Here’s our update since the end of March, summarising our progress over bout 2 and interbout period (12th March - 28th May) and bout 3 plans. See our previous update.
Progress in 2 sentences
We released our key ideas page, which replaces the career guide as the primary introduction to our advice on the website. Jenna Peters accepted our offer to join the advising team in July.
All figures are approximate.
Cash reserves (end April 2019)
Costs last month (April 2019)
Cash reserves divided by costs last month
Months’ runway (rough estimate based on expansion budget, including commitments to donate, as of end April 2019)
# of salaried employees (FTE, excluding freelancers)
10 (2.9 FTE)
Morale (on a scale of 1-10, full-time staff average)
Impact-adjusted significant plan changes (IASPC) - see more explanation.
Annual growth rates:
Change in total IASPC
Growth in last 12 months compared to this period
Monthly compound rate
Last 12 months
Annual IASPC targets
All time IASPC growth chart
Note we think the relative weightings of the IASPC scale are not correct and should be more stretched out. There are also several other problems with our plan change metric. We plan to update our system this year, and will post an update about this here when it’s done.
-----------------------Full update -----------------------
Story of a plan change
Habiba has an interesting story, because she became involved in our very first talk back in 2011, and took the further pledge. She then went to work in law and consulting for five years. In this time, she donated and kept following our content, but wasn’t actively involved in the community. In 2018 we reached out about working taking the Senior Administrator Role at FHI and GPI, which is where she now works. It’s a great example of someone going to work elsewhere and then come back into a high-impact role years later.
Here’s the full story we wrote from the 2018 annual review:
In 2011, Habiba was a Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) student at the University of Oxford. She attended the first 80,000 Hours presentation and talked to Will MacAskill following it. This led her to take the Giving What We Can further pledge, with which she committed to giving away everything she earned above £25,000.
After graduating with first class honours, she trained as a barrister and became a consultant at PwC. Over the next 5 years, she kept to her pledge and passively followed the progress of the effective altruism movement.
In 2018, both Will MacAskill and 80,000 Hours independently reached out to encourage her to apply to be Senior Administrator for the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) and the Global Priorities Institute (GPI). After talking more to us and listening to the 80,000 Hours Podcast (especially the episode with Toby Ord), she decided she was happy to work in a role focused on improving the long-run future and that this particular job was a good fit for her.
Since taking this role in the Oxford University central Philosophy Faculty, she has been able to unblock FHI and GPI’s hiring, finances and office move. Without 80,000 Hours, it’s unlikely she would have become involved in effective altruism or considered this or similar roles.
Key progress over bout 2 and interbout period
You can see the goals we set for bout 2 at the end of our last update.
Our most important progress was probably releasing the key ideas series.
It replaces the career guide as our most important introductory content, and is what we lead with on the front page.
We expect it will significantly improve the appeal of our online content to our key ‘tier 1’ target audience, one of the top challenges we identified in our annual review. Compared to our old career guide we think the tone is significantly more in-depth and rigorous; we lead with our most important ideas much more directly (e.g. longtermism, existential risk); and we focus entirely on social impact (whereas before we led more with job satisfaction).
We’ve also updated the front page and site navigation to make the podcast and job board more prominent, because we also think these better appeal to our target audience (interestingly we found the average age of someone viewing the job board is 5 years older than those viewing the advising page). In general, the front page is more content heavy.
If you’d like to give feedback on the page, go here.
Jenna Peters accepted our offer to join the advising team in July. She will transition to full time over the following months as she wraps up her duties as Project Manager at the Centre for Effective Altruism. Previously, she graduated summa cum laude from Duke University and worked at the Center for Global Health Women’s Health Technologies.
We also continued to make steady progress on our programmes.
Podcast & articles: we released 9 pieces of content over bout 2, and grew podcast subscribers to 18,500. Here is everything we released:
Advising: advised 16 people and made a round of improvements to the process.
Headhunting: over bout 2 we ran searches for 5 positions, and also learned of 2 placements from searches in earlier bouts. This involved meeting potential candidates, including during visits to NY and DC. Niel Bowerman also moved onto the team, and is focused fully on AI policy headhunting.
Web & tech: the main focus was releasing the key ideas series. We also continued to try to grow the job board, and released 142 new vacancies. We also work our tech systems, such as by carrying out an annual security audit.
Bout 3 metric targets:
Content releases on priority topics
🎯9 over the bout
Number of people coached and follow up with
🎯15 over the bout
Tech team milestones completed
🎯7 over the bout
We missed the tech team target due to spending longer than planned on the key ideas series release; however, it was our key priority so we think that was the right decision.
On strategy and operations, we also made good progress:
Released our annual review.
Updated our fundraising targets and contacted donors to aim to close our Dec 2018 round, and as much of our Dec 2019 round as possible.
Started work to improve our impact evaluation, one of the other key challenges identified in our annual review.
Moved into our new office and completed a significant amount of set up.
Bout 3 plans
In the next bout, some of our key priorities include:
Release 5 pieces of content especially aimed at bringing about plan changes.
Continue working on the key ideas series, and promote it.
Continue to update and improve the job board.
In-person: Advise 15 people and continue headhunting for AI roles.
Continue with fundraising and office set-up.
Work out how to make a significant round of improvements to our impact evaluation systems.
Attend EAG and the Leaders Forum
Here are our metric targets for the bout, one week in. We’re behind by one content release, but expect to catch that up in the coming weeks.
Number of people advised
🎯15 over the bout
Cumulative number of plan change focussed content releases (excluding BT)
🎯5 over the bout
Tech team milestones completed
🎯3 over the bout
Hope to see you around EAG,