International Stoic Week
We have run three international Stoic Weeks (end of November: 2012, 2013, 2014).
The idea behind Stoic Week is simple: it is an opportunity for you to see whether Stoic philosophy can help you lead a better life. In order to achieve this we provide a free online course, with step by step exercises and audio meditations, which you can sign up to. We also provide wellbeing questionnaires before and after the week so you can measure your progress.
In 2013 and 2014, over 2,400 people took part in Stoic Week, following the online course, completing the wellbeing questionnaires, and discussing the week online.
Stoic Week has generated substantial interest in the press, including in the Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Forbes Magazine, The Toronto Globe and Mail, Channel 4 Online, Newsweek, The Spectator, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, BBC World Service and The Irish Times. You can see how our work has been featured in the press and media here.
Stoic Week is not just about living the ancient philosophy but also about testing how effective it is, from a psychotherapeutic point of view. Our findings in 2013 supported the view that Stoicism is helpful. Participants reported a 14% improvement in life satisfaction, a 9% increase in positive emotions (joy increased the most of all emotions, whilst optimism increased by 18%) and an 11% decrease in negative emotions. The findings also supported the view that Stoicism not only increases well-being but also enhances virtue – 56% of participants gave themselves a mark of 80% or more when asked whether it had made them a better person and made them wiser.
You can read a full report of our findings from Stoic Week 2013 here.
Annual Stoic Day in London
Stoicism for Everyday Life Event, 2013
– In 2013, we ran a free public event in London, at Birkbeck University, which was attended by over 200 people. The event featured workshops for putting Stoic advice into practice and a round-table discussion featuring experts, arguing for and against the strengths and weaknesses of Stoicism. You can find full-length videos of the round-table discussion and other presentations from the day on our Youtube channel. – In 2014 – we ran an event attended by 300 people, held at Queen Mary, University of London. It featured talks, workshops and panels with invited speakers. Videos of that event will be uploaded shortly. Subscribe to this blog (subscription box in the top right hand corner of this page) to keep updated about the next London Stoic event in 2015.
Stoic Mindfulness & Resilience Training Course (SMRT)
In addition to Stoic Week, we have developed a one-month course Stoic Mindfulness & Resilience Training, which we piloted on our sister website modernstoicism.com. You can take this course (in self-guided format) here.
In the Future
We hope to develop the SMRT course into an eight-week, accredited and fully tested, course for use in the NHS and other health services, as part of a programme to increase resilience.
We also plan to create resources and courses for the teaching of Stoicism, and other forms of practical philosophy, in schools, companies and prisons.
To make these ideas a reality, we need funding. If you know of research bodies and foundations, which might be interested in our work, please get in touch.