria organizations must meet to become grant recipients, and a few examples of model grantees.

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Scott Weathers: When Will Farm Animals Experience More Utility Than Suffering?

November 11, 2019

Scott Weathers is a strategic partnerships manager at Compassion in World Farming USA, which advocates for the end of factory farming. In this talk, he rejects Robin Hanson’s “logic of the larder” argument — the idea that it is better to live and be slaughtered than not live at all — and explains why he finds it problematic. He also shares evidence for focusing efforts on chickens, and walks through the pros and cons of a new proposal for evaluating farm animal welfare from researchers Karolina Sarek and Joey Savoie.

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Helen Toner: Building Organizations

October 17, 2019

At the time of this talk (2016), Helen Toner was a senior research analyst at the Open Philanthropy Project. Here, she shares management lessons — such as holding regular one-on-ones and soliciting feedback — that she learned in her first year at GiveWell and the Open Philanthropy Project.

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