Community

Designing, engaging, and curating communities

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We believe …
… that people discover their purpose and their beliefs through the communities they belong to and which belong to them.

Our scarcest commodity is our attention. We are invited on nearly a daily basis to identify ourselves as a part of a community: a community of interest, a professional community, a community of stakeholders, of producers, of customers, a community of practice, a social community, a community of thinkers, of doers and many others. We don’t have enough time to get much from these communities, much less give to them.

 

At Matter, we have years of experience creating, launching and supporting real, virtual, and hybrid communities. We do this by identifying the four drivers of community involvement

 

“A community is seeded by interest, germinated by experience, grown through identity and sustained through intent’

Aaron Williamson, member of The Value Web

Curating and managing a community’s development requires tools and techniques to leverage these four elements of successful community formation.

Interest

Interest is the motivation that guides us to action – like an affinity to learn more that attracts and beneifts us.

→ Communication tools and events are tailored to your community members in a way that highlight areas of common interest and collective intent and then we build on them.

Experience

Experience is the retained memory of past actions, and the ways in which we perceive what happens to us.

→ Shared experiences, rich in virtual and face-to-face content, are created to build a genuinely collaborative atmosphere and develop common language among community members.

Identity

Identity is the emergent quality, the interplay between our self-perception, and the “reflection” from others as our community self is validated, challenged and shaped. A vibrant community is based on key identification factors.

→ Identity factors that emerge spontaneously are valuable and used to design meaningful interactions and projects. 

Intent

Intent is the combination of interest plus the insight of experience to create a broader, vision-based set of personal motivations and community direction.

→  Intent factors motivate community members to identify with a group and contribute to it developing tools and techniques.

Community Maturity 

As communities mature, the original sponsor moves from the centre of the community to a different level. The original control and guidance is replaced bu a greater vitality and sustainability as new community members move the community to its next phase and the community begins to functions as a “living system”.

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Our Approach

We believe that each community involves people with different levels of engagement and that this engagement changes over time (vertical axis). We understand the ways in which individuals give to and take from the community is different in terms of knowledge/how generic or specific the content is (horizontal axis)

Creating and maintaining a vibrant community requires mapping the right tools and initiatives to community members regardless of their level of engagement and focus. Each initiative reflects a balance of face-to-face and virtual engagements.

Our model can be applied at different stages of life in a community management project:

• to map the state of the art of existing communities in order to increase awareness and identify possible areas of improvement and/or strengthen current initiatives and plan new ones;
• to design and launch community building strategies from scratch.

Some examples:

We have collaborated for more then ten years with the World Economic Forum in Davos and other key global meeting. Our role has ranged from strategy to designer and curator of communities, to designer and facilitator of collaborative workshops to integrating our own methodology into the Forum ways of working.

Some examples:

We have created a global community of marketing managers of a leading Italian group in the luxury fashion industry.

As part of a Digital Financial Services for the Poor project for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we designed and facilitated the development of a community of experts – the Enablers – whose role is to generate innovative ideas for the platform and promote and disseminate the values underpinning it.

We design and facilitate the annual multi-stakeholder workshop that involves the Italian agro-food supply chain and the retail and consumer goods sector.  Our model can be applied at different stages of life in a community management project:

• to map the state of the art of existing communities in order to increase awareness and identify possible areas of improvement and/or strengthen current initiatives and plan new ones;
• to design and launch community building strategies from scratch.