On Saturday morning, a crowd of people passionate about community gathered at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland for the Community Leadership Summit 2015. The Community Leadership Summit brings together community leaders, organizers, and managers with the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community.
The event pulls together the leading minds in community management, community relations, and online collaboration to discuss, debate and continue to refine the art of building effective and capable communities.
At the heart of Community Leadership Summit 2015 is an open unconference-style event in which everyone who attends is welcome to lead and contribute sessions on any topic that is relevant. These sessions are very much discussion sessions: the participants can interact directly, offer thoughts and experience, and share ideas and questions. They are augmented with a series of presentations from leaders in the field, panel debates, and networking opportunities.
Among the topics for the day were “The Empathy Algorithm,” “How to Facilitate Community Discussions,” and “The Business Value of Human Kindness,”.
Nim’s own Joni Martin was one of four plenary speakers on Saturday. She spoke about the art of building vulnerable communities, using the example of Girlforce, a Salesforce online community 1500 women strong. Through storytelling and sharing her own journey, Joni provided 4 ingredients to building a vulnerable community:
1) Telling Your Story With Your Whole Heart: Telling your story allows people to see your humanity. People connect to humanity. Not branding, campaigns, or even mission statements - people connect to humanity. Putting yourself out there allows people to realize that your story is not just your story, but it's also their story too.
2) Consistent, Reliable Authenticity: Community members need to know what to expect, and they should see consistent authenticity modeled from the top down.
3) Safety: Establishing clear, simple guidelines allows people to build trust in the community. It is only in a safe environment that people are able to remove their armor and connect.
4) Do Hard Things Together: Talk about things that matter. Be excruciatingly honest. Conquer the world - together.
Joni wrapped up with an invitation to the participants: tell someone the story of who you are. Following her speech, there was about an hour of question and answer time about the mechanics of communities. She was able to dive a bit deeper into discussion about the Salesforce platform as a tool to build amazing communities. Go Joni!