2023-2024 Fundraising Round

As we begin a new round of fundraising, we’ve compiled key information about SI to brief prospective funders on our work to date, our plans going forward, and the impact of additional funds. Currently, we have runway until Summer 2024 and estimate our room for more funding to lie between $2.6MM-5.2MM. 

Below, we outline: 

  • Our track record
  • Our plans until 2025 
  • Why we focus on multilateral AI governance
  • How we evaluate our work 
  • What your dollar buys
  • Why support us
  • How to donate


We founded the Simon Institute for Longterm Governance (SI) in April 2021, with the goal of enhancing the multilateral system’s ability to anticipate and mitigate global catastrophic risks. Our current work is focused on promoting the responsible development of artificial intelligence (AI) through multilateral governance. 

In collaboration with international organizations, governments, think tanks and leading research labs, we translate technical knowledge into actionable policy advice, facilitate exchange between researchers and policymakers, and provide input to multilateral governance processes. Through our work, we hope to contribute to building governance systems that are fit for the 21st century.

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Our track record

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For a detailed overview of history, you can read our two year inception review.

Our plans until 2025

Until the end of 2025, SI will focus on improving the multilateral system’s capacity to govern rapid technological change, with a specific focus on AI. We see our strategic context as follows:

  • The world is likely moving from a unipolar to a bipolar or multipolar order. Multilateral governance processes are contested via north-south tensions, US-China tensions are on the rise, and private companies increasingly provide global public goods.
  • AI progress is inducing new policy challenges and exacerbating existing ones. Heightened public awareness of AI will amplify political discourse and increase the number of national, multilateral, and private-sector AI governance processes being pursued, making multilateral policy coherence increasingly crucial.
  • SI is a promising young organization facing a stress test. It has built expertise, credibility, infrastructure and networks to substantially contribute to multilateral frontier tech governance. Many funders have announced reductions in their giving due to economic uncertainty, while AI governance is gaining popularity amongst philanthropists. 

Given this context, our priorities and goals are as followed:

Priority Goals
1. Boost the multilateral system’s ability to prioritize, discuss and deploy solutions to reduce risks and maximize benefits from transformative technological advances; 1.1. Increase national demand for measured international action.

1.2. Support tech governance processes in leading international organizations.

1.3. Foster exchange and action within the multilateral tech governance system.

2. Advise national and non-governmental actors working on tech governance questions to act and communicate in ways that increase the likelihood of multilateral progress; 2.1. Enhance civil society engagement in multilateral processes.

2.2. Contribute to the development of effective multi-stakeholder bodies.

2.3. Boost national awareness of multilateral affairs for international coherence.

3. Boost SI’s sustainability and operations. 3.1. Raise between 2.6MM-5.2MM CHF from a diverse set of funders.

3.2. Strengthen and grow the SI workforce to ~10 full-time employees.

3.3. Enhance SI’s operations, governance, and knowledge management.

You can see here to learn more about our strategy, theory of change, and how we plan to achieve our goals.

Why we focus on multilateral AI governance

We use the importance, tractability, neglectedness framework for rough qualitative assessments of our work. Below, we explain how multilateral AI governance fits into this framework.

  • Importance: AI is plausibly the biggest issue in human history. AI could accelerate scientific innovation, automate the economy, and reduce global inequality. At the same time, AI systems could also pose catastrophic risks. Government action is crucial to make the most out of AI, and multilateral action is key for driving policy coherence.
  • Tractability: The window for making progress on multilateral AI governance is now. China has shown willingness to tackle AI at the multilateral level, AI labs have signaled interest for international regulation, and political attention has shifted to AI, triggering novel political processes. The multilateral system can help prevent risky international races through monitoring, assurance and mediation, and can help avoid societal disruption through the equitable distribution of profits. 
  • Neglectedness: Institutions and philanthropies under-invest in multilateral catastrophic AI risk mitigation. Multilateral AI governance plausibly has comparatively high marginal return, and multilateral engagement by catastrophic risk focused actors is currently neglected. 

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How we evaluate our work

We strive to evaluate our work based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance: is the intervention doing the right things?
  • Coherence: how well does the intervention fit?
  • Effectiveness: is the intervention achieving its objectives?
  • Efficiency: how well are resources being used?
  • Impact: what difference does the intervention make?
  • Sustainability: will the benefits last?

We use short-term indicators (inputs, outputs) and long-term indicators (outcomes, counterfactuals) to assess the above criteria. We run feedback surveys, conduct interviews and track our online activity to collect data on the above indicators. We calibrate our work on an annual, quarterly, and fortnightly basis. 

You can find an assessment of our 2-year inception period here.

What your dollar buys

Our budget and room for more funding:

  • Our minimum 3-year budget is $3.2MM
  • Our maximum 3-year budget is $5.8MM
  • Our current balance is $600k
  • Our room for more funding is $2.6MM-5.2MM

What your dollar buys:

  • $5,000: A briefing event for Member States in Geneva to improve their understanding of AI governance. 
  • $20,000: A briefing event to key UN Officials and Member States representatives in NYC on AI.
  • $50,000: A report on multilateral AI governance targeting Member States.
  • $100,000: A 2-day coordination retreat with ½ AI researchers and ½ multilateral actors.
  • $150,000: An annual salary for an AI governance expert, focused on tactical research on how to engage with developing countries and China on AI governance.

Why support us

  • As AI continues to gain global attention, the issue risks being overtaken by misinformation and noise. Our longstanding focus on the topic, coupled with our links to the frontier research community, allow us to provide an informed voice.
  • We’ve built credibility and networks within the multilateral system, and have a unique vantage point to raise awareness about risks and opportunities from AI. 
  • By translating between the multilateral system and frontier AI communities, we contribute to maintaining the foundation for targeted exchange between policymakers and experts as AI governance becomes increasingly urgent.
  • We’re currently the only organization focusing solely on frontier AI governance at the multilateral level.

How to donate 

To donate, you can view the information listed at the top of this page. For further information, or to speak with us about our plans, please contact konrad@simoninstitute.ch

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