Berlin Stoics: who are we?
Berlin Stoics was founded in August 2020. It arose both intentionally and organically. Current members reported they had been searching for such an organization in the area, but were disappointed to find no active group. Thus, we founded Berlin Stoics. It also arose, from our members' testimony, as a result of growing anxiety among many of us about how to deal with life's events today. The modern age and especially 2020 hasn't been kind to us, if an event or period can be kind at all.
We firmly commit ourselves to a democratically organized community of Stoics here in Berlin who, whether or not they label themselves Stoics, discuss how we can apply Stoicism day-to-day, debate principles of ancient Stoicism in modern contexts and with other philosophical schools of thought, share resources to learn more about Stoicism both ancient and modern, share examples of those who embody Stoic virtue, practice and live the philosophy on a regular basis, and create new ways for us to communicate and new spaces where we can interact share our stories to form a cohesive, growing, and thriving Stoic community.
On a weekly basis, though there are exceptions, we hold virtual or in-person discussions, debates, Q&As, presentations, games, workshops, and other forms of meetups. They usually occur on Thursdays or Saturdays, with few on Mondays. The variety of formats are an attempt to cater to everyone's interests and usually run the gambit from introductory presentations on Stoicism, meditation workshops, journaling cafés, thematic discussion on texts or other elements of Stoic or potentially intersecting philosophies, to Q&As or debates on occasion with guest speakers. Rarer yet annual or semi-annual events like community service programs and the Stoic games (e.g. creating syllogisms, Stoic trivia) are also supported or hosted.
The general point of participating in a group like Berlin Stoics can vary from participant to participant and because we don't maintain a formal registry of members, nor do we require formal registration or membership, our group's members aren't necessarily even Stoic (some don't apply labels, some identify as Buddhist or otherwise, and still some do consider themselves Stoic), vary from month to month, year to year, and virtually may come from around the world. You may see members who literally attend every event we host, those who show up once and never return, and those who come to only those discussions in which they're interested.
Why? Because cultivating an organic, non-binding yet quasi-structured organization ultimately creates a space where everyone can feel safe to speak their minds, contribute to the organization of events themselves (what they're about and how they should be delivered), and share with like-minded individuals without us asking for any minimum participation. And you can still expect these events to have enough of a framework, which isn't too loose but still provides some scaffolding or agenda. We prioritize structuring the schematics of events over the particulars of events.
Look around our website for more information and ways to communicate and participate. Quick links to our events or how you can learn more about the Stoic philosophy are below.