Not only in product development, placemaking, branding and marketing is community building key these days. Communities want to be build around products, brands, services, new trends, urban places and – chronic conditions! Sometimes the community even becomes the product, creating content, sharing a mission, a vision, a set of values and a lifestyle. While a lot of the building process can be done online, once in a while it makes sense to meet offline, catch up, bond with each other and reassure the common ground.
Barcamps to create Community
Striving for relevance and resonance at the same time, the chosen event formats turn out to be vital for the success of an event as much as content, quality of organization, location and people. Whereas monthly meetups serve perfectly for bonding, networking and onbording new community members, input talks, workshops and conferences help the communitys longing for new input, like content, tools and trends. When it comes to growing both the bonds inbetween the members as well as the communitys collective knowledge the barcamp format comes in handy.
A Barcamp is conference format where there is no conference, meaning no speakers, no experts, just people having one common interest, put in the title of the barcamp as a moor theme. In the morning there is even no schedule, just an empty sessionboard, where the participants will put topics and question for each session, so that in the end you will have a programme with only relevant topics bringing to shine the swarm intelligence in the room, owned by each and everyone: community wisdom!
As everyone is longing to provide an experience the participants will share and remember the barcamp format makes everyone part of the success creating a “we” that connects everyone to the experience with both excitement and responsibility. Everyone is part of the success, everyone owns the experience as a whole as well as his oder her individual experience. To keep all of these experiences together and create a platform and a stage, everyone can step on, you will want an experienced barcamp moderator who brings empathy with the needs of the participants and the dynamics of the group as well as keeping the framework settled.
Last months I had the pleasure to moderate the second Diabetes Barcamp in Frankfurt, Germany – a barcamp dedicated to people living with a chronic condition: Diabetes:
From a participants perspective it reads like this: Das Wir gewinnt! (German Only)
The WE that has existed only on paper before meeting in person. The WE that means ownership, lobbying power and peer support. The WE that has the power to transform our visions of ourselves. The WE that is vital to every community.
If interested in the format, make sure to check in with us and visit one of the many barcamps – for Germany, Switzerland and Austria there is a forecast with barcamps to take place in the upcoming months.