Name-tags would have been good. You could have provided the DIY variety. During the breaks there were a lot of people standing in corners not speaking to anyone, and sometimes I was one of them. Name-tags would have helped break the ice. With smaller workshops there could have been time for everyone to introduce themselves, but obviously, with such large groups that wasn’t possible.
I would have liked a biscuit with my afternoon tea.
I came to the conference knowing quite a lot about Stoicism, but very little about CBT or “Mindfulness”. In his workshop, Mr Ussher seemed to be assuming we all knew something about Buddhism. I don’t. I enjoyed the workshop nonetheless, but I wasn’t sure why such pre-knowledge would be taken for granted.
Mr Ussher also said that everyone can do a free 8 week course of CBT on the NHS, and you don’t even need a referral. Or at least, that’s what I think I heard him say. I’d have liked to hear more about this. I can’t find any reference to it on the NHS website. I don’t think I’d want to do it myself, but it would be nice to have the details so I can tell other people.
I put my hand up to the question whether I’d attend another similar conference, but actually I think my attendance would be conditional on what was being discussed. I have less interest in the CBT connection and therapeutic benefits than I have in the adaption of Stoicism as a system of ethics and ideals for living in a world without God. I felt the lack of any workshop on this application of Stoicism was glaring, given the workshop on Stoicism and Christianity, although it didn’t surprise me since Christians are all over the Stoic forums on the web. Someone suggested a Stoicism and Islam workshop next year. How about Stoicism and Atheism?
Finally, I enjoyed Stoic Week and the Conference very much, and felt very lucky to have got a ticket for the Conference. Thank you to all the organisers and speakers. May the project go from strength to strength.