Stoicon Past and Present
Each year since 2013 we at Modern Stoicism have organized a large public event (Stoicon) to coincide with Stoic Week. We’ve held four in London (2013-15, 2018) and one apiece in New York (2016), Toronto (2017), and Athens (2019). Unsurprisingly we were unable to hold a public event in 2020, so out of necessity we took Stoicon online. This proved to be a great success (even if we say so ourselves!), enabling us to reach a larger and wider audience without the costs and challenges of putting on a large public event, as well as avoiding the environmental impact of having people flying in from various parts of the world to a single event.
So, we have decided that this year (and probably for a while after) Stoicon will remain online – a single global event accessible to everyone wherever they may be. The event will be free and open to all, although we’ll welcome donations to help cover our costs and support what we do. This is scheduled for 9th October. Tickets will be released nearer the time, but, being online, we should be able to accommodate everyone who wants to join us, so there’s no need to rush to book.
However, the original idea behind Stoicon was that people following Stoic Week online would actually have a chance to come together and meet face to face because, well, online is a bit impersonal. This is where Stoicon-x now comes to the fore.
What is Stoicon-x?
Stoicon-x is our concept inspired by Ted-x. These are independently organized events, conceived and run by local groups around the world. In previous years we’ve seen Stoicon-x events taking place in all five continents of the world. They have included events in Alberta, Bogota, Brazil, Brisbane, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milwaukee, Moscow, New England, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, San Leandro, and Toronto. Now that Stoicon will be online again for 2021, we are all the more keen to encourage local groups to host their own Stoicon-x events. For this Autumn/Fall we are already hearing about preliminary plans for Stoicon-x events in Paris, Melbourne, and London. We hope that there will be many more (depending, of course, on any local Covid restrictions about public gatherings).
Stoicon-x events can be pretty much any size or format that you like. It could be anything from a small gathering of 20 people to a large public event of 200 or more. Physical events usually have costs, including venue hire, refreshments, and perhaps expenses for invited speakers, so you’ll probably need to sell tickets to cover those expenses. Tickets should be priced to cover costs only and not to make a profit. In order to use the ‘Stoicon-x’ name we ask people to sign an agreement with us, the Modern Stoicism, Ltd. organization, confirming that events are not-for-profit.
Organizing a Stoicon-x event
If you might be interested in organizing a local Stoicon-x event, there are some suggestions and guidelines here. The licence agreement can be found here. Our good friends at The Stoic Fellowship have helped out in co-ordinating events around the world and they are in contact with many local Stoic meet-up groups. Do get in touch with them for further advice.
If you’d like some inspiration and encouragement, you can read here some reports gathered last year from people who successfully organized Stoicon-X events.
The main Stoicon 2021 conference will take place on 9th October. Stoic Week will run 18th-24th October. We anticipate Stoicon-x events throughout October, with some probably taking place in September and November too. As these are face-to-face events in different locations, it doesn’t matter if they happen on the same date – on the contrary, we’d love to see multiple events happening in different cities around the world on the weekends beginning and ending Stoic Week.
Just to be clear, Stoicon-x events are not run by us at Modern Stoicism; they are run by you, the Stoic community. We don’t control them and so cannot take any liability for them, although we are happy to advertise events here on our website and via our social media channels. If you would like to attend an event, but there isn’t one planned near you, perhaps this is your chance to organize one. Perhaps you could be the first person ever to organize a Stoic event in your city or even your country!