What’s the point of the Introduction to Effective Altruism Program?

<aside> ➡️ The primary goal of this program is to introduce the participants to the principles and thinking tools behind effective altruism.


We hope that these sessions will help participants:

Stated differently, we don’t expect that participants will become issue experts, clearly articulate their personal cause prioritization, or know precisely what they will do to help solve these problems by the end of this 8-week program. Instead, we hope that participants will engage deeply with core EA concepts and thinking tools that will help them explore these questions further and decide how they want to act on them.

Your role

What does it mean to facilitate?

<aside> 🎯 Your role is to make a discussion as useful and pleasant for the discussion participants as possible. Your goal in the sessions is not to teach the content of the week but to encourage participants to discuss it between themselves and to provide useful input and structure to the conversation.


Just by being there and starting the discussion on each topic, you’re already facilitating and adding value to the conversation!

Facilitating sessions well is a skill that you will develop over time. It isn’t easy, and there will likely always be room for improvement. For that reason, it’s important to spend time every week reflecting on what went well and what might be improved next time – and then acting on those thoughts. Talking to other people about any challenges you’ve had or how best to run sessions can also be very helpful.

The rest of this document provides advice on how to facilitate in general and how to run each individual session. We encourage you to use these resources, but also to adapt them to your particular group of participants and your personal style. You will have better information on the needs in your particular context than we can when writing a general guide like this, so use your best judgment to determine how you can provide the most value to the group. Feel free to use the suggested discussion questions and activities exactly as they are, and feel free to use them as guidance. The same goes for the facilitation advice in this section – some groups will benefit from highly structured discussions, while others prefer free-flowing conversation. The advice in this document contains suggestions for ways to make your sessions even better, not requirements to stress about keeping to.

Before the Program Starts

Make sure that you: