Stoicons Past – Impressions and Experiences from Those Who Went

Last week, I issued a call for people to contribute short pieces about their impressions of, and experiences from, earlier Stoicon conferences. These events have been held yearly in three main places – London, New York City, and Toronto – with Athens, Greece being added this year.

As the organizers for Stoicon 2019 in Athens get all the details sorted out and ticketing set up, I thought it might be interesting for our readership to hear from people who attended previous Stoicons. If there’s sufficient interest, we’ll put together a similar post of impressions and experiences of those who attended the smaller Stoicon-X events over the last few years as well!

(You can follow the Stoicon 2019 in Athens Facebook page.)

Piotr Stankiewicz – attended Stoicon 2016 in New York and Stoicon 2017 in Toronto – presented at Stoicon 2018 in London

Stoicon is absolutely great – I recommend it with all of my Stoic mind and all of my nonstoic heart. I attended Stoicons 2016, 2017 and 2018 and I harbor every intention to keep coming. Why? There is a plethora of reasons, but if you ask me to name one I will probably say something along the lines of: because of how people and ideas interact.

What does it even mean? Stoicism today is a global endeavor (our ancient predecessors would definitely approve, given their cosmopolitanism) so at the Stoicon you meet people from all over the globe. Sounds obvious but it’s still remarkable. The opportunity to meet in person people whose book you read, or folks you talked to online – is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

Even in the contemporary, digital and connected world, where everything seems to be just a few clicks away, it’s still important to meet and talk face to face. Some would even say that particularly in the present world we should take care to meet in real life. More and more of our communication relies on devices, thus an actual meeting of another human becomes something to be cherished.

And not just people: ideas too. Stoicism has never been a monolithic church – diverse interpretations has always been in place. Diverse: i.e. contradictory sometimes, conflicting often. And this is something to learn first hand during Stoicon. Textbook stuff, hard facts, Marcus Aurelius’ biography – you can get to know all of that online. But Stoicon is the best to witness first hand that Stoicism is not just pale wisdom but a living and flourishing project. The discussion is going on. And it keeps attracting people. I’m hooked. Are you?

Lori Huica – attended Stoicon 2018 in London

I had been anticipating Stoicon 2018 in London for months, digesting as many classic Stoic fragments as I could, yet not fully knowing what the modern applications would be. After the initial feeling of awe at the magnitude of the event, I entered the large lecture hall where the agenda was introduced, chatted to some fellow attendees, listened to the introduction in utter elation, and thus began a year-long journey of internalising Stoic principles.

In spite of my attempts to do some thorough research before the event, the day proved to be full of entirely new learning opportunities, and every seminar and lecture I attended provided me with different concepts to grasp and apply. Two particularly memorable parts were a seminar on partenered relationships and a lecture on the link between Stoicism and sustainability. The former made me re-conceptualise the way I saw relationships, both philosophically and practically, whilst the latter was a refreshing take on environment-related issues and how philosophy might tackle these.

There were opportunities to network, as well as meet experts in the field, but for me what truly made Stoicon 2018 life-changing was the passion that all the people that had gathered at the Senate House that Saturday had for this way of living, this way of thinking. From newbies to veterans, every person in the room emanated fascination for the subject; it was this that translated into an urge to know more about what Stoicism entails, and so I did. I decided to join Stoic Week, to formally learn about Roman Stoicism as part of my degree and to really embody what it means to be a modern Stoic. Not only was it a life-changing event for me, but the daily lives of many are now impacted as I continue to embrace the philosophy and share it in whatever ways I can.

Randall Daut – attended Stoicon 2018 in London

Having been learning a bit about stoicism for 2-3 years, my wife and I decided to include Stoicon 2018 in a planned vacation to London. We both feel it was a worthy addition. Anthony Long’s reflections on the history of the resurgence of interest in stoicism were interesting as was his big picture of the important ideas in the philosophy. I liked learning about the results of stoic week as well. One notable finding was that “zest” or “great enthusiasm and energy” increased more than other variables during the week.

I enjoyed all the presentations, but I had special interest in Antonia Macaro’s comments on Stoicism and Buddhism, and I was intrigued by a presentation on sustainability and Stoic ethics. Unfortunately, I had to choose which of the breakout sessions to attend, but the choices were not overwhelming, and recordings are available. As a retired clinical psychologist, I enjoyed the recording of our local philosopher, Greg Sadler. The conference was well organized. I hope to attend another.

Travis Hume – attended Stoicon 2016 in New York and Stoicon 2017 in Toronto

I attended Stoicon 2017 in Toronto – my second visit to a Stoicon. I fondly remember it as a meaningful opportunity to meet with others interested in Stoicism, in addition to contemporary writers and philosophers on the subject. With each passing year, the event becomes more dynamic and engaging, with greater numbers and varieties of workshops and events; there is something suitable for anyone of any familiarity with Stoic philosophy.

I decided to go to Stoicon as part of a personal calling to learn all I could from the philosophy and others actively studying it. Each of the conversations I had at the event were meaningful, providing insight into each person’s practice and experience. The pacing and depth of each workshop and seminar was well-managed, making for constructive, fulfilling days. I easily recommend to anyone with the means to go to do so.

Mark Trumble – attended Stoicon 2017 in Toronto

Ever since I was a young boy I had wondered what the good was, and how to live it. At an early age I sought what the wisest men had said about it, so that I could have a better idea on how to live my life. This lead to the study of philosophy, both formally and informally, and this also lead to watching innumerable philosophy videos. If you watch videos on philosophy on youtube you cannot but help to run into Greg Sadler. After watching innumerable hours and taking some courses from him I decided to attend the Stoicon conference. I certainly wanted to meet him, as well as anyone else who was both knowledgeable academically, or who practically lived a good life. The lectures were useful in confirming what I knew, expanding and expounding what I I didn’t, and gave me direction in what to research and question further. While I was not turned instantaneously into a sage, it certainly made my path seem a little less solitary, and began to open new vistas of what a good life could look like.

Chuck Chakrapani – attended Stoicon 2016 in New York and Stoicon 2017 in Toronto – presented at Stoicon 2018 in London

Attending the Stoicon conference is an interesting experience. You get to meet like-minded people who live close to you and those who live thousands of miles away from you. Yet get to meet people who have been practicing Stoicism for fifty years and those who have been dabbling with Stoicism for five months. You get to meet the committed, and you get to meet the curious.

And then you have fascinating talks by scholars and practitioners. You have parallel sessions in which you can explore the topic that interests you more. And if you cannot get enough of it in one day, it is followed by Stoicon X the following day.

I have been attending Stoicon for the past three years and, for me, it is one of the most anticipated, ‘preferred indifferent’ events of the year!

We will be posting more information about Stoicon 2019 as it becomes available, so stay tuned. And if you can’t make the main Stoicon, keep an eye out for the smaller Stoicon-X events in different places all over the world (we’ll publicize information about those as well, as it becomes available).

Call For Contributions – Impressions and Insights from Readers about Stoicons Past

As we gear up for Stoicon 2019, Stoic Week 2019, and all the Stoicon-X and other events that will be taking place later in the Fall, I thought it might be good to solicit and compile contributions from some of the many people who have attended any of the Stoicons we have held in past years, in London, Toronto, and New York. That way, those attendees could provide their impressions, insights, and other reflections to those who haven’t yet attended, but might be thinking about going to Stoicon 2019 in Athens.

If you are interested in sharing your views about your Stoicon experience here in Stoicism Today, I’m looking for short pieces ranging from 150-400 words. The piece is planned to run on Saturday, April 13, and the final deadline for consideration will be Thursday, April 11. You can email your contributions to me directly.

If you’re wondering what you might write about, here’s some useful prompts for jogging your memories and getting your creative juices flowing:

  • What were you looking forward to the most about Stoicon? Did the event measure up to your hopes or expectations?
  • What were the most valuable insights, ideas, or experiences that you took back home with you after Stoicon ended?
  • What was the most surprising thing about Stoicon for you?
  • Why did you decide to go to Stoicon? Was it worth it for you?
  • Was there anyone you were particularly keen on meeting or hearing speak? How was that for you?

Make sure to mention which Stoicon it was you went to.

I look forward to seeing what you, our readers, have to say. If we get sufficient turnout, and there’s enough interest in this topic, we’ll follow up the reader-contributed “Stoicon experience” post with one about Stoicon-X events as well!

Save the Date: Stoicon 2019 in Athens

Stoicism is coming home! We’re delighted to announce that Stoicon 2019 will be taking place in Athens on Saturday 5th October. The main event will be followed by the Stoicon-x Athens mini-conference on Sunday 6th October, for those of you who want an extra day of philosophy.

The venue will be the beautiful and modern Cotsen Hall of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The event organizers are Donald Robertson and Alkistis Agio.

Stoicon is the annual, international conference on modern Stoicism, organized by Modern Stoicism Ltd. This will be its seventh consecutive year. It’s normally attended by 300-400 people from around the world, with a shared interest in applying Stoicism to modern living. Previous speakers include Ryan Holiday, Julia Annas, William Irvine, Margaret Graver, and A. A. Long.

Tickets will go on sale and further details, including the line-up of speakers, will be announced shortly. Please follow @stoicweek on Twitter for updates or register on our eLearning site to receive email notifications. You can also follow our Facebook event page for Stoicon 2019 in Athens.

Videos from Stoicon 2018

This year, we were able to record video footage from each of the plenary talks at Stoicon 2018, and from two of the breakout talks and one of the  breakout workshop sessions as well.  If you couldn’t make it to London for Stoicon – or if you did, but would like to review any of those talks, you can find all of them linked to below.  Click on any of the links to be taken to that video.

The Plenary Talks – The Morning

Tim LeBon – Report on Stoic Week Research (about 20 minutes)

Catherine Edwards – Strategies of Visualization in Seneca’s Letters (about 35 minutes)

Kai Whiting – Stoicism and Sustainability (about 20 minutes)

Antonia Macaro – How Buddhist is Stoicism? (about 30 minutes)


Breakout Sessions – Talks and Workshops – The Afternoon 

Liz Gloyn – Lessons in Stoic Leadership from Seneca (about 24 minutes)

William Stephens – A Stoic Approach to Travel and Tourism (about 22 minutes)

Dan Lampert – Comparing Stoicism to Minimalism: Two Paths to Virtue 
(about 20 minutes)

Piotr Stankiewicz – Two Great Misinterpretations of Stoicism: Ascetic and Conservative (about 30 minutes)

Gregory Sadler – The Stoic Heart: Stoicism and Partnered Relationships (a bit over an hour)

Keynote Address – The Evening

Anthony Long – Stoicisms Ancient and Modern (around 50 minutes)

As you will be able to tell by watching the videos, at this year’s Stoicon (as in earlier years),we had an excellent line-up of highly engaging speakers, connecting ancient Stoic philosophy to the situations and issues of modern life.  On a personal note, I’ll mention that I particularly enjoy being able to view the breakout session talks I couldn’t myself attend (as I was leading a concurrent workshop).  We’ll doubtless have another set of equally great talks and workshops at this coming year’s Stoicon. 

We hope you enjoy these videorecordings and find them useful in understanding and applying Stoicism in your own practice!

Recent Blog Pieces on Stoicon 2018

This year, at Stoicon 2018 in London (organized by John Sellars, assisted by Amy Valladres) , we again hosted over 300 participants and fielded a number of talks and workshops!  In the weeks following, quite a few people wrote about their experiences at the conference, the conversations they had, the talks or workshops they attended, and what they learned.

Since Stoicon is one of the main events planned and put on every year by the Modern Stoicism organization, I thought what these participants had to say would likely be of interest to our readership, particularly those who could not attend the conference.

Below is a list of the longer pieces about Stoicon 2018 out there at present.  Several are in other languages, but if you can’t read those, there’s always the translate function in your browser, or Google Translate!

Retour sur la Stoicon 2018 à Londres by “Zenon” (in French).  This is a quite detailed, very thorough, in-depth overview of each portion of the conference, from the first session to the plenary address.  A host of excellent photos as well.  In my view, if you read only one piece on the conference, this is the one to select.

Londyński zlot stoików by Piotr Stankiewicz (in Polish).  I don’t read Polish (unfortunately), but I do know Piotr, so I had a strong sense it was going to be good.  When I was able to read this piece in translation, that was the case.  A good discussion of the plurality of modern Stoicism

What the Hell is Stoicon? by the author of “The Will To Freedom” blog.  Another excellent overview of the event, along with some background and a discussion about travel as well.

So far, I haven’t seen any other longer pieces discussing the conference.  If I’ve missed any, by all means, send them my way, and I’ll read them, then add them to this listing of recommended posts.

Stoicon Today and Stoic Week To Follow!

Today marks the seventh annual Stoicon – the world’s largest gathering of modern people interested in understanding and applying the ancient philosophy of Stoicism! It brings together academics, practicing psychotherapists, professionals of other sorts, and people of all walks of life in an intense one-day set of talks, workshops, and conversations, capped off each year by a longer talk by an author who has made major contributions to the understanding of Stoicism  (this year, it is Anthony Long).

If you couldn’t make it to Stoicon in London this year, never fear!  We’ll be videorecording some of the talks and workshops and posting those as they become available.  We’ll also be publishing transcripts and summaries here in Stoicism Today over the coming months, starting with Professor Long’s keynote address.

Here are the talks and workshops – and the people providing them – at Stoicon this year.

  • A Welcome to the Conference by John Sellars
  • Report on Stoic Week by Tim LeBon
  • Imagining the Worst: Strategies of Visualisation in Seneca’s Letters by Catharine Edwards
  • Stoicism and Sustainable Development by Kai Whiting
  • How Buddhist is Stoicism? by Antonia Macaro
  • Marcus Aurelius: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson
  • How Seneca Can Help you Manage Anger and Frustration by Tim LeBon
  • The Stoic Heart: Stoicism and Partnered Relationships by Greg Sadler and Andi Sciacca
  • The Proper Application of Preconceptions: Curing “the Cause of All Human Ills” by Greg Lopez
  • Stoic Rationality in an Irrational World by Walter Matweychuk
  • Happiness, Stoic and Aristotelian by  Chris Gill and Gabriele Galluzo
  • Lessons in Stoic Leadership from Seneca by Liz Gloyn
  • A Stoic Approach to Travel and Tourism by William Stephens
  • Comparing Stoicism to Minimalism: Two Paths to Virtue by Dan Lampert
  • Two Great Misinterpretations of Stoicism: Ascetic and Conservative by Piotr Stankiewicz

And of course, our keynote address, Stoicisms Ancient and Modern by Anthony Long!

Stoic Week follows almost immediately after Stoicon, and runs from Monday, October 1 to Sunday, October 7.  If you haven’t already enrolled in the Stoic Week online class, here’s the link to do so.  It’s free, and it’s a great way to “Live Like A Stoic” (the original title, back in 2012).

There are also local events happening all over the world that you might be able to participate in, depending on where you live.  Here is our listing of them so far:

Upcoming Stoicon-X Events Worldwide

Thursday and Friday, October 4 & 5- Bonn, Germany – Stoic Camp Bonn.  Hosted by Dr. Markus Rüther and Ralph Kurz at the University of Bonn.  Come for a set of talks, workshops, and discussions.  Email Dr. Markus Rüther or Ralph Kurz  or go here for more information.

Sunday, October 14, 2:00-4:00 PM – San Lorenzo, USA – StoiconX Bay Area – Information Day, includes an introduction to Stoic philosophy and for an opportunity to learn about The International Stoic Fellowship, showcasing local groups including San Francisco-Berkeley, Fremont and Sunnyvale. Location is the San Lorenzo Library, Learning Center.  For more details, go to their meetup site

Sunday October 21, 1:00-5:00 PM -Worcester, USA – StoiconX New England.  Includes an overview of Stoicism, 5-minute “Lightning Speeches” and discussions, readings from Stoics, and a host of discussions. Location is 90 Main St. Worcester, MA 01608, and cost is $10 per person. To purchase tickets or get more information, go here

Sunday, October 28, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM – Brisbane, Australia – StoiconX Brisbane – A full day of events, including an interview with Massimo Pigliucci, presentations by Alex Magee, Allan Hare, Brian Pringle, Peter Oram, Shannon Murray, and Lars Andersson.  For more details, go to their meetup site.

There may be additional Stoicon-X events in other locations.  We’ll add them to the list as soon as we have full information about them.

Upcoming Stoic Week Events WorldWide

Saturday September 29, 1:30 PM – Seattle, USA – the Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club has invited Thomas Opryszek to give a talk on Stoicism in Action and Stoic Week 2018.  Location is the  Seattle Public Library, Northgate Branch.  For more information, see their meetup site.

Sunday, September 30, 4:00 PM – New York City, USA – the New York City Stoics and the Stoic School of Life will be hosting Dr. Massimo Pigliucci,  discussing Stoic practice, to celebrate the upcoming Stoic Week.  Location is 550 Madison Avenue, New York City.  For more information, see their meetup site.

Monday, October 1, 7:00 PM – Orlando, USA – The Orlando Stoics will be hosting an “Open House Monday” at the Panera Bread Cafe, 296 E. Michigan Street, Orlando FL  32806.  For more information, see their meetup site.

Tuesday, October 2, 6:00 PM – Denver, USA – The Denver Stoics will be hosting a meeting, “Stoic Week: The Big Picture and How to Practice” at Coffee at the Point.  More information available here

Tuesday, October 2, 6:00 PM – Edinburgh, Scotland – Scotland Stoics are meeting  for a discussion of key messages for Stoic week and for a brief review and feedback on Stoicon.  Location is Monbodos, Bread Street, Edinburgh. More information available here.

Tuesday, October 2, 6:30 PM – Greeley, USA – The Department of Philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado will host a guest lecture and discussion by Evan Oakley in  Ross Hall 1040.  For more information, email Nancy Matchett.

Wednesday, October 3, 7:30 PM – Chicago, USA – The New Acropolis Chicago will be hosting a workshop, “Can You Trust Your Feelings?  Mastering Your Emotions”.  More information and tickets available here.

Thursday, October 4, 7:30 PM – Chicago, USA – The New Acropolis Chicago will host another workshop, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want? – The Stoic art of Contentment”.  More information and tickets available here.

Friday, October 5, 7:30 PM – Chicago, USA – The New Acropolis Chicago will host a third workshop,”Stoic Love – Stoic Guidelines for Successful Relationships”.  More information and tickets available here.

Friday, October 5, 8:00 PM -Poços de Caldas, Brazil -The Poços de Caldas Stoics will he hosting a “A Night with the Heroes” at Rua Paraibuna, 21 – São Benedito – Poços de Caldas.  More information and tickets available here.

Saturday, October 6, 8:00 AM – Winnipeg, Canada – Stoicism Winnipeg will be hosting a discussion of Stoic Week at the Forks Market at a booth close to the Fools & Horses coffee bar. More information is available here.

Saturday, October 6, 3:30 PM – Milwaukee, USA – The MKE Stoic Fellowship and SOPHIA-MKE are sponsoring a talk by Gregory Sadler, “Stoic Philosophy and the Value of Money”, at the central branch of the Milwaukee Public Library.  More information and tickets available here.

Saturday, October 6, 9:00 PM – Orlando, USA – the Orlando Stoics will be hosting a “Stoics Night Out” at the Universal City Walk, 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819. For more information, see their meetup site.

If you’re planning an event, email me with the details, and we’ll add it to our list and to the post right before Stoic Week.

Groups, Institutions, and Organizations Meeting In Stoic Week

Here are the groups, organizations, and institutions that will be meeting at least once to participate together in the Stoic Week class together:

Stoic Week Discussion Group: London, UK – organized by Bryce Peterson, meeting daily 1-6 October in Bloombury.   A survey is available to determine what times people would like to meet.  Time and location TBD at this point.

The Colorado Springs Stoa, USA – organized by David Emery, meeting several times over the course of Stoic Week at Peak Place, Colorado Springs.  More information available here.

University of Northern Colorado, USA – organized by Nancy Matchett, meeting on campus. For more information, email Nancy Matchett

Houston Stoics, USA – organized by Andrew Sauls, meeting on Tuesday, October 2nd.  For more information, email Andrew Sauls or check their Facebook page.

Vancouver Stoics, Canada – organized by J.B. Bell, meeting Wednesday, October 3 to discuss Stoic Week.  For more information, check their meetup page.

Aims Community College -partnering with the University of Northern Colorado, meeting several times in Stoic Week at UNC with members of the Philosophy Club.  For more information, contact Bridgette Peterson  or Evan Oakley

Praetoria Stoics, South Africa – organized by Leon Stander, they will be meeting virtually and in person through Stoic Week.  For more information, go to their Facebook page

Stoicon 2018 – About the Conference, and Tickets Now Available! (by John Sellars)

This year Stoicon returns to London. It’ll take place on Saturday 29th September in the University of London’s Senate House, in Bloomsbury, the same location as last year’s Stoicon-x in London and just a few yards from where we held our very first public event back in 2013.

There’s short film about that first event (and we’ll make a similar film about this year’s event too).

When we organized that first event we didn’t anticipate repeating it. We had a small amount of research funding that covered the costs, and most of the speakers were either us – the Modern Stoicism team – or people whom we already knew and were relatively local. We had no idea how many, if any, people would turn up. Thankfully people did come and, as importantly, seemed to appreciate it. It was Jules Evans, I think, who encouraged us to do it again, who suggested that people would be willing to pay a registration fee to cover costs, and who later came up with the name ‘Stoicon’. So it was Jules who took the lead for the next two events, both at Queen Mary University of London, in 2014 and 2015.

We were all keen to invite new speakers along, conscious that an audience might soon get bored seeing just the same faces each year. In 2015 we were delighted to have Emily Wilson, William Irvine, and Massimo Pigliucci join us, all of whom came over from the USA. After three years in London, we wondered if it might be good to find a new location, in order to reach a different audience, and so didn’t hesitate to take up Massimo’s offer to host the event in New York, which we did in 2016. This gave Stoicon a completely new audience and a fresh line-up of speakers, including Julia Annas and Ryan Holiday.

Last year, 2017, the event took place in Toronto, organized by Donald Robertson, who has put so much into Stoic Week and our related activities since the beginning. A number of smaller Stoicon-x events also ran in a variety of locations, organized autonomously.

So, after two years in North America, this year Stoicon returns to London. The format remains more or less the same as in previous years, with a mix of plenary talks and parallel workshop sessions.

We are delighted that our keynote speaker will be Professor A.A. Long, without doubt the leading authority on Stoicism in the English-speaking world, who has been publishing on the topic for over fifty years. Some of you may be familiar with his book on Epictetus, published in 2002, and he has a new book on Epictetus coming out this summer (details here).

Other speakers include Professor Catharine Edwards, a leading expert on Seneca who has a number of television documentaries on Roman history to her name, and Antonia Macaro, who participated in our first event in 2013 and this year has published a book on Stoicism and Buddhism under the title More than Happiness (info here).

The other speakers and workshop leaders are a mix of academics, psychotherapists, and Stoic practitioners (see the full listing here). Other things currently being planned include bookstalls, an exhibition in association with Senate House Library, and an art installation. All this is, of course, subject to the vicissitudes of fate.

Tickets for the event are now available via Eventbrite. The registration fee covers the cost of tea/coffee and lunch during the day. In order to keep costs down we have secured generous funding from Royal Holloway, University of London, and the British Society for the History of Philosophy. The event is hosted by the Institute of Classical Studies and the Institute of Philosophy, both based in Senate House, who are providing the venue and logistical support. It simply wouldn’t be happening without them.

If you wish you could come along but can’t, we plan to film the plenary talks and to make a short film about the event, like to the two films above. If you wish there was an event like this closer to where you live, then why not consider organizing your own Stoicon-x event?

In the future we’d like to alternate Stoicon between North America and Europe. So we hope that for 2019 it will return to somewhere in North America, and in 2020 somewhere in Europe (not necessarily London).

Stoicon, Stoic Week, and Stoicon-Xs in 2018

Every year since 2012,  the Modern Stoicism team, in conjunction with many other people and organizations, facilitates Stoic Week and puts on a major international conference, Stoicon.  We’ll have more information and details appearing in the upcoming weeks to come, but for the present, there’s already some news to announce about what we’ll be offering this year for Stoic Week and Stoicon.  We also have some appeals and suggestions about Stoic Week and smaller Stoicon-X events and conferences.  Please consider becoming a patron of Modern Stoicism, if you want to support our work.

Stoicon 2018 – London

Stoicon is the world’s largest gathering of people interested in and (in many cases) identifying with Stoic philosophy and practices.  This year, it is being organized by John Sellars to take place in London.  Information about tickets and registration will be forthcoming within the space of the next several weeks, but the date has long been set for Saturday, September 29. 

The conference will take place in the University of London’s Senate House, in Bloomsbury, with the generous support of the Institute of Philosophy and the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of London.

Our keynote speaker will be:

  • Professor A. A. Long, one of the leading scholars of Stoicism in the English-speaking world during the last fifty years

Other speakers include:

  • Professor Catharine Edwards, Roman historian and noted expert of Seneca
  • Antonia Macaro, author of More than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age
  • Kai Whiting, who works on Stoicism and sustainability, and has written for the Stoicism Today blog
  • Dr Liz Gloyn, Classicist and author of a recent book on Seneca, The Ethics of the Family in Seneca
  • Dr Piotr Stankiewicz, from the University of Warsaw and a member of the Modern Stoicism team

A series of workshops will also be offered in break-out sessions. Workshop leaders will include Donald Robertson, Tim Le Bon, Chris Gill & Gabrielle Galluzzo, Greg Sadler & Andi Sciacca, Walter Matweychuk, and Greg Lopez.

There are a number of Hotels near the venue where one can book accommodation if required. The Imperial Hotels group run a number of large hotels, including The Tavistock Hotel and The Royal National Hotel. A range of smaller hotels are located on Bedford Place, including The Penn Club.  So if you are planning on attending this international gathering, keep an eye out for tickets (coming soon), and start looking into travel and accomodations

Stoic Week 2018

Stoic Week 2018 will take place this year Monday October 1st– Sunday October 7th. So you can now definitively mark your calendars, if you plan to observe Stoic Week this year (and, of course, you should!).

As always, we will provide a handbook, an online class, and a number of other resources so that individuals, groups, and institutions can try living like a Stoic for that week, on their own, through a virtual community, or with others in small groups.

Like Stoicon, Stoic Week has been going on since 2012 – you can read the story of it here.  Each year has seen a growing number of individual participants as well as participating institutions and organizations.  Stoic Week involves a number of different but complementary  goods.

First, by following the course and handbook, participants do really get an opportunity to learn about Stoicism and try it in practice.  Many participants  who are already well versed in Stoicism – myself included – take the week, the exercises and reflections, as a opportunity for a well-needed “tune-up” of one’s Stoic discipline.

Second, it offers a great opportunity to connect up with, and share stories, insights, experiences, and questions with other people equally interested in Stoicism.  For some, this takes place through local communities, such as Stoic meetups, university or community groups, or events scheduled to celebrate Stoic week.  For others, the online class provides this personal engagement.

Third, for those who want to host a Stoicism-related event, talk, or even a Stoicon-X conference, Stoic Week offers a great time to draw attention, boost participation and interest, and get some free publicity for whatever it is you’re putting together.  Whether it be get-togethers to work through the Stoic Week class together, workshops, lectures, special sessions of a meetup, or any other event, we are happy to include yours in our listings of worldwide scheduled events,

Fourth, one main activity of the Modern Stoicism organization is gathering data to determine whether studying and practicing Stoicism can be scientifically demonstrated to improve the lives of those who do so.  The Stoic Week class offers us an opportunity to do precisely that.  You can read about that research here.

Stoicon-X Events

Stoicon-X events are smaller regional conferences or events, featuring speakers and workshops for those who want to learn more about Stoicism and its contemporary applications.  Like the main conference, these are a great place to meet and have conversations with fellow modern Stoics. The idea behind Stoicon-X is that, for those people who can’t make it to the main Stoicon conference, there could be smaller, locally organized events they could participate in.

For those who might be interested in planning and hosting a Stoicon-X, we have developed a set of very useful and thorough guidelines – you can download them here.  Stoicon-X events don’t have to be all that large  – they can feature just a few talks, workshops, or other activites – the key is that they are well-organized for their participants.

Right now, we don’t have any information about upcoming Stoicon-X conferences for 2018.  If you are planning or hosting one, please contact me , and I will make sure that your Stoicon-X gets into our comprehensive listings of events for this year.

If you want to support Modern Stoicism’s work please consider becoming a patron:

Save The Date – Stoicon 2018 In London!

Big news everyone – After two years in North America (Toronto last year and New York City in 2016) – Stoicon is returning back across the Atlantic to London this year!

The world’s largest gathering of modern Stoics is slated to take place on Saturday, September 29, at Beveridge Hall in Senate House, London. John Sellars has taken the lead in organizing Stoicon 2018.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Institute of Philosophy and the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of London.

Three invited speakers have been confirmed at this point:

Our keynote speaker this year will be a familiar name to everyone engaged in serious study of Stoic philosophy, A. A. Long!  He is probably best known to many of our readers as the author of EpictetusA Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life, but has been making major contributions to study of ancient philosophy for nearly half a century.

Antonia Macaro is our second invited speaker.  She will be discussing selected themes from her recent book More than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age.

Kai Whiting, an interdisciplinary researcher who has been adapting Stoicism to sustainability issues, will speak about Stoicism in relation to material possessions, consumerism, sustainability, and environmentalism.

We will be announcing the full roster of speakers and the specific titles of their talks as more details get sorted out.  You can also expect, however, that members of the Stoicism Today team will be there, some of them to provide short plenary talks, and others to give longer, more in-depth workshops and talks in the break-out sessions.

As in past years, International Stoic Week will follow Stoicon, running from Monday, October 1 to Sunday, October 7.  That’s an excellent time to schedule or to attend Stoic Week events (we’ll be listing all of them here on the Modern Stoicism site and in the Stoicism Today blog).

So if you belong to a local group, institution, or organization, and you’d like to have something to attend with other people interested in Stoicism during Stoic Week, now might be a good time to put the proverbial “bug in their ear” – suggest that they organize an event, or have their membership work through Stoic Week together.

We are also hoping that – as in previous years – there will also be a host of smaller Stoicon-X events around the same time for those who can’t attend Stoicon, or who want to get in on still more Stoic gatherings.  Stoicon-X events took place on four continents last year – Australia, Europe, South America, and North America!

If you’re interested in putting together a Stoicon-X event for the Fall, you should take a look at the guidelines and helpful suggestions drawn up by the Modern Stoicism team.  It’s also great to know that the Stoic Fellowship is also there to support organizations that want to host a Stoicon-X event!

Much more information will be coming out over the course of the next eight months leading up to Stoicon and Stoic Week (and hopefully, a lot of Stoicon-Xs and Stoic Week events).  But for the present, save the dates on your calendar!