Amplify creative grants
December 2022 • Link to project →
Amplify creative grants is a grants program I set up with Luca Righetti and Toby Tremlett aimed at supporting podcasts and other creative media projects that spread ideas to help humanity navigate this century.
Here’s an excerpt from the original announcement:
We’re interested in applications that look to cover topics related to (i) reducing existential risk, (ii) helping fix pressing global problems, and (iii) putting humanity on a positive long-term trajectory. More details on all three below.
We want to amplify ideas associated with effective altruism and longtermism, but you don’t need to be actively engaged with effective altruism to apply.
We’re excited to support projects (new and existing) in English and other languages — sharing important ideas with new, global, audiences.
Theories of change we had in mind:
- Field building: Several emerging research fields are oriented around the principles of effective altruism (like global priorities research, AI alignment and strategy, or welfare biology). A communication project focused on one of these (sub-)fields could help distill existing work, and inspire more of it.
- Advocacy: Advocacy makes most sense when you have an audience in mind. A project that has access to a small but select audience (for example policymakers, entrepreneurs, or academics in an impactful field) can have impact through changing minds on important topics.
- Information: Even once someone is convinced of the importance of a pressing problem, they still need to be well informed about it in order to make well-motivated decisions. But it’s often difficult to find and digest the most relevant research. You could help by distilling existing research to make this process more efficient, or even by doing your own research and communicating the result: giving out new information.
- Community building: Perhaps the greatest effect of podcasts like 80,000 Hours has been to grow the community around effective altruism. We’d love to see podcasts that had the same effect, especially for particular causes, sub-communities and non-english language groups.
The project was originally funded by the FTX Future Fund, shortly before FTX collapsed. Collectively, we chose not to use the money. As I write, it is unclear whether the program will go ahead, since this will depend on find an alternative source of funding. If things do go ahead, it might be on a smaller scale than we originally imagined. I will update this page when things are clearer.
In any event: we were highly impressed with the number and quality of applications, and selected around a dozen projects we were especially excited about. They included:
- A Spanish-language podcast about topics in effective altruism, aimed at a Latin American audience; plus a similar podcast in Hindi
- A series of instructional videos for getting started with forecasting
- Professional-quality narrations of recommended reading from the AGI safety fundamentals course