Giving Compass' Take:

• This post from Effective Altruism Forum highlights the burgeoning EA community in Boston and their activities during 2018.

• How could effective altruists from other places learn from the Boston example and develop their own, local EA communities.

• For insights from a founding member of the effective altruism movement, click here.

This is a review of the Boston EA community’s activities in 2018. Rather than having a single overarching group, Boston has many smaller groups, mostly based around universities. 2018 was the first year in which all these groups began to collaborate systematically and form the sort of city-wide EA network Boston had previously been lacking. In the interest of keeping the global EA community informed of our activities, we decided to write the first annual review of all significant known EA activities in Boston. We hope that other local group leaders and EAs involved in community-building efforts will find it useful, particularly if they’re working in cities with large student populations or other relevant similarities to Boston.


  • MIT and Harvard have the most prominent student groups in Boston, with some EA activity at Tufts, Wellesley, and Boston University. Julia Wise runs an independent meetup group for non-students.
  • The Arete Fellowship, developed largely by Harvard undergraduate Stephen Casper, has been a very successful tool for student group recruitment and is spreading quickly to other schools. Harvard also pioneered a career fellowship for graduate students.
  • The local rationalist community has been defunct since the dissolution of their group house.
  • Boston’s main comparative advantage is its concentration of prestigious universities. It’s also a center for biology research and home to the Future of Life Institute, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and a massive fundraiser for GiveWell charities conducted at Google’s Cambridge office.
  • The Boston community’s problems include distance from the Bay Area, high student turnover rates, and reliance on volunteers with other commitments.
  • Communication and collaboration between different student groups increased greatly this year after their leaders came together to work on EAGxBoston 2018.
  • In the future, we hope to initiate a career network focused on emerging technology policy, host EAGxBoston 2019, professionalize and expand our fellowships, and seed more university groups in our area.

Read the full article about EA Boston by Taymon and Rebecca Baron at Effective Altruism Forum