How to Bring Stoicism to your City

“How do I get started bringing people interested in Stoicism together in the place where I live?” People ask me this question so often that I’ve decided to write a very simple guide. There are three basic steps you can follow:

1. Create an Online Community

Generally these are on Facebook, which seems to work well, although it might not be everyone’s choice. Join an existing Facebook Stoicism group for your country or city. If there isn’t one, try creating one. For example, I recently helped create Stoicism Netherlands and there are Facebook groups for Stoics in London, Toronto, and other major cities.

These groups can take time to grow but eventually they will take on a life of their own, especially if you keep sharing appropriate content. It’s important to have ground rules, though, and not to allow personal abuse or off-topic (spammy) posts – too much of those will cause people to leave and prevent your group from flourishing. Share appropriate content and ask questions to stimulate discussion. Once you have a large enough online community, it will be easier to organize other events.

A great resource for your group to start work on would be a list of books on Stoicism in your language. Goodreads Listopia allows you to do it really easily and it’s very helpful to new members.

2. Organize Face-to-Face Meetups

Most people use Meetup to do this. For example, the Toronto Stoics, where I live, have about 1,400 people, making it the largest Stoicism meetup group in the world. See if the Stoic Fellowship already have meetups in your area. They can also give you information on people interested in starting one, or ideas for how to run the meetings.

Organizing face-to-face meetups probably requires more patience and skill than just setting up a Facebook discussion group. However, eventually these groups also begin to take on a life of their own. You can base each meeting around a chapter from a book on Stoicism, making it a little bit like running a book club. It’s important to have several people who can help so that if you’re unavailable or can’t continue to attend, someone else can take over in your stead.

3. Organize a Stoicon-x Event

Every year since 2012, Modern Stoicism has organized a Stoicon conference, which moves to a different city each year. We also organize and encourage others to organize smaller “Stoicon-x” events, mini-conferences, in different cities around the world. Often once the main Stoicon conference has visited a city it’s easier to organize a Stoicon-x conference the following year because many of the same people will attend.

In a large city like New York or Toronto, even these smaller conferences might attract 100-150 people, fairly easily. Organizing a conference can be quite a responsibility, though. Modern Stoicism can offer advice. Choosing experienced speakers can help. It’s good to start small with perhaps a half-day event. Authors tend to be obliged to promote their books so they have an incentive to respond to requests to speak at events like these. However, in some parts of the world it can be easier than others to find appropriate speakers. (People tend to be more likely to buy tickets if they recognize the names of some of the speakers.)

We’ve found that “lightning talks” work well where individuals are invited to speak for five minutes one after another on different topics. This is a good way of attracting and testing out new speakers. It also means that even if you’re organizing a half-day event your audience will get to hear a lot of talks, and experience a variety of speakers.

Flash Sale: Stoicon 2019 Athens

For three days only, until Tuesday 10th September, you can snap up tickets for Stoicon 2019 Athens at the special earlybird discount price! That’s almost half the standard ticket price.

There are already nearly 300 people attending . See the EventBrite listing for more information, including the full program of speakers, or to book your tickets now.

Last Chance: Earlybird Discount Tickets for Stoicon 2019 Athens

Stoicon 2019 Athens

The earlybird discount offer for Stoicon 2019 in Athens is about to finish. So if you still haven’t booked this is your final chance to save money on the cost of the trip. See the event listing below for the full program and to book your tickets.

EventBrite: Stoicon 2019 Athens

🔥 Get your Earlybird Tickets for Stoicon 2019 in Athens

Just a quick reminder that earlybird discount tickets for Stoicon 2019 in Athens are only on sale for a short while longer, until the end of this month. ​So don’t miss out on the discount if you want to attend!

Tickets can be booked via the EventBrite listing below which also includes full details of the event and the program of speakers:

EventBrite: Stoicon 2019 in Athens

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Stoicon 2019 Athens

Would you like to speak at Stoicon-x Athens?

Do you have some interesting ideas about Stoicism? Do you like talking? We’re looking for people who want to give short talks at Stoicon-x Athens. Stoicon-x is the mini-conference that runs on Sunday, following Saturday’s main Stoicon conference. It’s usually attended by about a hundred people.

Zeus

Lightning Talks

  • Stoicon-x takes place on Sunday 6th October in Cotsen Hall, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
  • Anyone can put their name forward, although we only have ten slots available.
  • Speakers will be given five minutes each to deliver a presentation on Stoicism, without slides.
  • All speakers will be offered free tickets for both Stoicon and Stoicon-x in return for volunteering to give a presentation.
  • You’ll have to cover your own expenses, including flight and accommodation.

For more details on Stoicon-x Athens see the event listing on EventBrite. Contact Piotr Stankiewicz for more information on lightning talks or to put your name on the list.

Stoicon, Stoic Week, and Stoicon-Xs 2019

Many people have been asking for details about Stoicon 2019, Stoic Week, and the smaller, local Stoicon-X events that will be taking place later on in the Fall. These sorts of matters, of course, take quite a bit of time and work to sort out – not least since Modern Stoicism is an organization staffed entirely by volunteers – so we appreciate your patience in awaiting the details. We’re happy to have quite a few details to announce at this time about all three matters. Further details will be forthcoming in the months ahead!

Stoicon 2019 Athens

The annual Stoicon conference is one of the main events organized by Modern Stoicism. Attendance in recent years has been between 300-400 (depending on the venue), and it provides an excellent opportunity not only to hear excellent talks by experts on Stoicism, but also to participate in workshops, and to get to meet, greet, and converse with others interested in Stoicism. If you’d like to see some of the talks and workshops from previous years, check out the playlists in the Modern Stoicism YouTube channel.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Stoicism Comes Home“, and it will be taking place in Cotsen Hall, at the American School of Archeology at Athens. The conference date is Saturday 5th October 2019.

The following speakers have provisionally confirmed that they will be presenting. These details may be subject to change.

  • Donald Robertson (host), author of Stoicism and the Art of Happiness and How to Think Like a Roman Emperor
  • Alkistis Agio (host), author of The Stoic CEO
  • Jonas Salzgeber, author of The Little Book of Stoicism
  • Thomas Jarrett LTC, creator of Warrior Resilience Training
  • John Sellars, Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, author of Stoicism and The Art of Living
  • Matt Sharpe, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Deakin University
  • Massimo Pigliucci, K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York, author of How to be a Stoic and A Handbook for New Stoics
  • Christina Kourfali, author of Live like the Stoics
  • Peter Limberg, organizer of Stoicism Toronto
  • Christopher Gill, Professor Emeritus of Ancient Thought at the University of Exeter, author of The Structured Self in Hellenistic and Roman Thought and Naturalistic Psychology in Galen and Stoicism
  • Gabriele Galluzzo, Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Exeter
  • David Fideler, author of Restoring the Soul of the World and The Pythagorean Sourcebook (ed.)
  • Piotr Stankievicz, Lecturer at the University of Warsaw, author of Does Happiness Write Blank Pages? On Stoicism and Artistic Creativity
  • Katerina Ierodiakonou, Katerina Ierodiakonou (Greece), Professor at the University of Athens and at the University of Geneva, editor of Dialectic after Plato and Aristotle and Topics in Stoic Philosophy, etc

Tickets will go on sale for Stoicon 2019 in Athens very soon! For now, you should follow our event page on Facebook for updates

Stoic Week 2019

Every year, generally following Stoicon, we also host an international event of much wider scope – Stoic Week – which thousands of people participate in worldwide (more and more each year). We provide an online course, with a workbook, exercises, and all sorts of other resources designed to help participants “live like a Stoic” for a week. It is also a great way to meet and interact with other people who have an interest in Stoicism, both locally and in the larger Stoic community.

This year, Stoic Week is planned to run October 7-13. As always, much closer to the date, we will have a newly revised version of the Stoic Week Handbook available for participants, and a variety of other useful resources (I might even- as I have in previous years – shoot a new sequence of videos for the upcoming Stoic Week)

During and around Stoic Week every year, groups, organizations, and institutions plan and put on a number of Stoic Week events. We do our best to publicize all of them as Stoic Week approaches, so if you know of one, or plan to organize and host one, make sure to get that information to us, and we’ll put it into the master list and the posts. If you’re not sure whether there is a Stoic group or organization in your area, you might check the International Stoic Fellowship to see if there’s a local Stoa near you!

Stoicon-X 2019 Events

Stoicon-X events are sort of like TED-X events – smaller local events organized to bring engagement, conversation, and discussion of Stoicism to a number of other communities around the world. They have been held so far on five continents, and there are more and more of them each year!

We’ll have more about the Stoicon-X events closer to September and October when most of them are projected to take place. At this moment, we know about five being planned – so if you’re organizing one that’s not on the list below, get in touch and we’ll get it into the list!

We’ll have more about the Stoicon-X events closer to September and October when most of them are projected to take place. At this moment, we know about five being planned – so if you’re organizing one that’s not on the list below, get in touch and we’ll get it into the list!

Toronto, Canada – September 8, Toronto Reference Library, organized by Peter Limberg – more information to come

New York City, USA – September 19th, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, organized by Massimo Pigliucci – information here

Athens, Greece – October 6, Cotsen Hall of the American School of Classical Studies, organized by Donald Robertson – information here

Madrid, Spain – Date and Location: TBA, organized by Kellys Rodriguez – more information to come

Milwaukee, USA – Date and Location: TBA, organized by Greg Sadler and Andi Sciacca – more information to come

So, mark your calendars for Stoicon and Stoic Week, and start thinking about any local events you might want to organize or host. We’ll have a lot more information coming your way as we get closer to the dates!