LessWrong Hamburg Meetup July 2015 Summary

After a hi­a­tus of about a year the LessWrong Ham­burg Meetup had a very strong re­vival! In­fused by mo­ti­va­tion from the Ber­lin Week­end I tried a rea­chout to col­legues and via meetup.com and an amaz­ing 24 peo­ple gath­ered on July, 17th in a lo­ca­tion kindly pro­vided by my em­ployer.

Be­cause the num­ber of par­ti­ci­pants quickly ex­ceeded my ex­pec­ta­tions I had to scram­ble to put some­thing to­gether for a larger group. For this I had tac­ti­cal aid from blob and prac­ti­cal sup­port from col­leagues putting ev­ery­thing to­gether from name tags to get­ting food and drinks and chairs.

We had an easy start with get­ting to know each other with Fela’s Ice-Break­ing Game.

The main top­ics cov­ered were:

Beside the main top­ics there was a good ath­mo­sphere with many peo­ple hav­ing smaller dis­cus­sions.

The event ended with a short wrap-up based on Iri­nas Sus­tain­able Change talk from the Ber­lin event which did prompt some peo­ple to take ac­tion based on what they heard.

What I learned from the event:

  • I still tend to do over­plan­ning. Maybe hav­ing a plan for even­tu­al­ities isn’t bad but the agenda doesn’t need to be as highly struc­tured as I did. It could cause ex­pec­ta­tions that can’t be met.

  • Ap­par­ently I ap­peared stressed but I didn’t feel that way my­self. Prob­a­bly from hur­ry­ing around. I won­der wheather that has a nega­tive effect on other peo­ple and how I can avoid that. Esp. as I’m not feel­ing stressed my­self.

  • A stan­dard-is­sue meet­ing room for 12 peo­ple can com­fortably host 24 peo­ple if ta­bles and fur­ni­ture are re­ar­ranged and comfy bean­bags etc. are added.

  • Whe num­ber of peo­ple show­ing up can vary un­pre­dictably. This may de­pend on weather or how the event is com­mu­ni­cated and un­known fac­tors.

  • Vi­su­al­ize the con­crete effects of your char­ity. This can give you a spe­cific in­tu­ition you can use to de­cide whether it’s worth it. Imma’s ex­am­ple was think­ing about how your donated AMF bed­nets hang over chil­dren and pro­tect from mosquitoes.

There will definitely be a fol­low-up meet­ing of a com­pa­rable size in a few month (no date yet). And maybe smaller get-to­gether will be or­ga­nized in­be­tween.