Table of Contents
The 2022 ILINA inaugural Seminar Program run for a period of 10 weeks from August to October, 2022. The cohort comprised of 22 Seminar Participants and 18 Fellows (collectively referred to as the “Participants” for the purpose of this Report).
We had a wide target pool, and the Participants were drawn from different educational and professional backgrounds (see our ILINA Candidate Selection Report).
Brief on the Pre-Seminar Survey
At the start of the Seminar, we conducted a pre-Seminar survey to check how intuitive or counterintuitive the Participants found EA ideas, cause areas and the use of formal reasoning and evidence-based thinking when making decisions about doing good. There was consensus that people should use formal logic and evidence when making decisions about doing good.
When assessed on different cause areas within EA and their importance as priority areas to work on, all the Participants were partial to global health and development as an important cause area to work on. An overwhelming majority of the Participants also agreed that climate change, designing institutions for future generations and biosecurity (in that order) are important causes to work on. Despite the Participants having acknowledged the importance of formal logic and evidence when making decisions about doing good, it was interesting to note that very few Participants considered measuring the effectiveness of interventions as an important cause area to work on.
Finally, we asked the Participants to indicate their career interests as decisions on career choice are an important consideration in doing good more effectively. When asked about their future career considerations, many of the Participants indicated an interest in private sector work and academia.
2. BACKGROUND TO THE POST-SEMINAR SURVEY
Upon conclusion of the Seminar, we conducted a post-Seminar survey to collect feedback on the Seminar while seeking to identify changes in the thinking of the Participants on EA ideas and cause areas, among other things. We received 32 responses out of a pool of 38 Participants: with 17 female Respondents and 14 male respondents.
The post-Seminar survey assessed the following areas:
The rest of this Report details our findings from the post-Seminar survey.
3. FINDINGS FROM THE POST-SEMINAR SURVEY
3.1. Overall satisfaction with the Seminar
We asked the Participants how satisfied they were with the 2022 ILINA Seminar Program on a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being not satisfied at all and did not meet expectations whereas 5 indicated that the Participant was extremely satisfied with the Seminar. All the Participants indicated that they were satisfied with the Seminar Program, as shown below:
3.2. Relevance of the Seminar Modules
We asked the Participants which Seminar sessions they found most relevant out of the 10-week module. An overall assessment of the responses reveals that all the sessions were considered relevant. Below is a hierarchical depiction of the top 6 voted sessions, organised to show the sessions considered most relevant in the module:
The following sessions scored lower on relevance, but were all considered relevant albeit to a lesser degree:
3.3. Importance of cause areas to work on
We assessed Participants on what they considered the most important cause areas to work on within the EA framework. We measured the responses on a 6 -choice Likert scale of: strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree and haven’t thought about it. Before the start of the Seminar program, we conducted a pre-Seminar survey to determine which cause areas the Participants considered most important to work on. The responses we received are as show below:
In our post-Seminar survey, we noticed a change of mind in the attitude towards some cause areas. The results are as follows:
It was interesting to note that there was an increase in the number of people who agree that more people should work on risks from artificial intelligence and animal welfare in the post-Seminar survey. Some of the Participants who strongly disagreed with both as cause areas seem to have revised their initial position. However, our findings reveal that both cause areas also have the most undecided vote at a ratio of 3:6.
Measuring the effectiveness of interventions also scored much higher as a cause area to work on. It had the lowest score in the pre-Seminar Program survey. This indicates a greater appreciation for empirical evidence in decision-making for cause intervention.
3.4. Ways in which the Seminar influenced or changed ways of thinking
We asked the Participants in what area(s), if at all, the Seminar has changed their ways of thinking or changed their mind on something. Below are the responses we received from the Participants:
3.5. Ways in which the Seminar can improve
Finally, we asked the Participants to recommend one thing we could improve about the Seminar. Their recommendations were:
Some Participants recommended making the weekly sessions longer than 2 hours and increasing the length of the Program from 10 weeks to 12 weeks. This would enable more time to engage in other activities in session.
Some Participants proposed:
a. Having more reading-group and discussion sessions outside of the scheduled weekly sessions.
b. Adopting break out rooms and more group discussions in session.
c. Having scheduled sessions for Fellows to share ideas on topics related to their Projects.
Some Participants proposed the creation of more opportunities to collaborate in writing blogs and platforms to connect with Participants with similar areas of interest.
Resources and Materials
Some Participants proposed that more optional readings should be included for specific areas, for those interested in engaging more deeply with the topic.
Some Participants were keen on being connected with mentors and research centres in their areas of interest.
Some Participants proposed:
a. Increasing the number of Seminar Participants.
b. Increasing the number of in-person sessions.
c. Increasing the number of virtual sessions.