Last week Sydney and I organized a meetup/presentations on accessible effective actions. Overall: it was a good idea, but the wrong audience for it. Signs of this include people saying “but if you’re giving up some meats why not just give up all of them?” in the talk on reducatarianism and “signing up to be a marrow donor is really easy” in the blood donation section. Meanwhile we totally forgot that not everyone spent five years reading academic research and wishing for a charity that did direct cash transfers, so we were not prepared to explain GiveDirectly as much as it needed to be. Which is not to say we didn’t try. When a new person asked “but isn’t giving cash directly to people bad?”, the room almost cracked with the energy of six people preparing to explain that no, it was actually the best idea ever. This turns out to be not nearly as good as one person preparing to explain it ahead of time.
There were also concerns it ran long, but we didn’t time it, so the lesson there is “time your presentations.”