Virtual EAG 2020: Growing meat—A market-based approach to building an ethical food system (Zak Weston)

Plant-based, fermented, and cultivated protein technologies hold the potential to shift our food supply away from its dependence on conventional animal agriculture and its consequences on climate change, global food insecurity, public health, and animal welfare. But transforming the food system is a vast, multidisciplinary effort that requires disciplines ranging from synthetic biology and chemical engineering to economics and data science. Zak makes the case for rethinking meat, eggs, and dairy, discusses the levers we can push on to ensure the success of the alternative protein field, and explains how you can make a positive impact.

Zak works at the Good Food Institute (GFI), an international nonprofit focused on creating a healthy, just, and sustainable food system through plant-based protein innovation, fermentation-derived proteins, and cellular agriculture. He consults with leading foodservice operators, food manufacturers, and alternative protein supply chain companies to help increase the quality and quantity of their plant-based meat, egg, and dairy offerings and meet the growing consumer demand for alternative protein foods. An active member of the Effective Altruism community, Zak holds a B.A. in Business Management from Cedarville University, and joined GFI after several years of experience in sales and working with startups.

View Zak’s slides here.

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Virtual EAG 2020: Representing future generations (Tyler John)

Politics is a notoriously short-termist enterprise. Political institutions generally operate on 2-to-4-year timescales (as the issue of climate change has shown). But this is not necessary or inevitable. In principle, the immense wealth, influence, and coercive authority of national governments could be used to vastly improve the long-term future. In this talk, Tyler analyzes major sources of political short-termism and describes high-priority institutional reforms that could improve alignment between the incentives of present governments and the interests of future generations.

Tyler John is a PhD Student in Philosophy at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and a Global Priorities Fellow at the Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research.

Tyler’s research focuses on longtermist political philosophy and animal moral, legal, and political philosophy. His current constellation of projects is focused on normative arguments for the State to consider the very long-term future, and empirical research into how it could do so effectively.

Before coming to Rutgers, Tyler was a fellow at the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. He is also the Education Advisor on the Board of Directors of Faunacción, and he has co-authored a book on chimpanzee legal rights.

View Tyler’s slides here.

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Virtual EAG 2020: Q&A with Toby Ord, senior research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute

If all goes well, human history is just beginning. Humanity could survive for billions of years, reaching heights of flourishing unimaginable today. But this vast future is at risk. For we have gained the power to destroy ourselves, and our entire potential, forever, without the wisdom to ensure we don’t.

Toby explains what this entails, with emphasis on the perspective of humanity — a major theme of his new book, The Precipice (https://theprecipice.com).

Toby Ord is a philosopher at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute. His work focuses on the big picture questions facing humanity: What are the most important issues of our time? How can we best address them?

Toby’s earlier work explored the ethics of global health and global poverty. This led him to create an international society called Giving What We Can, whose members have pledged over $1.4 billion to highly effective charities. He also co-founded the wider effective altruism movement, encouraging thousands of people to use reason and evidence to help others as much as possible.

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Virtual EAG 2020: The Precipice—Existential risk and the future of humanity (Toby Ord)

If all goes well, human history is just beginning. Humanity could survive for billions of years, reaching heights of flourishing unimaginable today. But this vast future is at risk. For we have gained the power to destroy ourselves, and our entire potential, forever, without the wisdom to ensure we don’t. Toby will explain what this entails, with emphasis on the perspective of humanity — a major theme of his new book, The Precipice (https://theprecipice.com).

Toby Ord is a philosopher at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute. His work focuses on the big picture questions facing humanity: What are the most important issues of our time? How can we best address them?

Toby’s earlier work explored the ethics of global health and global poverty. This led him to create an international society called Giving What We Can, whose members have pledged over $1.4 billion to highly effective charities. He also co-founded the wider effective altruism movement, encouraging thousands of people to use reason and evidence to help others as much as possible.

His current research is on avoiding the threat of human extinction and thus safeguarding a positive future for humanity, which he considers to be among the most pressing and neglected issues we face. He addresses this in his new book, The Precipice.

To read a free chapter of The Precipice, sign up for Toby’s newsletter at the bottom of this page: https://theprecipice.com/

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EAG London 2019: Is impact investing impactful? (John Halstead)

Impact investing is an increasingly popular approach to doing good. In this talk, John Halstead, head of applied research at Founders Pledge, discusses whether, and in what conditions, impact investing might be thought to succeed. John argues that impact investing is likely to have limited impact in large, highly efficient markets such as public stock markets. However, impact investing stands a better chance of impact if it involves VC or angel investing, includes companies that serve poor consumers or produce positive externalities, and/or exploits an investor’s informational advantage.

This talk was filmed at EA Global 2019: London. Find out how to attend a future EA Global conference: https://www.eaglobal.org/

Learn more about effective altruism: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/

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EAG London 2019: DMI—How to put your own charity to the test

Mass media can reach millions of people, but can it improve health and save lives as effectively as other top interventions? Past studies of mass-media campaigns for public health failed to find evidence of strong impact, belying the potential of the medium. In this talk, Roy Head, CEO of Development Media International (DMI), will discuss the randomized controlled trial DMI ran on its own health campaign — and the surprising results.

This talk was filmed at EA Global 2019: London. Find out how to attend a future EA Global conference: https://www.eaglobal.org/.

Learn more about effective altruism: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/.

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EAG London 2019: Fireside chat (Bonnie Jenkins)

Bonnie Jenkins, founder and executive director of Women of Color Advancing Peace, shares her thoughts on starting her career at the Department of Defense, current risks and improvements in nuclear security and biosecurity, and her work to advance diversity and inclusion in her field.

This talk was filmed at EA Global 2019: London. Find out how to attend a future EA Global conference: https://www.eaglobal.org/.

Learn more about effective altruism: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/.

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EAG London 2019: Biological aging—A new approach to measuring animal welfare (Will Bradshaw)

In order to improve animal welfare, we need to know how different factors affect it. But measuring the cumulative experience of non-human animals is a difficult task. Recent research has suggested that measures of biological aging could provide a promising new way to assess animal welfare. Will Bradshaw, a research fellow at Wild Animal Initiative, outlines the evidence supporting the surprising link between aging and welfare, as well as some potential limitations. He then discusses how this approach could help resolve key questions in the study of animal well-being.

This talk was filmed at EA Global 2019: London. Find out how to attend a future EA Global conference: https://www.eaglobal.org/.

Learn more about effective altruism: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/.

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EAG London 2019: Fireside chat (Will MacAskill)

Will MacAskill, a key figure in the effective altruism movement, discusses the book he’s currently writing about longtermism, his assessment of challenges and successes in his work at the Global Priorities Institute, how his views have changed over the last year, different approaches to growing the effective altruism community, and more.

This talk was filmed at EA Global 2019: London. Find out how to attend a future EA Global conference: https://www.eaglobal.org/.

Learn more about effective altruism: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/.

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