TL;DR: Retreat for APAC meetup organisers, mid 2023, apply here
Application (5 min form) soft deadline: 31ˢᵗ Oct 2022

 

Why a retreat?

We think we all benefit from having an international community of rationality and ACX meetup organisers who can go to one another for advice and support. The goal of this retreat is to build on the success of the 2022 global retreat in San Francisco, focusing on local organisers in Australia, Asia and the Pacific region. This retreat will run in parallel with similar regional events in the US East Coast, US Central, and Europe regions.

We'll spend time together and help each other solve problems, and form connections that will allow us to reach out for help even after we've gone back home to our respective cities.

In addition to getting to know each other, we'll be taking part in activities and discussions with the goal of improving our meetup groups. We hope that you'll come out of the retreat with a clearer vision for your local community, and concrete plans for how to work towards that vision.

 

We expect that food, lodging, and travel are covered

We don't want money to be an obstacle preventing anyone from attending. We will be applying for funding so that your travel to and from the retreat will be fully reimbursed, and your food and lodging will be covered during the retreat itself.

General FAQ

Who is this retreat for?

You're invited to apply if you:

  • Currently organise ACX/LW/rationality meetups or other rationalist community events, anywhere in Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, and across Asia
  • Would like to start an ACX/LW/rationality community in a location in APAC where none exists, or where the community has been small or dormant for a long time
  • Formerly organised ACX/LW/rationality meetups and are interested in sharing your knowledge and experience

If you're unsure whether you 'qualify', please err on the side of applying anyway — if we don't think it makes sense for you to come, we'll let you know!

Can more than one organiser from my city attend?

Yes! Anyone involved in organising is welcome to apply; there's no city-based quota.

Where will the retreat be held?

We will be using a retreat venue... exact location and country TBD depending on how many people end up attending. If we hold the retreat anywhere other than an easily-accessible city, we will arrange group transportation to the venue.

How many people will be there?

We’re currently gauging interest. Last year’s global retreat had 115 applicants and 50 attendees. We expect this retreat will ultimately have between 25 and 50 participants.

Might my application be rejected?

Yes, there's some chance that we'll have to turn away people who meet all the criteria for attending, simply because there are too many applicants. In that case we will likely prioritise inviting primary organisers, and making sure the greatest number of communities is represented.

When will I hear back about whether my application was accepted?

TBD. If you need to know very soon, please let us know.

Who is organising the retreat?

I’m Eliot, I live in Sydney and have been running my local rationality meetup for 9 years.  I have plenty of words of encouragement to offer.  I am supported by a team of local meetup organisers from India, Japan and more. I am also supported by Mingyuan (the ACX global organiser), and will likely have some ops support as well, but details are TBD. If you have any questions, you can message me through lesswrong or email me at redeliot@gmail.com.

Schedule

How much time is it per day?

None of the programming is mandatory, but you should plan to be busy for the entirety of the retreat (likely Thursday evening through Sunday night).

What will we be doing?

The exact schedule is still to be determined, but expect things like:

  • Speed meeting and one-on-one walks
  • Workshops on defining the purpose of your meetup, moderating discussions, conflict management, and recruiting and retaining members
  • Collaborative problem-solving / group debugging
  • Self-directed time to execute intentions (i.e., to act on the thoughts you've had over the weekend)
  • Attendee-led activities!
     

Who should I contact if I have questions?

If you have any questions about the retreat, you can DM me on LessWrong, or DM on Discord (Elo (Aus)#0149).

 

Click here to apply! 

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4 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:29 PM

Please don't describe times as "Summer 2023" for events that are not exclusive to one hemisphere! Summer is about six months offset between Australia and most of Asia, not to mention the areas that have a wet/dry seasonality rather than the four temperate seasons.

"Mid-2023" or a particular month are equally clear, and avoid the ambiguity :-)

modified.  Thanks!

I run a relevant meetup but TBH not sure what the value of this would be (had the same thought about the global one so didn't apply for that either). Our meetup isn't particularly formal or serious so going on a kind of paid "business trip" for it seems a bit odd or wasteful. What's the intention?

This is a great question, and one that I think everyone should be asking themselves and each other. It would be very easy for these things to devolve into an aimless free-for-all, which wouldn't be great.

I think you're probably the best judge about whether you'd get value from coming. But, to give you a personal example, at the Global retreat a) I realised why I ran a meetup at all, b) my goals became much more ambitious, and c) I've doubled down on putting effort into making my group succeed. I've since started a regular applied-rationality dojo, which may-or-may-not have happened without the inspiration of seeing others' success. My group is growing, and attendee balance is improving. Also, I've found it very useful to have the support of an international community of rat-ty organisers.

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