The 100 Day Challenge, Day 40: Increasing NetSquared Connectivity

Marc Manashil's picture

In our previous posts, Laney and I have been discussing the NetSquared 100 Day Challenge, which encompasses a set of six commitments we’ve made to our Global Leadership Council (GLC) and the NetSquared community. 

Today is (about!) day 40, and I'd like to share an update about how we're working to address two interrelated challenges:

  • Providing space for NetSquared Local organizers to get to know one another, share stories, strategies, tips and tactics focused on strengthening the organizer network. (Challenge #3)
  • Improving engagement, resource sharing and support between NetSquared Local organizers and their members. (Challenge #4)

These two challenges are interrelated. Challenge #3 has to do with increasing connectivity within the NetSquared organizer community. This issue has surfaced repeatedly during our recent listening activities and GLC discussions in which organizers have shared an eagerness to connect with their peers and support one another. If we can increase connectivity, organizers will generate new ideas that can be brought back to strengthen the NetSquared Local experience. It’s that transfer of enthusiasm, we believe, that will lead them to better support and share resources with their members, which is what Challenge #4 is all about.

The power of organizer connectivity was exemplified by the recent GLC gathering in San Francisco. One of the greatest successes of GLC SF was that it led to fast friendships and the desire to support one another. Yet, as GLC member and new NetSquared contractor Elijah van der Giessen pointed out during the final meeting of the program, we have to find a way for the other 40+ NetSquared organizers to get that same experience!

We've got some ideas. Here are the ways we’re thinking about strengthening connectivity within our organizer community:

1. Proactive Connection-Making: The process of making connections has to begin on day one. When an organizer approaches us about starting a new NetSquared Local group, we will survey their interests and keep track of that information so we can make direct 1:1 connections, offer relevant content on our blog and host discussions around topics of shared interest.

2. Hangouts: Our Global Community Builder, Anna Kuliberda, recently came up with the idea of hosting monthly Google hangouts for any NetSquared organizer who'd like to join in. Some hangouts will be informal in nature, providing organizers a space to share challenges, discuss new ideas or just to get to know one another. Others may be organized around a specific topic of shared interest as mentioned above.

3. A New Regional Approach: Our GLC members have proposed creating a regional framework in which our most active NetSquared organizers become a go-to resource for groups in a particular area. We also have plans to launch a new Regional Gathering Fund (RGF), which will provide support for camps worldwide to celebrate the launch of our new platform. More details to come! 

4. The New Platform: Our new NetSquared platform to be released this summer has a number of exciting features that will greatly enhance organizer connectivity:

  • Our homepage will prominently feature NetSquared Locals, providing them a visible way to share their activities while increasing the chance that other groups will want to learn how to apply these new ideas in their own contexts.

  • Each NetSquared group will have a dedicated page on the new platform that links to its own meetup page. Information about all groups will be found in one easily accessible location, making inter-group connectivity easier than it’s ever been.
  • The new site will not only facilitate connections between organizers, but their constituents as well. Any member of a NetSquared Local group will have the capability to link with like-minded people around the world who share their interests, thereby facilitating inter-city NetSquared connections at multiple levels. 

5. Celebrating Success: Through our new platform, our new Digital Bites publication, blogging and social media, we want to amplify success stories within our community. Our hope is that by calling attention to your innovative activities in a more proactive way, it will spark new ideas and increase inspiration, experimentation and enthusiasm across the network. In proposing these new approaches, we want to become better connection facilitators by providing a framework for NetSquared organizers and their groups to thrive at the local level.

What do you think of these proposals? Got other ideas? We’d love to hear them, here or @MarcManashil