European Community Weekend in Berlin

The Berlin Meetup Group is organizing the first European community meetup. We are planning a fun weekend with a focus on bringing the LessWrong community closer together. As a treat, some participants offer rationality exercises and workshops.

If you like your local meetup we hope you will like this too. It is similar, but bigger: You will get to meet and exchange ideas with a diverse set of awesome people from all across Europe. And if you don’t have a meetup nearby or didn’t get around to participating yet, this is a great opportunity to get in touch with the rest of the community.

The community weekend will take place April 11-13, from Friday evening to Sunday early afternoon, in the Odyssee Hostel in Berlin. The cost is 70 € including accommodation and breakfast. A conference room with a projector and wifi will also be available during daytime.

The event is participant driven so you (yes, you) are very welcome to help with the content. Please contact Tristan (wegnertristan - at - googlemail - dot - com) for planning and scheduling.

Friday evening we will welcome everyone around 17:00 and proceed to have dinner together. Sleeping quarters (shared rooms) will already be available from 16:00. The evening can be used for getting to know each other better or exploring the city in small groups. We also made sure that there are plenty of cultural, party and sightseeing offers available throughout the city.

Saturday after breakfast, there will be a semi-structured program in the conference room. Offers will include a workshop for habit implementation, a science based introduction to meditation along with a practice session, and clicker training. We also encourage everyone to take part in lightning talks, where you are invited to give a short 5min presentation on any topic you are passionate about.

Saturday evening can be further used to nerd out, explore the nightlife or participate in an exercise in social comfort zone expansion.

Sunday will have room for additional projects. We will say goodbye in the early afternoon to give us enough time to head home. Of course everyone is free to prolong the stay in the greatest capital of Germany.

By the end of the event we hope that we will have made new friends, exchanged ideas, received valuable feedback and started a joint world optimization project or two.

To sign up, email John (johncryptfrink - at - gmail - dot - com), preferably before the first of February. The number of participants is limited, so register early to make sure you can participate.

Looking forward to seeing you
John, Tristan, Alexander, Matthias, Christian… & everyone else from the Berlin LessWrong meetup

UPDATE: We're now at slightly over 40 participants and can't accept any more people. Please mail John anyway if you'd have wanted to come! Things may still work out if someone else can't make it after all - and it will help us have a better idea of how many people to plan for next time.

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Congratulations, Berlin LessWrongers! This sounds like it will be very neat. And its existence required lots of work, which deserves yays. Yay!

Suggestion: You could change the headline of this post to "European Community Weekend in Berlin" to make the international character of the event more immediately apparent.

Well done! Awesome idea. Will be thinking of ways I can contribute as well as attend.

I'm going. It looks that the LessWrong Study Hall is going to have a strong representation in this event.

Mail sent I'm looking forward to meeting everyone.

Just in case you can't get to Berlin at that date but are interested what we learned you you may come to our new Meetup in Hamburg.the week after and I will tell you how it went.

Email sent, hopefully also received... (Apparently my last mail to John was put in spam.)

If you send me a message with your email address, I'll make sure it gets to John. See you there!

's fine, I got an acknowledgement. See you :)

The response has been great: We now have 40 people tentatively signed up and can't accept more, unfortunately.

If you'd have wanted to sign up, please email John anyway! We may get back to you If someone can't come after all. It also gives us a better idea of how many people to expect next time!

Please add the contents of this comment to the main post itself. Preferably in bold and/or with an 'Update:' or something. Not everyone reads all the comments, after all.

Unfortunately this is the only weekend in the near future, that I already have a prior engagement I can't get out of!

I think it's a great idea and I would've been very interested in going.

This sounds like an excellent idea if you can get good number of countries represented. Could you clarify a couple things?

  • Is that €70 per night or for the whole weekend (and with 2 breakfasts)?
  • How many participants can attend?
  • How many are signed up already?

I'll gladly clarify things:

  • The 70 Euro mainly include a bed in a shared room for two nights, two breakfasts and a part of the conference room rent. We've tried to keep it as cheap as possible to allow everyone to attend.
  • The conference room fits 40, maybe more. We currently only booked 30 beds but could surely extend that.
  • Signing up involves transferring money, possibly internationally, and banks are ridiculously slow at executing these transfers. So only one person has successfully signed up by now. Maybe some bitcoin transfers have reached John already, I don't know. Yesterday evening there were 35 people who are definitely interested and 4-10 maybes.

To sign up, I had to wire transfer 70€ for the whole weekend.

Concerning breakfast, the post above now says: "The cost is 70 € including accommodation and breakfast."

Thanks a lot for putting such an event together! I'll come. Email sent.

Great, I'll be there :) Thank you for organizing!

I would love to have been there. Thank you for making it happen and I hope we get a little more notice for the next one!

Wait, what? It's happening on the 11th of April, that's another 2.5 months?!

Much more notice is usual for conventions. If I search for 2016 conventions it's all about DNC/RNC, but searching for 2017 finds this. It's easier to plan your diary and get cheap air fares given enough notice. I have one free weekend before May.

Fair point. It is not (yet) a big convention though, so I think the timescale is ok. It's more about trying to gather the people that are most interested in starting a European community and getting something going that we can build upon.

I suggest that some people who want to organize or help with the next meetup will gather on Sunday before or after the official end, so that the date and city can already be announced soon after. We can shoot for a six-month advance notice next time and either stick to this or extend to twelve-months if needed. (12 months advance notice seems to be quite common for big annual events, but not when something new is held the first time.)

So I hereby declare Berlin the Official City of European LessWrong community due to its unbroken track records of hosting this event.

Agreed, short notice for a first event is not unusual. That sounds great, thanks!