FIWE 2020 Timișoara

FIWE 2020 Timișoara

***Important: Please read all the information on this page carefully before applying. We already received a couple of applications from people who didn’t mention the themes of the event at all but instead focused on investing topics. ***

What is FIWE?

FIWE stands for Financial Independence Week Europe. (The acronym is pronounced “five” like the number, not “fee-wee”.) It’s a meeting of like-minded people who are interested in financial independence, lifestyle design, minimalism and mindfulness. It’s a way to bring people together to exchange ideas and experiences in a relaxed, easygoing setting. Often people whose interests lie in these kinds of areas have trouble finding like-minded people to talk to in their immediate environment, so the idea of FIWE is to build connections between people who think differently to the mainstream and to build up a pan-European community.

The main conference will take place over a weekend (Friday – Sunday) and will include presentations, workshops, discussion sessions and of course lots of free time for informal discussions.

New! A Theme for FIWE 2020 Timișoara

This is our fifth year of running the event, and to spice things up we’ve decided to base FIWE 2020 Timișoara on three broad topics:

Live FI Before FI

One of the conclusions many participants came to during FIWE 2019 in Budapest was that it’s never too early to start living your life as if you were already FI. No matter what your current situation, there will always be small steps you can take to make your current life a little closer to your dream post-FI life. This could involve testing new hobbies, taking mini-retirements, or simply putting aside some time to work on your dream projects.

What’s Your Why for FI?

There’s a lot of focus on the financial side of FI, and rightly so. But it often seems like people lose sight of why they want to be FI in the first place. FI is not about spreadsheets and safe withdrawal rates. Money is just a tool. If you want to reach FI because you hate your job, fine. But you need to work out what you’re going to do once you reach the magic number. Maybe you already have thousands of ideas and couldn’t imagine being bored for a second. Or maybe you’re struggling with exactly this issue at the moment and you’d like some feedback and inspiration from the other participants.

FI for Impact

Sébastien Aguilar from Impactivated argues that FI is a superpower that we can use to make the world a better place. We couldn’t agree more! This is a topic that deserves a lot more exposure in the FI community so we thought we’d take the opportunity to discuss it during this year’s event.

What is FIWE Extra?

FIWE Extra is an extension of FIWE during which a smaller group of people will spend a few more days hanging out together in an even more informal setting. There won’t be any formal presentations, just lots of time to talk and exchange ideas and visions for the future. We’ll also do some unconferencing and do some local charity work.

When and Where Is It Happening?

The event will be happening in Timişoara, a city in western Romania, and will run from the evening of Friday, 19th June until the evening of Sunday, 21st June.

Afterwards a small group of particularly enthusiastic participants will be staying on for a few more days to take part in FIWE Extra, which will run from the morning of Monday, 22nd June until the evening of Wednesday, 24th June.

If you’d like to participate, just apply with a short video by February 29th. See How Do I Apply? below for full details.

Basic Info

Timișoara

Timișoara? Never heard of it...are you sure that's a real place?

Timisoara Map

Source: Wikipedia

Yes! We live here! Although hardly anyone outside of southeastern Europe has heard of it, we can assure you that Timișoara is an actual city with streets, running water and electricity.

The city is nice and compact so it's easy to get around. It has a large pedestrianised centre and good transport links.

We'll organise a guided tour during the weekend for those who're interested, and FIWE Extra participants will also get to see a different side of the city and its surroundings.

We're not going to spout random statistics from a travel guide - you can look those up yourself on Wikipedia, but here are some pictures to give you a first impression: 

 

The Venue

So I bet you have a really awesome venue lined up, huh?

You bet! The main conference will be happening at a small, family-run venue close to the city centre. It has accommodation for all participants, a large conference room and an enclosed terrace and garden that are so peaceful they make you forget you're in the middle of a big city.

This is the same venue where we held FIWE 2017 and FIWE 2018, and it worked so well that we decided to use it again. It really is perfect for our needs and group size.

 

 

 

The Program

So what are we going to do all day?

Friday 19th June: Arrival Day

We'll kick the conference off at 7pm with a welcome session and dinner at the venue. The point of this first evening will be to get everyone together, learn each other's names and play some icebreaking games.

Saturday 20th June: Conference Day 1

Now it's time to get down to business! From around 9:30 am - 5 pm we'll have a mixture of presentations and workshops with several breaks in between, including one for lunch. In the evening we'll head out into the city for dinner and an optional guided tour for those who're interested.

Sunday 21st June: Conference Day 2

The morning and afternoon will look pretty much the same as the previous day, with the official conference over by 5 pm. Those of us who're staying in Timișoara on Sunday night will again head out into the city for dinner and some more quality entertainment. We'll have a final wrap-up and feedback session after dinner.

Monday 22nd - Wednesday 24th June: FIWE Extra

We'll spend FIWE Extra hanging out in Timișoara, giving back to the local community, making day trips and exploring the culinary offerings of the region. We have loads of ideas in the pipeline - we'll provide more details once we've got everything organised.

Practicalities

How Do I Get There?

Sounds great, I'm in. But how do I get to this magical, mystical place they call Timișoara?

You have a wide range of options available when deciding how to get to Timișoara. We've listed the main ones below. If you have any questions or problems, just send us a quick e-mail and we'll do our best to help you out.

By Plane

The airport in Timișoara is called Traian Vuia. You can fly to Timișoara from more cities in Europe than we can list here. Major airlines like Eurowings, Wizzair, Ryanair and Lufthansa use the airport. Check out the airport's route planner for more information.

The airport is located fairly close to the city, which is pretty rare these days. You can reach the city centre by public transport or taxi. Once you've booked your flight, you can ask the other participants in the facebook group if anyone else is arriving at the same time as you and band together to figure out the public transport system or share a taxi. We'll provide you with full details of how to get to the venue nearer the time and can also arrange for a taxi to pick you up from the airport if you'd like.

By Train

If you don't like flying or can't find suitable flights, you could get a train instead. International trains arrive at the Gara de Nord train station, which is in the city centre and fairly close to the venue. You can look up international connections on the German railway portal.

By FIWE Party Wagon

Alternatively, you could start your FIWE experience early with a little pre-conference roadtrip. You could band together with other participants living near you or along your route and share the driving and petrol costs. Five participants did this last year and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. They even sent us live picture updates from the road!

Accommodation

So I've made the arduous trek to Timișoara by plane / train / FIWE party wagon / donkey. Where can I rest my weary head?

The conference venue has space for 25 participants in a variety of single, twin, double and triple rooms. Prices are as follows:

  • Double - €20 per person per night
  • Standard single - €33 per person per night
  • Economic single - €26 per person per night
  • Bed in a twin room - €19 per person per night
  • Bed in a triple room - €18 per person per night

Breakfast is included in the price.

When you confirm your participation we'll ask you to fill in a short form in which we'll ask you (among other things) to indicate your preferred type of room as well as your second preference in case your first choice is already booked up.

How Much Will It Cost?

Ok. So far so good. But how much is all this going to cost me? Will I have to delay my FIRE date by six months just to pay for this thing?

The most important thing to know about FIWE is that it's not for profit. We're not looking to make any money out of it whatsoever because, let's face it, we don't need any more money and we also don't believe that high costs should be a barrier to participation. The money you pay is just to cover costs. We'll be paying our share too.

Also, we're not going to invite big-name speakers and pay them for giving a presentation. All participants will be on a level playing field with everyone covering their own costs.

We're deliberately keeping costs as low as possible because that's just how we are. And also because that's just how you are, right? You don't need any extra fancypants crap. You're Mustachian, goddamit!

Travel

You're responsible for organising and paying for your own travel to and from Timișoara. See the How Do I Get There? section for more information.

Accommodation

We'll organise accommodation for you at the conference venue. See the Accommodation section for a list of prices.

Food

We'll organise lunch and dinner for the duration of the conference. We can't give you any specific details yet about how much each meal will cost, but we're not fans of fancy restaurants so prices will be reasonable.

Participation Fee

The participation fee for the weekend conference will be €25 per person. If you have to cancel your participation for any reason, we'll only be able to refund your participation fee if we can find someone else to take your place.

There will be an additional participation fee of €10 per person for FIWE Extra. You should also budget for extra nights at the venue.

Participation

How Many Participants Will There Be?

I heard you doubled the number of participants at FIWE 2019. Are you going to do that again?

No. While we don't regret trying out an event with a larger number of participants, we found that the group was just too big for everyone to get to know one another and we'd like to go back to a smaller group size.

We're limiting participation for the main conference (Friday to Sunday) to 25 people plus the two of us. That way, everyone should have a chance to talk to everyone else and there should be a good community atmosphere.

FIWE Extra will likely be smaller because not everyone will be hardcore enough to want to extend their FIWE experience to a full week.

Who Can Participate?

I'm not an FI expert and I don't have all the answers. Can I still participate?

The event is open to everyone who's excited about financial independence, minimalism and generally living a meaningful, mindful life. Everyone who's bursting with ideas but has no-one to share them with in their immediate surroundings. Everyone who's looking for like-minded people to hang out with for a few days. Everyone who wants to finally be able to talk freely about FI, minimalism and how they envision (or are already living) their financially free life.

Please note that the themes of the event will be FI for Impact, Live FI Before FI and What's Your Why for FI? If you're looking for an event that digs deep into investing and entrepreneurial topics, this is not the place for you. Check out the events calendar on FIREhub to find an alternative event.

Why Is There an Application Process?

An application process, huh? That's pretty elitist...

Maybe you think it sounds harsh to set up an application process and pick and choose participants. Why don't we just accept the first 25 people who say they're interested? Basically to make sure we have a good mix of participants from different places and with different experiences and ideas to contribute. If we operate on a first come, first serve basis we run the risk of having too many participants from a single country and/or with a single topic of focus. That then makes the event less enjoyable for the people who don't belong to this majority group.

How Will the Participants Be Chosen?

So how do you decide who gets to come to your oh-so-wonderful event?

We have a very scary, strict jury who will scrutinise every aspect of your application. One slip and you're out!

Just kidding, the jury consists of the two of us plus two other prominent members of the European FI community, and we're all lovely. We promise.

We'll look carefully at all the applications and choose participants based on the following criteria:

  • Do you seem really, truly excited about the event?
  • Do you seem passionate about the main themes of this year's event?
  • Do you have ideas and experiences to contribute?
  • Will you add some diversity to the overall mix of participants?
  • Can you communicate confidently in English about the kind of topics we'll be discussing?
How Do I Apply?

Fair enough. So how do I put my name forward?

If you think FIWE 2020 is for you, send us a short video telling us about yourself:

  • Introduce yourself - What's your name? How old are you (roughly)? Where are you from? Where do you live now? Is there anything else you want us to know about you?
  • How did you first find out about FI and what's been your experience with it so far?
  • What are your interests? What are you passionate about? What do you want to do with your life once you reach FI? (Or, if you're already FI, what does your life look like now?)
  • Why do you want to come to our event? What are your thoughts on the event's topics (FI for Impact, Live FI Before FI and What's Your Why for FI?)? You don't have to have all the answers. You can tell us about what you're struggling with in relation to these topics. You might just find some answers during the event.

Here are some tips for making a fantastic application:

  • The reason we prefer video applications over e-mails is that we get a much better idea of you as a person through a video than through an e-mail. If you really don't want to record a video, you can send us an audio recording but if you don't want to do that either, you can apply by e-mail but be warned that we're more likely to accept people who've applied by video or audio recording. Note that we won't share application videos or audio recordings with anyone outside the jury.
  • Videos should be about 2 minutes long, but this is just a guideline and you shouldn't stress if your video is longer or shorter than this.
  • The video is not a job interview. You don't have to reel off a list of all the investing experience you have and everywhere you've worked to convince us that you know enough about investing to participate in the event. We're much more interested in why you're interested in FI in the first place - in the words of The Canny Contractor: what's your why for FI?

If you apply by video, please upload your video to a platform where we can watch it without downloading it, for example:

  • vimeo: with password protection - don't forget to e-mail us the password
  • YouTube: set your video to "not listed" and send us the link
  • Dropbox: just send us the link
  • Google Drive / Google Photos: just send us the link

Important: Please also send us an e-mail the link to your video so that we have your e-mail address and can reply to your application.

If you apply by audio recording, just attach your recording to an e-mail and send it to us.

Please use the following e-mail address for all communication with us: wlcbblog (at) gmail (dot) com

When Can I Apply?

Deadlines. There's always a deadline. When is yours?

The application process is open right now! The deadline for applications is February 29th 2020.

What Happens Next?

So I've overcome my horror of the sound of my own voice and sent off my application. What happens now?

As soon as we receive your application we'll send you a confirmation e-mail so you know we've definitely received it.

After February 29th 2020, we'll look at all the applications and choose the participants. We'll let you know by March 7th whether you've been successful. Unsuccessful applicants will go on a waiting list and we'll notify you if there are any cancellations and we can offer you a place after all.

If you've been successful, we'll provide you with full information about the next steps. We'll also add you to the closed facebook group for the event so you can get to know the other participants in advance and ask any questions you might have. To secure your place for the event, you'll need to confirm your participation by March 15th. After that deadline, we'll offer your place to someone else. Harsh but true.

FAQs

Do I Have to Be FI or on the Path to FI to Participate?

Not at all. While we suspect that most of the participants will end up falling into this category, it's not a must. You can be interested in minimalism without being interested in FI. And vice versa. Not having FI as a goal doesn't mean you're not an interesting person. If your interests lie more in the direction of minimalism, mindfulness and lifestyle design (e.g. the digital nomad lifestyle), you'll definitely have some interesting ideas to contribute!

Can I Bring My Partner?

Yes, if your partner is also interested in fully participating in the conference. If your partner is already somewhat on board but has a few reservations, this might be a good opportunity for them to explore the topic a bit more and talk to people other than you about it. If they're totally on board and as excited as you are about the whole thing, even better! In both these cases, feel free to send us a single application for both of you.

On the other hand, if your partner isn't interested in any of the topics of the conference but just wants to see Timișoara, we suggest you leave them at home this time or add on a holiday with them after the conference. Places are limited and we want to make sure there's enough space for the people who have a genuine interest in the event.

Can I Bring My Kids?

Only if you really, really have to. It’s boring for the kids to be shut up at the back of a conference room all day and to constantly be told to be quiet. It’s annoying for the adult who has to look after the kids and constantly tell them to be quiet. It’s annoying for the participants to hear the kids playing during the presentations and workshops.

It's also distracting for you as a parent since you can’t be 100% focused on the event, and as soon as the presentations are over for the day you have to rush off to look after your kids. Even if you bring your partner and kids to the event city but not to the event venue itself, you'll still be distracted by them and have to rush off to be with them during the free time. It’s not an ideal situation for anyone.

If you're looking for a more family-friendly event, why not check out FIWE Family instead? It's a much more informal event we run each year at Lake Balaton in Hungary specifically for people with young kids. Hey, we understand, we have kids too!

Can I Hold a Presentation or Workshop?

Of course! Presentations should be no longer than 30 minutes to allow for 30 minutes of Q&A / discussion afterwards. Workshops can be longer to allow participants to explore the topic in more depth - two 45-minute sessions with a break in between. They could take the form of a case study, for example, where you present a problem and ask the participants to come up with potential solutions. Or you could look at a specific aspect of FI, such as what are the elements of a happy, fulfilled life, and include exercises where the participants analyse their own lives and come up with their own personal list. These are both just examples off the top of our heads - feel free to come up with better ideas!

Did You Get My Application?

We'll send you a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours of receiving your application. If you don't receive a confirmation e-mail:

  1. Check your spam folder.
  2. E-mail us at wlcbblog[at]gmail[dot]com and we'll be able to tell you whether we got your application.

 

I Have Special Dietary Requirements - Will I Be Able to Find Food I Can Eat?

Yes, don't worry! It's been done before. When you confirm your participation we'll ask you to fill in a short form on which you can indicate any dietary requirements. We'll then take these into account when sorting out the meals.

What Happens If I Have to Cancel My Participation?

The participation fee for the weekend conference will be €25 per person. If you have to cancel your participation for any reason, we'll only be able to refund your participation fee if we can find someone else to take your place.

I Have a Question That Doesn't Appear in the FAQs - How Can I Contact You?

Please send all questions to wlcbblog (at) gmail (dot) com.