successful communities have the power to change the world. Learn how to identify the traits of meaningful communities and how to turn your community into a movement by following the steps that all successful movement starters take.
3 factors predict meaningful community:
- Intentional time
- Engaged activity
- Connection density
Turning a community into a movement starts with individuals
The Leadership Thread
- Garner courage to get started
- Create a clear and compelling vision
- Mobilize people
- Persuade decision-makers
- Navigate criticism
- Overcome obstacles
- Leadership thread
Surviving hijab: Manal Rostom had a clear vision- where Hijabi women are treated equally. She wanted something specific: went to Nike “I have a community of 500K hijabi women who would really like athletic gear”
Hurricane Harvey + Jennifer: The team’s roles were clear even when the leader was out of wifi. This meant 8,000 people were saved.
Amanda Nguyen + make it easy to say yes: *TRIGGER WARNING*
Raped in Massachusetts, she realized her evidence (rape kit) would be thrown out in six months. So, she emailed everyone she knew to say this was wrong and asked if they’d help. She was able to get over 100,000 people, allies and survivors, to sign a petition on change.org. The petition went to Washington DC, where they drafted the text of the law and the financials, and brought survivors in. The bill was passed unanimously in congress: The Sexual Survivors Bill (one of only 21 Bills to pass congress unanimously). Now the survivors in each state are passing similar laws.
Try the bear hug + Benjamin Joffe-Walt: Change.org had a spammer who would use individual fake signatures. These fake signatures were leaked to the press, which caused a lot of people to question change.org. Their first instinct was to block the spammer, but Jennifer, the COO of change.org at the time said, “let’s try talking to him.” They sent someone to an island in Spain to talk to the spammer. After connecting with this person, it turned out he cared so much about the issue, and he was worried that the other signatures weren’t real. He felt heard and stopped spamming.
How do communities turn into movements?
When you give people actual goals and responsibilities in your community, then you can create a movement.
When someone takes a risk, other people will join. The key thing: embrace your first follower.
Current organizing model: Enough little fish can overtake the big fish.
Proposed new model: You collectively have power and you just come together to face the big fish to work together.
Remind yourself: put things into perspective
4 Types of Crisis Responders (*metaphors*)
Firefighters: immediately jumping in , crisis comms, bug fixers
Fire inspectors: people who want to understand why the fire happened, make sure it doesn’t happen again, preventing future fires
EMTs: Think first about others, FAQs, bring snacks, make sure people have the resources to get through the crisis
Doomsayers: think because one fire started, the whole neighborhood is going up in flames. Maybe get them out or shift their perspective
We are all movement starters. Mobilizing people is the bulk of what movement starting is!