Charity

Rethink Priorities — Existential Security Team

Rethink Priorities — Existential Security Team

Rethink Priorities’ Existential Security Team is working to cause the greatest expected increase it can to the value of the long-term future. It focuses on research and field building related to reducing existential risks — including the risk of human extinction.

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What problem is Rethink Priorities’ Existential Security Team working on?

Humanity could have a bright and long future that may span many millions of years — assuming that we effectively navigate various risks and build the foundations for a flourishing future society.

What does the Existential Security Team do?

Rethink Priorities’ Longtermism department grew significantly in 2022, from three to 16 people (including permanent and temporary staff). The department is organised into the AI Governance & Strategy Team and the Existential Security Team (XST). Donations here will support the work of XST.

The XST's work involves both research and field building.

Its research explores how decision-makers can best reduce extreme risks and safeguard a flourishing future — including topics such as pandemic prevention, civilisational resilience, risks from nanotechnology, and forecasting methods.

In field building, XST:

  • Helps others develop key skills, enter impactful roles, and launch promising initiatives.
  • Provides infrastructure, fellowships, and events that strengthen the field of people working to improve the long-term future.

In 2022, the XST began investigating what entrepreneurial projects seem like they should be launched in order to improve the long-term future, and began exploring the idea of acting as an incubator for such projects. The team has helped launch two career advising and training projects — Condor Camp and EA Pathfinder — and is continuing to explore other project incubation ideas.

For more information about its future directions, see Rethink Priorities’ XST update from May 2023.

What evidence is there of the XST's effectiveness?

Rethink Priorities’ XST meets our criteria to be listed on our platform based on the recommendation of one of our trusted evaluators, Longview Philanthropy. Our trusted evaluators are charitable giving experts who focus on impact — their research into the best charities means your donations can do even more good. Learn more about charity evaluators we trust and why.

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation’s work, which considers much more than just the administration costs of the organisation. Learn more about this common “overhead myth” and our approach to charity evaluation.

Why donate through the Giving What We Can donation platform?

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