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The importance of community

Surrounding yourself with who’s right

It’s been three weeks of madness, but the good kind. Event after event, connection after connection, all following Covid-19 rules of course.

After each event, I received messages of thanks and congratulations on a job well done. Those attending were thrilled with what existed, and what was being created.

We welcomed newbies and veterans to each event, the old guard sharing what’s been going on and the fresh arrivals listening intently whilst offering their own contributions.

Despite each group being very different, as I’ll explain more now, the theme was the same. Community and its importance.

As Entrepreneurs

One of the first events was to connect and support entrepreneurs. Running a business isn’t easy, your mind is constantly awash with what you need to do. Then add into the mix doing it in another country, with a language that isn’t exactly the easiest to learn, and you’ve added some complexity.

That’s what this community aims to remove. Those that have been here a while, been there, done that, got the t-shirt, have broken barriers that existed before and set new expectations for those due to come. That’s just dealing with the bureaucracy.

The other side, the part which connects entrepreneurs no matter their background, is the tasks they carry out every day. Something else that was solved by one previously, has just been encountered by another. Rather than wasting a few weeks trying to figure out the answer, the solution is shared and time, money and effort are saved all around. Unwritten credits are earned for future community transactions.

As Youth

It’s not just entrepreneurs that want to hang out with like-minded individuals, but youth too. Especially when you grow up in a society where the mainstream is more like a tributary than a river, and those deviating in some societies are mocked and squashed.

So it was no wonder when, through our new youth club, we invited a group of young people to get the ball rolling. To find out what their interests were in a place where no idea would be silly, and any project would be researched and created when possible.

It had all started when one student of mine spent hours watching anime, trying to learn Japanese and creating her own characters. Then I saw another student show some interest in the same area. The areas expanded to tech and science, dance and sport, mainstream and alternative.

The group of youth that just met went off in their different directions, but friendships were formed immediately, and their parents could grab a drink in peace (until they got worried where their kids were).

As Parents

It wasn’t just the youth we connected, but their parents too. Again a mix of the old and the new in terms of residents in the city, but also in terms of attending such a meeting.

There was that ‘first day of school’ vibe at first, the introductions begun, and before long controlling a group of parents became harder than controlling a group of teenagers.

Fountains of knowledge flowed from those whose springs were in the city, and watered the seedling ideas that the new parents had. The opportunities were numerous and before hidden, but now revealed and inspired.

They had found their allies in those who wanted the very best for their children too. The community was formed physically, and complemented virtually, as they await eagerly for the next.

Funnily enough, it was in fact them that forgot to share their numbers, which then led to the aforementioned worry!

As Digital Nomads

Then there’s those that have no end of movement. Or at least have extended periods without a fixed place. This everchanging scenery they enjoy can get tiring though, which is why the community has created its hubs both online and offline to again share their highs and woes.

Coworking, coliving and cocreating have been added to the dictionary to represent opportunities to these remote professionals, whose lifestyle has grown in popularity prior to Covid and exploded during.

A haven where they can turn up, fairly assured of meeting one of their own kind who can give them tips and advice of how to survive in that place, and where next to go.

A haven where they may already have a bed to sleep in and WiFi to make their work flow smoothly and stress free.

A haven which knows what the majority want, and can help connect them with all things local, as well as organise the touristy side of things too.

Their community is the most liquid and flexible, as it changes daily in some places. New ideas, new members, new experiences arrive as quickly as they leave, but the community remains, and the community is what keeps them living this lifestyle.

What communities are you part of? What communities would you like to create? It can start with you and another, spread the word and see how your community can grow from strength to strength, and then shoot off in other directions.

The importance of community is clear when you’re in one, so join one and see where it takes you.

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