Join the 11th Less Wrong Community Weekend (LWCW) in Berlin. This is the world’s largest rationalist social gathering which brings together 250+ aspiring rationalists from across Europe and beyond for 4 days of intellectual exploration, socialising and fun.

We’re expanding to 250+ participants and taking over the whole hostel. This year there will only be us during the event: a huge variety of spaces to talk, relax and have fun with a higher sense of security and freedom.

The EAGx and LWCW happen this year during the same weekend, due to limited availability of conference centres. It is an unkind choice having to pick one community over the other.  To freely decide which sessions to attend and where, we will offer a reduced ticket that includes 3x bed & breakfast at the hostel for you to enjoy the unique LWCW atmosphere and community, as well as join the talks at EAGx during the day.

Anna Riedl
We are delighted to have Anna Riedl for this year's key note. Anna is a cognitive scientist and conducts research on rationality under radical uncertainty, a phenomenon in the intersection of psychology, economics, neuroscience and artificial intelligence, directly relevant for improving human and institutional decision-making in real life.

That said the majority of the content will be participant driven in an unconference style: on Friday afternoon we put up six wall-sized daily planners and by Saturday morning the attendees fill them up with 100+ workshops, talks and activities of their own devising. Most are prepared upfront but some are just made up on the spot when inspiration hits.

Previous years’ schedules have included…

  • Double Cruxing
  • Hamming Circles
  • Gendlin Focusing
  • Applied Rationality workshops
  • Circling
  • Authentic Relating games
  • Improvisation theater
  • Introduction to stand up comedy
  • Writing rationalist fiction
  • Dance workshops
  • Acapella singing
  • Icebreaker games
  • Lightning talks
  • Celebrating failure groups
  • Giant outdoor chess Penultima
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Kung Fu basics
  • Board games
  • Breathwork workshops
  • Ecstatic dancing
  • Radical Honesty workshops
  • Playfighting for adults
  • Polyamory and relationships workshops
  • Sex Q&A roundtable
  • Quantified self workshops
  • Moral philosophy debates
  • AI safety Q&A
  • How to handle fear of AI Doom
  • Value drift in EA
  • The neurobiology of psychedelics
  • The science of longevity
  • Morning runs and yoga
  • Meditation in the rooftop winter garden
  • Night time swimming
  • Bedtime story readings

Personal note from Henry: If things like ecstatic dancing, radical honesty and polyamory workshops sound too intense for you, rest assured everything is optional. I’m a nerd and very awkward so a lot of this stuff terrifies me.

The event takes place in the natural environs of Lake Wannsee on the outskirts of Berlin. So you can spend time recharging in between making new friends by hiking in the forests, sunbathing or swimming in the lake.

LWCW is family & LGBTQIA+ friendly. After last year's amazing experience we are increasing our effort into creating a diverse event where people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and experiences feel like home. What brings us together are 3 things: 
1. The curiosity for new perspectives to gain a truthful understanding of the universe and its inhabitants.
2. A passion for developing practices that achieve our personal goals and as such those of humanity at large.
3. Caring for empathetic relationships that support and inspire us on our journey.

If you’re excited to come, please consider sharing this announcement on social media or sending the link to a friend or like minded communities who might enjoy attending. Feedback from attendees along the lines of “consistently my favourite weekend of the entire year!!” is not uncommon so you could be doing somebody a big favour.

This event has a special place in our heart and we truly think there’s nothing else quite like it. It’s where so many of us made friends with whom we have more in common than each of us would’ve thought to be possible. It’s where new ideas have altered our opinions or even changed the course of life - in the best possible way.

Essential Information

When: Friday 13nd September (16:00) - Monday 16th September 2024 (~12:00)

Where: Youth Hostel Wannsee (Berlin)

Prices: The ticket includes accommodation, meals and plenty of snacks.

  • Regular ticket: €250
  • Bed & Breakfast ticket for EAGx-attendees: €150
  • Supporter ticket: €300/400/500+

Nobody makes any money from this event and the organiser team is unpaid. If you want to attend but the ticket cost is the only thing holding you back apply anyway! With the help of our supporters we are able to provide some financial support for those in need.

Apply here: https://airtable.com/appdYMNuMQvKWC8mv/pagiUldderZqbuBaP/form

Contact: If you have ANY questions email us lwcw.europe@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

Schedule

Friday lunch: Meet in central Berlin at lunchtime for covid tests and vegan food followed by a quick bus journey to JH Wannsee (all included in the ticket price). You can also join us directly at the hostel if you prefer. The event officially starts on Friday at 16:00 with the opening ceremony.

Friday to Sunday: A packed schedule to choose from, early morning to late at night every day. The closing ceremony is on Sunday afternoon, followed by more activities late into the night.

Monday: Checkout on Monday is by 10:00 but you can store your luggage on site, join for lunch at the hostel and there will be people hanging around until early afternoon. S Nikolassee train station is an 8-minute walk from the venue. Long distance train stations or the airport are another 30-90 minutes away via public transport.

The days before and after the event: If you want to extend your visit and experience more of Berlin there will very likely be meetups arranged on the days before (and likely after) the event. Previously there’s been: open invite rationality dojos, bouldering, visiting tourist attractions, night clubs and picnics in the park. The EA SummerCamp takes place the next weekend so we’re expecting there to be a lot of awesome people in Berlin after the LWCW.

Food, Sleeping, Covid

Ample quantities of vegan food are provided 3 times per day in the JH Wannsee canteen.

An impressive collection of snacks are available as many times a day as you want at the legendary snack table.

Bedrooms look usually like this and there’s a process for matching up room mates based on sleep cycle, light/heavy sleepers and preferred gender.

Research suggests that it's still worth preventing Covid infections. Following our testing process from previous years, we were able to keep infections and negative impact at a minimum. In order to attend you will need to take a rapid antigen test, that we provide, immediately on arrival. We will also provide tests which you are encouraged to use each morning before you leave your bedroom so to stop infection chains on the spot.

Application FAQ

I want to come but I’m worried about filling in the application form. Will I get rejected if I say the wrong things? How much should I go into detail?

We gently encourage you not to worry and to send in an application anyway.

We’re not looking for highly-polished, deeply-considered responses to every question. Just tell us honestly why you’re excited about coming, who you are, how you feel about this whole rationality thing and what you might be excited to contribute. 100-300 words total are perfectly enough.

We don’t know how many applications we will get this year but considering that we just raised the number of spots your chances are good!

Does the activity or workshop I run need to be very high quality?

You don’t need to run an activity at all, unless you want to. Many participants do, so there’s no necessity for every person to run something.

It’s true that we are looking for participants who are excited to contribute but there’s plenty of other ways to do that too: helping someone else research and prepare a workshop, being an on-site helper who refills the snack table, volunteering for the emotional support team, giving a 5 minute lightning talk or just being an awesome and friendly human being to hang out with.

And if you do organise an activity – make it something you’re really passionate and curious about, and put in as much effort as the topic deserves. Nobody is going to judge you harshly if it’s not perfect. In fact jumping in enthusiastically anyway is very much in the spirit of the event!

Can I bring my children?

Yes! Children up to 2 years old can come for free. The hostel can provide a crib and offers some family rooms. Up to 6 years old are half price. Let us know on the application form if you’re interested in childcare – and if there’s sufficient demand we will organise that for you.

We usually have a couple of older (8-14 year old) kids attend with their parent(s), but every year we want to be more inclusive of families so hope there will be more!

I don’t feel like part of the Rationality/LessWrong community. I’ve never been to an event or meetup like this before. Should I still apply?

Yes! LWCW is very newcomer friendly and you won’t be the only first-timer. In fact this is how many people meet great friends in the LW and EA communities.

What matters is that you feel a connection to our shared values: curiosity for new perspectives to gain a truthful understanding of the world and its inhabitants, passion for developing practices and systems that achieve our personal goals and, consequently, those of humanity at large as well as nurturing empathetic relationships that support and inspire us on our journey.

We aim to make this year's LWCW even more diverse and inclusive because we are convinced of the benefits for the whole community. If you feel you don’t fit the typical model of a LWCW attendee (whatever that is) in terms of age, gender, sexuality, race, economic or educational background – we really want to encourage you to apply!

How does the "Bed & Breakfast for EAGx attendees" ticket work?

We understand that some people would prefer to attend EAGx, but may have difficulty finding accommodation on their own. Additionally, the applications for both events are somewhat separated in time - we open in May, get most applications processed by the end of June, while the whole EAGx application process happens in July. You may worry that if you are not accepted to EAGx, there won’t be a place for you anymore at LWCW.

One perk of LWCW over EAGx is that accommodation is included in the ticket price. You can make use of this by applying to both, staying at the LWCW hostel and attending EAGx. At the hostel you will get a regular place in a 4-person bedroom and breakfast in the hostel cafeteria. Since you won’t really participate in LWCW, it would be unreasonable to ask you to pay the full price of a LWCW ticket, therefore this accommodation-only ticket costs 150€. 

To get it, apply to LWCW, once you’re accepted, choose a Regular ticket and pay as you would normally. Apply to EAGx normally, when the applications open. If you are accepted for both, send us an email and we’ll refund you the difference between your original payment and the accommodation-only ticket. Once EAGx applications are closed and if we have spots available, we’ll add a separate option to the Ticket Type form.

There's no option to choose your ticket type in the application form, what happened? And no volunteering checkbox?

Yes, that's true. We've changed some things in the application process, for example we’re returning to processing applications as they arrive, and you should hear from us within 2 weeks of sending your application.

You'll only be asked to choose your ticket type after you've been accepted. This year we will only ask for volunteers in August, since people have a better idea of their capacities then, and the Ticket Type form has a checkbox to express interest in volunteering. A few of the volunteers will be asked to arrive on Thursday and spend an additional night at the hostel to be able to help already on Friday morning - if you are interested in this aspect and need to make travel plans early, write us an email.

Help Us Spread The Word

LWCW is volunteer organised with no marketing budget so we rely on word of mouth to get the message out.

If you’re able to, please consider sharing this page on social media or sending the link to a friend who might enjoy attending.

Feedback from attendees along the lines of “consistently my favourite weekend of the entire year!!” is not uncommon so you could be doing somebody a big favour.

We can’t wait to see you there!

New Comment
6 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

I was there last year for the first time, and I can strongly recommend it. It was the most significant triplets of days of the whole year, and I am looking forward to meet more amazing people this year!

 

If you are in doubt about participating, a stranger on the internet is recommending it. It has to be great.

[-]immasix1012

EAGx is happening the same weekend

 

This is a quite conflict :(.

There is only one LessWrong Community Weekend. But you might have the opportunity to attend another EAGx in Europe this year: EAGx Nordics on 26-28 April or EAGx Utrecht on 5-7 July.

I attended previous LWCW and EAGx events, and no, I guess it would be a really bad idea to attend both in the same weekend. Both are intense and extremely interesting, and 100 percent of EAGx overlaps with LWCW.

If you're having doubts, totally go! The people there are very open and inviting. I would say relaxed, but some are relaxed, some are intensely enthousiastic. It's very easy to get to know new people and meet the community.

The EA SummerCamp takes place the next weekend


I've not been to any of these, but would like to. Is there any info up yet for this years EA SummerCamp?

This is from the EA group:

The Date You Can Save for Summer Camp 2024: September 18–22

• Retreat for 150 people sympathetic to EA values to connect, relax & enjoy late summer together
• Four days filled with participant-driven program including fun workshops, experiential learning, creative expression, games, sports, guided introspection, and plenty of time for 1-1 conversations, socializing and chilling out
• Like in earlier years, this is still not the time for getting work done
• Near Berlin, at Zeltplatz Heiligensee, next to a lake!

Summer is where your friends are, not when the calendar says so. Applications will open around May. Yes, the date is fixed. Yes, the name is also fixed. 

Mark your interest at the Facebook event, or sign up for email notifications at this form, so we contact you in the first place once the applications are open.

See you here in Berlin,
Laszlo, Nina and Marlyn