Our approach

Extinction risks are uniquely universal. Literally each human being, both currently alive and yet unborn, has an equal stake in our survival. Therefore, we believe everyone should work together to reduce existential risk. We are therefore open to knowledge sharing and collaboration with a broad range of institutes and actors, located anywhere in the world.


“Existential risk reduction is among humanity’s most important and urgent challenges today. Unfortunately, it is also among the most neglected. So, I fully support the Existential Risk Observatory’s important mission.”

Andreas T. SchmidtAssociate Professor of Political Philosophy, University of Groningen

“Artificial general intelligence is an existential risk for humanity.”

Jan A. BergstraProfessor emeritus of Computer Science

“We humans often worry about the wrong things. The Existential Risk Observatory wants to help us have the right priorities and focus on what is really dangerous, potentially even threatening the very existence of human civilization. It is a message that I approve of.”

Simon FriederichAssociate Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Groningen


Otto Barten


Otto is a sustainable energy engineer, data scientist, and entrepreneur. When he realized that existential risks are even more important than climate, he started the Existential Risk Observatory.

Joep Sauren


Joep is an Industry 4.0 specialist and Managing Partner at Syndustry. As treasurer of the Existential Risk Observatory he keeps the foundation effectively organised and accounted.

Marko van der Wal


Marko has a degree in Classics. He is currently working as an editor at a publishing house and at a literary magazine, and is active as translator and (occasional) writer. Marko is part of the board.

Ruben Dieleman

Ruben Dieleman

Campaign Manager

Ruben has a background in political science, journalism, effective altruism, and campaigning. He wants to contribute to a better world.

Ayushmaan Sharma

Junior Researcher

Ayushmaan has a background in Biochemistry and interests in Policy, Governance, and Global Health. At the Observatory, he is conducting existential risk awareness and communication research.

Maaike Posthuma


Maaike has a background in psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. With the Existential Risk Observatory, she is working on increasing the awareness of existential risks among policy workers and decision makers.

Nik Samoylov


Nik Samoylov is the founder and director of Conjointly. By combining his background in marketing, experience as a management consultant, and passion for AI safety, Nik brings a unique perspective to the conversation surrounding the future of artificial intelligence.

Sue Anne Wong

Policy researcher

Sue Anne has a background in regulatory policy in government and a tertiary qualification in economics. She prepares submissions to government inquiries and policy proposals.

Eefje van Esch


Eefje has extensive experience in campaigning and lobbying on global poverty issues.

Jesper Heshusius


Jesper has a background in analytic philosophy and applied ethics. He is interested in normative questions around existential risks and how to reduce these.


Alexia Georgiadis


Alexia has a background in political and economic sciences with a focus on governance and development. She is responsible for research on the effectiveness of communicating existential risk.

Holly Warner


Holly has a research background in social anthropology and is a postdoctoral qualitative researcher with a focus on technological futures and mediation. At the observatory she is researching emerging technologies and working on AI governance policy proposals.

Kali Richards

Media and Fundraising

Kali is a student of political science interested in effective altruism and policy focused on the long-term benefit of humanity. At the observatory she is responsible for media and fundraising outreach.

Francesca Fleurbaay

Francesca Fleurbaay

Conference organizer

Francesca has a background in psychology (University College Groningen) and is responsible for the organization of the Existential Risk Conference. She is excited to spread awareness about existential risk!

Contact us

Contact us

We are open to working together towards the common goal of decreasing existential risk. Please reach out to us. If you share our vision and want to support us, you can also use this address to get in touch.

Get in touch


Part of our mission is to inform the debate on existential risk. We will therefore prioritize interviews and information requests from the press.

Get in touch

The Existential Risk Observatory is a foundation under Dutch law (stichting). Our address is:
Havikslaan 8A
1021 EK Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Our tax exempt status (ANBI) data can be found here.


We are currently not looking for fulltime candidates. For volunteering, please see the information under Support us. If you want to be kept informed about future opportunities, follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter!

Support us


Do you have an interest in supporting us with your time? Send an email and let us know what you are keen to do and what skills you like to develop at the Observatory. You can also organize your own event around existential risks! Feel free to send us a message, or download our Events Guide below.

Download Event Guide


As opposed to research, existential risk awareness building is funding-constrained. With additional funding, we could operate in more countries, organize more and better events, and do more research investigating the effects of our interventions.
We are sincerely happy with all support, both large and small!