According to research by 80,000 Hours, people find jobs more fulfilling when they involve helping others, when the work is something they are good at, when they are engaged, and when they have supportive colleagues.
Working at the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA), you’ll be striving to make the world a better place, you'll be pushed and supported to develop, and you'll work with amazing people. If this sounds appealing to you, consider applying during one of our recruitment rounds. Want to find out more? Read on.
Our vision is to create an optimal world. There are some things which we think are robustly good, such as ending death from malaria or abolishing factory farming, and other areas where we are highly uncertain. This means that we need to simultaneously solve some of the most pressing problems while also learning more about how the world works and how it can be improved.
We want to build a community focused on figuring out what the optimal world looks like, and how we get there.
CEA’s mission is to promote and strengthen effective altruism (EA) as an idea and as a community. We aim to increase the total value of all resources effectively aimed at robustly doing good now, and figure out how to do even more good in the future.
By joining the team at CEA, you’ll be directly contributing to the effective altruism community figuring out how to do the most good and then doing it.
As an organization in the EA community, we take the well-being of others seriously, dedicating our lives to making the world a better place. We’re excited by the incredible opportunity we have to do good.
We have a scientific mindset; we use reason and evidence to guide our thinking, we try to be humble with our views, and we're open to criticism and changing our minds. We value cooperation and so strongly encourage the honesty, trust and good conduct that it requires. We are committed to building a friendly, open, and welcoming environment in which many different approaches can flourish.
These community values mean our team is one that is passionate about helping others and always striving to learn and improve. We want to build a community that acts with integrity and welcomes others.
Beyond the values of the effective altruism community, we have our team values within CEA.
We are an ambitious team. Striving for an optimal world is a highly ambitious goal, after all, and one that we take very seriously. As a team we live at the edge of our comfort zones, taking on tasks just beyond our current capabilities so that we are continually improving to meet new challenges. We understand that if we are to make progress on some of the world’s most pressing problems then we as individuals, as an organization and as a community will need to improve a lot.
We work together as a team to work out what we should prioritize, but favor taking action and trying things out so that we don’t get stuck in decision paralysis. We are given the autonomy over our core areas of responsibility to make decisions and take the necessary risks to make progress and increase value in expectation. While we understand that measuring impact is difficult, we think that having a plan beats not having a plan, and having a model beats not having a model.
We measure our progress by concrete wins and changes out in the real world, always keeping our eye on how our work is reducing suffering and how it helps us learn more about how the world works and how it can be improved.
All of this means we are forced to keep a lot of balls in the air. We also prioritize hard. We focus on working smart, not just hard. We encourage everyone on the team to speak up when they are unsure of the value of a project or when they have suggestions for how we can improve our team.
There is no shortage of exciting opportunities and interesting areas to work on at CEA. We’re a relatively small and flexible team, so we’re encouraged to provide input and grow our skills in a wide range of areas. At the beginning of 2017, some of our employees were able to take part in the start-up incubator programme at Y Combinator, getting help from the founders of big success stories like DropBox, AirBnB and Reddit to improve our ideas.
Every quarter we come together in the same location to try and work out what we should prioritize for the next 90 days. What do we need to focus on to best move the effective altruism community forward? What is going to move us furthest towards our ultimate goal? What do we have the opportunity to learn? This flexible approach keeps us focused, learning and taking action in a wide range of areas.
We work on conferences that have had over 1,000 attendees and speakers like Elon Musk, Peter Singer, Cari Tuna and Julia Galef. Our newsletters help us reach over 40,000 people with our latest thinking on how to do good. Our research team helps to define our strategy, manage the content on our websites, and produce new work on key effective altruism ideas. We also run smaller events for hundreds of people on more specific topics, and coach individuals, through our individual outreach team. EA Funds has taken over $2m in donations to effective charities in its first year. Our tech team is constantly building new features for EA Funds, our groups platform, and our main website, EffectiveAltruism.org. We also manage millions of dollars, two offices, and logistics for tens of events per year, with the help of our operations team.
By joining the team at CEA, you will have the opportunity to work on important projects like these as well as suggest your own ideas of what might be valuable. You'll be involved in our prioritization efforts from day one, so it's important you have a deep sense of the core values of effective altruism, and CEA's role within the movement.
Working in this environment of ambitious goals and always feeling stretched is exciting but naturally, it can also be challenging. This is why we so strongly value each other’s support. We are all striving towards the same goal and facing the same challenges.
We endeavor to create an environment where everyone can flourish. We regularly share self-improvement and self-care tips, run debugging sessions, and encourage staff to make time to learn new skills and go on training courses. In short, we urge you to do whatever you need to be effective and happy in your work, whether that is flexible working hours, new equipment or lunchtime yoga. We have a generous expenses policy, allowing our staff to travel and stay in comfort, have the best equipment available, and pay for learning materials and courses.
Although we are scattered across continents, we chat regularly online and on Skype and meet up every few months for team retreats. There we discuss strategy, brainstorm ideas and work together on projects. Our last two retreats were in Malaga, Spain, and Vancouver, BC. In the evenings, we put away the strategy documents and Asana projects, and get down to the more serious business of karaoke, escape rooms, and charades.
We have made mistakes: you might want to read about what we've done wrong in the past before you decide to work with us. We aim to be clear about our mistakes, so that we can make them right in the future.
If you are passionate about helping others, ambitious both for yourself and for the world and want the opportunity to work on fun and exciting projects check out our recruitment page.
If you have further questions, please get in touch via recruitment[at]centreforeffectivealtruism.org. We look forward to hearing from you.