Liv Boeree

Field: Fundraising, public outreach

Position & Organization: Co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving (REG), Ambassador for www.effectivegiving.org

How did you get started in this field? I’ve played poker professionally for the past 10 years, which trained me to think constantly about risk and uncertainty. I’ve also been concerned about environmental issues since a young age, and when I was introduced to Effective Altruism in 2014 I soon realised that X-risk mitigation was my key concern. My fellow poker players and I co-founded REG shortly after to help fundraise for charities and organisations whose research seems most promising.

What do you like about your work? I love the breadth of research that’s required. I’m not the best at sticking to one subject area, and X-risks demand knowledge across almost every area of academia which suits my generalism perfectly! I also love the conversations it leads to — seeing people have lightbulb moments of realisation, or question their previous assumptions (or making me question mine) is extremely rewarding.

What do you not like about your work? It can be incredibly depressing at times, especially when you spend so much time reading about new hazards or studying past conflicts. Some days I’m very optimistic, then I’ll hear about something else and get all freaked out. It passes though!

Do you have any advice for women who want to enter this field? I’ve found the community extremely welcoming and respectful, so I’d recommend it highly to any woman who is interested in pursuing work in this area. I’ve genuinely never had a negative experience (and coming from the poker world, I’ve experienced plenty of sexism in the past!). Even better, the community is refreshingly neutral to the fact that I happen to be female. People in the field focus purely on doing the most good, and focus on the quality of thought, not the gender of the person it’s coming from.

What makes you hopeful for the future? That there are a small but rapidly growing number of brilliant people dedicating their efforts to X-risk research.

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