EAGxVirtual 2020: Identifying the most cost effective programs to improve mental health (Jasper Synowski)

Even though mental disorders account for a considerable burden of disease globally and appear to strongly impact an individuals’ subjective well-being, the EA community has spent relatively little effort on identifying the best mental health giving opportunities. This talk provides an introduction to the Happier Lives Institute’s Mental Health Programme Evaluation Project (MHPEP), which aims to fill this gap. In this talk, Jasper introduces the research process to date and shares preliminary insights, along with limitations of the approach.

For in-depth preparation, we recommend reading our latest post about the project on the EA Forum:
https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/uzLRw7cjpKnsuM7c3/hli-s-mental-health-programme-evaluation-project-update-on

To find out more about the Happier Lives Institute more generally, see this recent update:
https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/e6u3cTSNsYGHtTth6/update-from-the-happier-lives-institute

Or visit our website:
https://www.happierlivesinstitute.org

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EAGxVirtual 2020: Project Management 101

In this workshop, Habiba gives a run-down of the essentials of project management. The workshop covers the responsibilities of project managers as well as the standard tools and methodologies that can be used for large projects or scaled down for smaller projects. This video will be particularly useful for people interested in operations roles.

Link to slides

Link to handout

Clarification:
The definition of the critical path of a project is the longest sequence of activities in a project plan which must be completed to complete a project. Calculating this gives you an understanding of a the minimum amount of time a project has to take.

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EAGxVirtual 2020: Mitigating catastrophic biorisks (Kevin Esvelt)

In a world now painfully aware of pandemics, with ever-increasing access to autonomous biological agents, how can we help channel society’s response to COVID-19 to minimize the risk of deliberate misuse? Using the challenge of securing DNA synthesis as an example, Kevin outlines the key norms and incentives governing biotechnology, lays out potential strategies for reform, and suggests ways in which thoughtful individuals might help safely and credibly discuss and mitigate biorisks without spreading information hazards.

http://www.sculptingevolution.org

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EAGxVirtual 2020: Why you (yes, you) should post on the EA Forum (Aaron Gertler)

The EA Forum is the best place to share a message where the EA community will see it. And there’s a very good chance that you have a message worth sharing! Aaron discusses common features of excellent Forum posts and runs a brainstorming session where participants submit post ideas to get live feedback.

A companion document for the presentation, which contains additional resources, is available here.

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EAGxVirtual 2020: How social science research can inform AI governance (Baobao Zhang)

Baobao Zhang explains how social science research can help those in governments, tech companies, and advocacy organizations make decisions regarding AI governance. After explaining her research on public attitudes toward AI and automation, she explores other important topics of research. She also reflects on how researchers could make broad impacts outside of academia.

Recommended reading:

https://governanceai.github.io/US-Public-Opinion-Report-Jan-2019

Public opinion lessons for AI regulation

Click to access GovAI-Agenda.pdf

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EAGxVirtual 2020: Maximize your impact for animals (Jamie Harris)

In this talk, Jamie Harris introduces some key concepts involved in planning your career so that you can maximize your impact for animals.

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EAGxVirtual 2020: Growth and the case against randomista development (Hauke Hillebrandt)

In this talk, which is based on a collaboration with John Halstead, Hauke makes the case against randomista development, a form of development economics which evaluates and promotes interventions that can be tested by randomised controlled trials. He argues that research on and advocacy for economic growth in low-income countries is more effective than randomista development interventions, and that assessing the soundness of these arguments should be a key focus for current generation-focused EAs over the next few years.

Hauke and John’s Forum post:
https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/bsE5t6qhGC65fEpzN/growth-and-the-case-against-randomista-development

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EAGxVirtual 2020: How to guard the guardians themselves—Strategies to support political decision-making (Max Stauffer)

Political institutions, such as governments and international organizations, are instrumental in designing large-scale coordination mechanisms and collective action. However, political decision-making is difficult to both achieve and optimise for many reasons. Examples include their collective nature, their high stakes, the complexity of policy problems and slow feedback loops to learn from implementation. The support and improvement of political decision-making could, therefore, be highly impactful. The ultimate question is: what works? This talk delves into the impact, evidence and implementability of four popular strategies to strengthen political decision-making and delineates recommendations for further work.

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EAGxVirtual 2020: Lightning Talks

Following a rigorous selection process, we’re pleased to present the following five-minute lightning talks.

Cecilia Tilli
Antimicrobial resistance: A cause that joins global health and development with longtermism and biosecurity?

Noga Aharony
Aiming towards a biosecurity career from grad school

Jennifer-Justine Kirsch
The next frontier: Lessons learned from an EA fish startup

Sid Efromovich
Introducing Generation Pledge

Michael Aird
Why we need a database of existential risk estimates

Jessica McCurdy
The case for virtual cross-university fellowships

Roy Head
Development Media International and COVID-19

Juan Bartolomé García Martínez
Microbial protein as food for the apocalypse

Jack Lewars
Open a ‘One for the World’ chapter and change the world

Frankie Andersen-Wood
I’m not qualified to give this talk

James Fodor
Pitfalls of Bayesian reasoning

Chloe Dempsey
Cultivated meat: Does the Chinese consumer have an appetite?

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