We are two 20 years old Finnish students from the University of Helsinki, who are very concerned about global issues. We have a lot of energy and have met a couple of times for organizing our thoughts. We found out about effective altruism and it seems to be exactly the ideology that we want to strive for.

But, on our meetings, we ran into a problem: what is the most effective way to concentrate this energy, so we can advance from talking to taking action? Our agenda and goals seem to be too ambiguous at the moment, so we hope that you could shed some light on what on earth (no pun intended) should we do.

As far as we know, effective altruism hasn't really had a breakthrough in making a cultural change on how people think. The movement in Finland is even more marginal: there are only 30 people in the EA Finland Telegram group and around 10+ people are attending the meetups. As we don't have that much experience in popularizing a social movement, we would need help on how to achieve our goals regarding this project? At least ridding us from the anxious ambiguity of not knowing exactly what concrete things we should do.

Best regards,


P.S. Has there been any research on effective promoting of effective altruism?

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Edit: I see that you also asked this question on r/EffectiveAltruism. I like all the links people shared on that post!

How best to grow the EA movement is a complex question that many people have been working on for a long time. There's also a lot of research on various aspects of social movement growth (though less that's EA-specific).

I don't have the bandwidth to send a lot of relevant materials now, but I'd recommend you post your question on the EA Forum (which is built for questions like this), where you're more likely to get answers from people involved in community work.

To give a brief summary of one important factor: While the basic principles of EA aren't difficult to convey persuasively, there's a big gap between "being persuaded that EA sounds like a good thing" and "making large donations to effective charities" or "changing one's career". As part of my job at the Centre for Effective Altruism, I track mentions of EA on Twitter and Reddit, and it's very frequent to see people citing "effective altruism" as the reason that they give to (for example) their local animal shelter. EA is already something of a buzzword in the business and charitable communities, and trying to promote it to broad audiences runs the risk of the term separating even further from its intended meaning.

...but of course, this is far from the full story.

(If you do post this to the Forum, I'll write an answer with more detail and more ideas, but I'd prefer to wait until I think my response will be seen by more people focused on EA work, so that they can correct me/add to my thoughts.)