Category Archives: Stoic Week

International Stoic Week – Call For Events!

International Stoic Week – Call For Events!

cropped-socrates-v1

International Stoic Week is an annual week-long set of events – coordinated by the Stoicism Today team, but involving many other people and organizations – aimed at encouraging public engagement with classical Stoic philosophy, by applying Stoic ideas and practices to the challenges of modern living.

This year – number five in its history – International Stoic Week is scheduled to run from Monday, October 17th to Sunday, October 23rd.  Just before it begins, of course, the one-day intensive conference, STOICON – with a whole host of speakers, talks, and workshops  – will occur on Saturday, October 15th.  So, October is indeed a month for all things Stoicism-related!

This year, the team (and in particular Daniel Robertson) has created a beautiful new website specifically devoted to Stoic Week, but we’ll also be publicizing activities, events, and resources here in Stoicism Today.

As the many past participants (more and more every successive year) well know, one of the main activities centering Stoic Week each year is the online course.  During Stoic Week, participants have the opportunity to live like a Stoic by following the seven-day Stoic Week Handbook.  This resource contains reading, audio, video, and group discussions. It includes daily practical exercises, which combine elements of ancient Stoicism and modern cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

But International Stoic Week also involves on-the-ground face-to-face events.  Last year, they occurred all over the world.  Just to name a few major gatherings – several occured last year in New York and in London.  It wasn’t just in major metropoles, though – Stoic week events, organized by those interested in discussing this classic philosophical approach, took place all over the place, from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania to Milwaukee, Wisconsin – and many, many other locations worldwide.

This year, we’re asking those either interested in scheduling – or already planning – Stoic Week events to send listings of their coming events to us in advance so that we can publicize them here in Stoicism Today.  We’ll do that both ahead of time and during Stoic Week itself.  You can provide us with all the relevant information here, in this Typeform – and we’ll make sure that your event gets into our listings!

Members of the Stoicism Today project are also making themselves available to discuss Stoic philosophy, its modern applications, Stoic week itself, and other related topics of interest in interviews, podcasts, and other appearances.  So, if you’re looking for one of the project members to come speak at your event, reach out to them sooner than later!

Lastly, you can follow both Stoic Week and Stoicism Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You can donate an amount of your own choosing to help support Stoic Week, via our PayPal form.

What can we learn from Stoic Week 2015? by Tim LeBon

What can we learn from Stoic Week 2015?

by Tim LeBon

This, the  final part of the report, summarises key findings from Stoic Week 2015 as well as reporting on participant feedback of their experience.

Key findings

Participating in Stoic Week led to a significant increase in flourishing, life satisfaction and a balance of positive over negative emotions for most people.

Participants who at the start of Stoic week had more Stoic attitudes and behaviours also had higher levels of flourishing, satisfaction with life, and a balance of positive over negative emotions.

Whilst more tightly controlled research is required, the above two findings strongly suggest that Stoicism is positively associated with happiness, well-being and flourishing.

The following six Stoic attitudes and behaviours have a strong association with well-being and also increased significantly during Stoic Week and so may have been the most “active ingredients” in helping improve well-being for participants:

o    22. I spend quite a lot of time dwelling on what’s gone wrong the past or worrying about the future  [reverse-scored i.e. the opposite of this is Stoic]

o    24. When an upsetting thought enters my mind the first thing I do is remind myself it’s just an impression in my mind and not the thing it claims to represent

o    18. I am good at controlling my urges and impulses when that’s better for me in the long run

o    25. Viewing other people as fellow-members of the brotherhood of humankind helps me to avoid feeling anger and resentment

o    15. I  try to anticipate future misfortunes and  rehearse rising above them

o    19. I try to contemplate what the ideal wise and good person would do when faced with various misfortunes in life

Significantly more people took part in Stoic Week 2015 compared with Stoic Week 2014.  There were similar completion rates and improvements in well-being as in previous years.

Basing the materials on Marcus’s Aurelius’s Meditations rather than Epictetus’s Enchiridion appeared to have neither a positive nor a detrimental effect on the benefits of participating in Stoic Week.

Most of the participants had not participated in Stoic Week before and just under a half rated themselves as a “Novice” Stoics or knowing no Stoicism at all at the start of Stoic Week.

All of the Audio recordings of Stoic Meditations received a rating of 4 or more (out of 5) from the 724 respondents to this question. The Early Morning Meditation was the most listened to, the View from Above the highest rated.

All the activities recommended in the Stoic Week Handbook had a high approval rating (3.8 or more out of 5).  The activities which had the highest rating and were also the most popular  were Tuesday – What is in our control and Wednesday – Stoic Mindfulness.

Stoic Week achieved an 80% usefulness rating overall (4/5).  “Knowledge of Stoicism” was the area where it was rated as most useful, for participants, followed closely by “becoming wiser” and “becoming a better person.”

On average participants spent 36 minutes per day on Stoic activities during Stoic Week.  Most people used the pdf version of the booklet.  A significant number of people said they would find a Stoic App (Android or IOS) useful.

The positive results from Stoic Week 2015 suggest further value in conducting future Stoic weeks as outreach, as well as for conducting more sophisticated research as recommended in the report from Stoic Week 2014, in order to further establish the evidence base for Stoicism.

For the full report click here.

For the three previous reports on Stoic Week 2015 see

Tim LeBon can be contacted via email on tim@timlebon.com. His website is http://www.timlebon.com

Stoic Week 2015 – The Results (Part 2)

Stoic Week 2015 Report Part 2: Impact on well-being

by Tim LeBon

This report forms the second part of the report on Stoic Week 2015, which took place in first week of  November. The previously published part 1 reported on the  demographics, part 3  will provide an analysis of the association between well-being and Stoic Attitudes and Behaviours (SABS scale analysis) and  part 4 will provide an analysis  of qualitative feedback.

Over two and a half thousand participants took three established well-being questionnaires as well as the Stoic Attitudes and Behaviours scale. Well-being was measured before and after Stoic Week, allowing us to assess the impact of doing Stoic Week on self-reports on well-being.

Click here to download the PDF of the full report