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Remmelt Ellen

91 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Remmelt Ellen 91 days ago
Remmelt E Enable effective altruism community members to more efficiently cover basic needs (for which they're risk averse), freeing up resources that they can instead allocate to altruistic causes (for which they're risk-neutral). 
Develop ideas into scalable social systems (e.g. peer group insurance, loans or project funding) towards a cost-saving safety net for the international EA community. This is a collaboration with Antigravity Investments.
Past similar .impact projects (inactive):
First experiment: Peer Safety Nets
See if there's enough interest & if we can find a feasible implementation for an EA peer-funded safety net to cover unexpected personal income losses.
See also this EA Forum article on donation insurance.
On updating this project page
This project is going too fast and the people overseeing it have too little time to keep this page up-to-date.
For more discussion on this and a minimum viable product for a peer-to-peer insurance system being worked out, see the Facebook group and, to a lesser extent, the Slack channel.
The following information is out-of-date or has become less relevant to a certain degree:
Option 1: Antigravity Investments
Antigravity Investments, an EA social enterprise focused on providing robust automated investing systems for EAs and the general public, would be interested in sponsoring the EA Community Safety Net. Antigravity Investments has an international entity which should be able to hold the pooled funds of the safety net for EAs around the world. Additionally, pooled funds could be invested with any one of Antigravity Investments' systems. If EAs believe the EA Community Safety Net has enough members to be sustainable and its members have agreed on a benefits plan and benefits distribution decision system, Antigravity Investments is ready to move forward with sponsoring the project.
Remmelt E   (note it's also potentially combinable with option 2). 
Option 2: CommonEasy
  • Actions you can help with for CommonEasy
  1. Build up 'negotiating' position by connecting 200 international EA'ers on CommonEasy
  1. Click this link (reload page if don't see Remmelt's photo).
  1. Click orange button ("Make Gratis een Account")
  1. Click Facebook button to register
  1. Ask CommonEasy to start including English translations on essential pages.
  1. Possible step for Dutch EA'ers: give translation support.
  1. Research & propose feasible insurance model (feel free to add more below)
  1. criteria for members joining group
  1. be committed to EA principles
  1. have a current source of income to cover living expenses
  1. coverage 
  1. only large unexpected losses
  1. Income loss
  1. Important medical costs
  1. physical or mental health-related
  1. NOT small, regular. non-urgent costs
  1. e.g. gadgets, small travel costs, normal medical costs like dental fees, etc.
  1. These take too much time to vet by peers.
  1. They also create a slippery slope.
  1. Only if any insurance you already have doesn't cover it.
  1. maximum duration 
  1. e.g. limit unemployment benefits to 2 years
  1. the monthly % of the maximum coverable loss that need to be transferred by each Common member
  1. it's 5% for their employment disability coverage
  1. investigate possible risks or infeasibilities
  1. vastly different social security & mandatory insurance schemes per country (means that some people have to be open to contributing more on average)
  1. risk of EA'ers connecting peer insurance with others who they've only met briefly on Facebook
  1. Ask CommonEasy to include credit card payment on website
  1. takes at least 1 week for them to program (say 3 weeks to take planning fallacy into account)
  1. Start joining the EA Community Safety Net common
  1. Peer vetting
  1. coordinate and discuss insurance claims (e.g. in Facebook group)
These are of course subject to change with more info & analysis.
  • On CommonEasy
  1. CommonEasy is a Dutch startup owned by a non-profit that aims to improve society by giving people access to cheaper personal insurance-like coverage. See this English description.
  1. More peer-to-peer insurance startups exist around the world (which Remmelt hasn't researched yet) but the alignment between CommonEasy’s and EAs values makes them a great partner.
  • Value
  1. Insurance adds value by spreading financial risk across risk-averse humans. 
  1. However, traditional insurance can be expensive, especially for self-employed people. 
  1. 80,000 Hours instead advices saving money in the bank but this is inefficient when it comes to covering rare but large unexpected personal losses.
  1. CommonEasy cuts out costs by replacing an insurer’s fraud detection with peer control (further helped by value alignment in the EA community) and by seeking societal returns rather than financial returns.
  1. If we show CommonEasy's co-founders that there are enough interested people (tentatively put at 200) within the international EA community, they are open to creating a customised coverage for the EA community for large unexpected losses such as medical costs and income loss. 
  • Current limitations
  1. Their current coverage options are limited to: 
  1. unfortunate circumstances (excl. medical & employment)
  • (the co-founders are fine with starting a coverage for us for any of these if we could get 40 people from the EA community together).  
  1. Language
  1. Currently, their website is only available in Dutch.
  1. They've parked an international domain and at some point they will broaden their focus from Dutch early adopters to people internationally.
  1. Country coverage
  1. Their system is currently only available to Europeans (through SEPA Direct Debit) excl. UK & Switzerland (different currencies/direct debit procedure). 
  1. According to Florian de Ridder (co-founder), connecting credit cards would take about 1 week (assume 3 weeks because of planning fallacy).
  • How CommonEasy works
  1. It relies on a person reciprocally insuring payouts for trusted 1st, 2nd and 3rd connections respectively (the lowest payout amount offered in each pair gets applied to both)
  1. The person decides what maximum amount (s)he wants to be insured for for defined period & criteria
  1. For this, a monthly % gets direct debited from the person's bank account, to cover the risk with a wide safety margin
  1. The more this is allocated to payouts to connections –> better spread of risk, more like an insurance
  1. If allocating less –> becomes more like a savings account (although they currently have no interest at MangoPay)
  1. Vetting claims works by 
  1.  a person applying through the online form
  1.   during a 2-week waiting period, any of his/her insurance connections can respond if they disagree
  1.   if no-one does, the claim is approved and the money gets transferred to your bank account
  1.    if someone does, a 5-day voting period starts and the applicant can respond to deal with any misunderstandings –> if 10 connections or 50% of all connections vote against, the claim is disapproved
91 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Remmelt Ellen 91 days ago
Ozzie G
  • Summary
We're setting up a simple system for EAs to fund EA people and projects.  See here for activity.
  • Project Goals
  • Fund small projects
  • Publicity (meetups, events, college groups).
  • Experiments
  • Independent research
  • Make it more publicly visible to fund people to do EA Projects -- also shows EA to the public.  Donations outside the EA community would be particularly awesome.
  • Be used by a few people and known within the community.
  • Rely primarily on existing software.
  • Keep track of small projects and collective progress!
  • Gittip
GitTip is an online social payment system where people agree to 'tip' others a specific amount every 2 weeks.  It charges the typical credit card fee of around 3%.  This is a convenient way of doing recurring donations.  You can fund either people or projects via GitTip; for projects, we believe there's a method for distributing the money among those who have worked on the project.
  • Receivers / Receiving Projects
People requesting money are responsible for informing potential donors of how it will be used.  Some things that are good to include are:
  • Your History
  • What have you done before?  Why do you believe that you will be able to handle future work well?
  • Your Project(s)
  • What will you work on?  How is progress going?
  • Your Needs
  • How much money do you need?  You may be able to accomplish different things if different amounts of money are raised; if so, say so.
  • Your Updates
  • How do you plan to keep the community / donors informed with your progress?
Much of this information can go on your Gittip profile.  For updates or extending writing, you may want to use a blog or social media.
  • Givers
Interested in donating?  Please do!  Feel free to directly contact other people to learn more, or encourage others who are not yet on gittip to join.
Note that there is no charge to give money received on Gittip.  This means that if you get money from someone else, you can give it without incurring the 3% credit card fee on it.  Therefore, you can delegate the task of choosing receivers to other people; you gittip to them, and they gittip to more specific choices. 
  • Ozzie's Initial Funding
Brendon W
  • Ok, I familiarized myself with the comments feature. It's fine if someone deletes me, or I can delete myself following feedback.
Remmelt E
103 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Remmelt Ellen 103 days ago
Remmelt E Feel free to add your Netherlands-based initiative or idea below. 
If it's relevant to the international community, please also add it to the .impact project list.
Name Info People Needed Contact Started Deadline Spend Results/Status
Current initiatives https://bitly.com/ <––
Value Investing Community Outreach Please contact. Michiel, Remmelt, REG remmeltellenis {at]gmail [.}com Jan 17 30 July 17 ~10 hours On hold until July
Sharing personal EA stories Koen
Career workshops for AEGEE http://bit.ly/2oGXcfp Siebe, Justin
Website GiveWell-recommendations Remmelt remmeltellenis {at]gmail [.}com March 17 ~1 hour On hold, waiting for reply .impact.
Project SHEAR: Shared Housing for EAs & Rationalists) http://bit.ly/2otNz19 Remmelt See above 10 Jan 17 Oct 17 ~20 hours Exploring Diemen options in July
EA Group Directory http://bit.ly/2pAVQ2G Remmelt See above June 16 Ongoing
EA Community Safety Net http://bit.ly/2peAyeO Remmelt risk analysis See above 31 Mar 17 30 Apr 17
Past initatives https://bitly.com/ <––
Dagen zonder Dierenleed http://bit.ly/2p2RlC1 Siebe, Kris, Stijn, Marianne, Remmelt March 17 April 17 Article published, not sure about awareness or behavioural change.
Phone-banking for compassion http://bit.ly/2oydXJb Remmelt Jan 17 Feb 17 Failed, a distraction incl. for 2 highly-capable EAs
Please put under a rough category below. Also, feel free to move to Initiatives if you're starting it!
See EA Project Possibilities & this EA Forum list for inspiration. 
Name Source Description More info What's needed?
Meta https://bitly.com/
Sounding Boards Rutger Connecting with & making a list of reliable people who have expertise in a field and willing to give advice / discuss with EA Nl or project teams.
Organisational collaborations Make a simple list of links to other EA organisations volunteers can do projects for.
EA organisers weekend Sjir / Remmelt European weekend together with organisers from Effective Altruism Foundation, CEA, EA Flanders, Altruisme Efficace France, EA NTU (Trondheim)
Existential risk awareness
Sentience politics in NL similar to
Live Below The Line Imma Local group members eat for max $1.25/day for 5 days and fundraise for GiveWell-recommended charities. Can be simultaneous with international EA community
Targeted communication about X-risk & far future causes Imma for those who may fill talent gaps or those who are intellectually curious. Goal is to attract more talent to top causes.
Open Letter EA Norway Sending out an open letter, signed by people like leaders of organizations or doctors (using confirmed names to get more), both to the media and relevant politicians (e.g. in a committee)
Quit Smoking for Humanity Fokel Donate the money that you would have spend to save someone's life. "Save your life and that of another."
Expanding Moral Circle? Laura (AEF) Work on education in compassion and rationality;
Local groups
Chapter Seeding Thomas, Remmelt Seeding more chapters. The Dutch translations are already ready. But right now, having quality focus on growing the existing chapters seems more prudent than seeding lots of new ones. http://bit.ly/2ocbrp9
EA Course Peter Can use Berkeley and CEA materials. Might need to be simplified more for target audience
Community support
Co-travelling EAG(x) Imma arrange travelling together to big international EA events (for fun and useful conversations underway). can be done by any community member
Support packages for people working on EA in the Netherlands Remmelt E.g. group train tickets, etc.
Consultancy for organizations Helping other non-profits/organizations working on something useful more effective
Consultancy for donors Answering specific questions on where to donate (e.g. in a particular cause area) for high-wealth individuals (via EG)
Events & workshops
Theatre/arts project By EA-aligned person with experience in the arts.
Uni Workshop Tour Finding great university venues to do workshops/lectures at in late September 2017
Philanthropy Event Participation EA Norway Participating in events/projects organized by governments or development organizations like the Bill and Melinda gates foundation
Foreign Policy Event Participation EA Norway
Giving Games Koen - Private giving games for corporates (in interest of employee retention, they provide funds and pay us to facilitate the program?)
Employee projects Project(s) for employees within a certain company (e.g. Philips)
Meetup collaborations Remmelt Find meetup groups to co-organise a meetup with.
Academic presentations Laura (AEF) Academic presentations (e.g. PhD) (utilitarian conference);
National Events Laura (AEF) Restricted workshop (e.g. for organisations, ACE)
Closed event AI-themed or Wild animal welfare-themed event for more experienced EA members
GWWC members day Imma informal event targeted at potential and existing GWWC members with talks and workshops around donating (topics like "where to give", "how does GiveWell work and how to interpret their recommendations", "donating and personal finance", "how to talk about giving".
EA workathon co-working day for people (see each other, be productive, exchange knowledge)
Individual Outreach
Doing Good Better Gifting EA Norway & Michiel Contacting journalists, philanthropists and politicians and e.g. sending them a book (Doing Good Better?)
80K for high school staff & career offices Koen 80k style outreach to high school and university career offices
Thesis Prize Kellie A "Most Effective Aid" / broader EA prize for students who have to write a thesis (preferably a lot of the attraction should be in terms of meeting someone famous or doing something special, instead of money)
High School Outreach with SHIC Remmelt Connecting with high schools and offering them the curriculum.
Big Players EA Norway Finding out who the big players are (probably mostly bureaucrats in high positions) and lobbying them
Effectief Altruïsme Boek Kellie Find an EA-person in the Netherlands to write a book on Effective Altruism.
Media Writing EA Norway Posting articles in the media and responding to journalists
Position Papers Sjir Position papers -- e.g. media outreach.
Multiple Choice Quizes what do you think is more effective? Debunking/debiasing OR
Wikipedia "Effectief Altruïsme" page Laura (AEF) Translation (articles and books);
Dutch website on GiveWell recommendations Kellie GiveWell translation in Dutch, making it easy for Dutch citizens who are less comfortable with the extensive English analysis by GiveWell to donate effectively immediately
LinkedIn group Inge Have a Dutch LinkedIn group for people with careers, etc.
Dutch Foreign Policy Expenditure EA Norway Researching foreign policy expenditure (e.g. how much goes to global health?)
Giving Pledge Experiment
Foreign Aid Spending Effectiveness Review Writing an "effectiveness" review on foreign aid spending (or another area) in election programs of political parties and sending this to the media
115 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Remmelt Ellen 115 days ago
   Page admins                Richenda Herzig, Janique Behman, Remmelt Ellen, Georgie Mallett, Holly Morgan
   Editors                        Benjamin Kolb,   Gleb Tsipursky, Johan Groenen, 
The EA Groups Directory is a Facebook page aimed at listing Effective Altruism-related groups and pages. It lists ~430 groups as of the end of February 2017.
How to get involved
Ask Remmelt Ellen or another admin on Facebook to become an editor. We'll ask you to sign a short agreement and then give you editing access. Thanks for wanting to help!
Why it was created
It seemed to become difficult for EA'ers to find the right places to discuss their interests after many new Facebook groups were created starting from 2012 (whether spontaneous or formal). Likewise, people with new projects or ideas have to be able to target groups easily whose members could be interested (there is a higher risk of spammy identical posts with this directory though – please give any ideas on how to reduce this). 
Facebook seems like a natural place for people to have spontaneous online conversations in groups.
The EA Groups Directory was designed to create a simple overview for them (as well as discussion groups on other platforms). It is continuously updated by the page admins mentioned above. There is also a EAWiki page where the links have been copied to in the past but it may be appropriate to delete that since reformatting takes too much time.
Note that there was already a Wiki list of discussion groups (unbeknownst to Remmelt) that was last updated on 22 March 2016 as of the end of that year. The advantage of this system is that everyone can in principle edit it instead of sending a message to a select group of admins. The disadvantage is that it is not on the Facebook platform, on which most of the groups are based (it is easier & more intuitive to type in "effective altruism group" in the Facebook search bar than look for it in the wiki).
Now-and-then, we post about new groups or interesting conferences or campaigns related to groups.
Indications of impact
*Note that there are also good arguments for moving serious intellectual discussion off seggregated Facebook groups onto a connected hub optimised for this.*
The page has 151 likes and the list post 99 as of the end of February 2017, which seems to be the most solid indicator of its value (however the post has only had 157 clicks). It was referred to in an EA Global 2016 workshop. Here are other stats for that pinned post, a portion of which was caused by the sharing / clicking activity of Remmelt.
Page reach optimisation
Another area that we're exploring is a list of EA Facebook pages with buttons to like or unfollow them. This depends on international EA'ers spending a few minutes each to help each other out. It has potential to moderately aid pages' reach with a day's work, if done right. The extra likes may improve the social status of small pages but the effect on engagement is limited. It is possible that unfollowing pages that you're not interested in may boost their Newsfeed reach.
To build up the list and get people involved, a Facebook 'like-athon' was first thought of.  
However, this would penaltise pages' post reach if it is not combined with unfollows.
Questions you could help us with:
  • Would asking people to unfollow EA pages whose posts they don't read aid page reach?
  • Would liking & unfollowing additional pages improve the pages' status & effectiveness?
  • Will clicking Like buttons in quick succession cause accounts to be temporarily barred from liking?
We are currently looking for people knowledgeable in this field to help us answer these optimisation questions. Please message Remmelt to give your opinions.
149 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Remmelt Ellen 149 days ago
1. Find a volunteer opportunity or project
Tom A We maintain a list of volunteer opportunities within the EA movement, which any individual or organization can edit and add to. Look through the list of all projects here and find one that you takes your fancy - or add your own.
Benjamin C 2. Get stuck in
Once you’ve found a project you're interested in, our Slack is the place to go to get more involved. Here you can speak to the people currently working on the project and find out how you can contribute. Ask for an invite to Slack here.
Tip: All active projects should have their own chat in a channel prepended with ‘p-‘. Otherwise, just chat in #general.
3. Be part of the community
209 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Remmelt Ellen 209 days ago
Tom A
  • Moderators
  • Ben Henry and Claire Zabel (working on survey, etc.)
Giles E Location: 
Peter H Technologies: Facebook
Tom A Development Stage: Launched, with active work to develop and make better use of
Peter H Description
Tom A A public Facebook group titled "Effective Altruists" was created in November 2012 by Ruairi Donelly. It is independent and not affiliated with any other organisation. It was one of the first cases of the term 'effective altruists' catching on as a description of people taking charity and broader do-gooding seriously in an EA style, and of the movement that was coalescing around this. It was pivotal in the term's adoption by this community.
  • Maximising the usefulness of the group
  • Eric Bruylant and Ozzie Gooen are finishing up the latest version of the EA Wiki and adding lists of other Facebook groups, organizations, etc. These lists can be linked to.
Remmelt E
  • Related to the above comment: feel free to also link to or make use of the EA Group Directory.
  • Maybe also message new members proactively with a standard line? (Hi ... what made you interested in Effective Altruism?)

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