Leadarise Cofounder and Chief EU Laura Hemmati presented the importance of community building at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Centre in Brussels this evening as part of an event showcasing young pioneers in Brussels who are trying to get Europe back on track. This was the first event of the new Centre for European Progression, organised by General Manager Benedek Csányi, featuring presentations from Leadarise, Out of the Box, #EUInsight and European Young Entrepreneurs.
So if you missed CFEP’s highly charged and spectacular debut event, here is what Laura had to say on community building!
Nowadays having a great idea isn’t enough. We need likes, we need tweets, we need trends, we need crowd funding before anyone takes us seriously. That’s because in a world where we are bombarded with information and initiatives, we need to have a way of filtering out the ideas which can grow from those that will not. How many of you have been invited to like a friend’s new Facebook page, but declined because it only had fifty likes, or turned down a party because only 8 people confirmed they were going? How many of you have read an article, because three or four or your friends have shared it? Community building brings with it the endorsement an idea needs to flourish in the 21st century. Community building gives credibility to ideas.
Once you have your community, you have a ready made group of individuals who share the common interest of believing in your idea and can act as human laboratories. You can test out marketing strategies, judge which part of your idea they find most interesting or most troublesome and you can ask for feedback on your progress so far. You can even get your community to tell you where you sit on the market place. How do you compare to similar organisations? What is it that keeps them engaged? Community building gives you your own marketplace to design and test new ideas.
Once your community is built, is credible and has helped fine tune your product. You now have the ability to start changing the environment around you, making it more and more favourable to reaching your goals. With a community behind you, doors open with a lot more ease than they used to. You have built a reputation and you have demonstrated that you have the ability to bring people on board with your ideas. You have access to decision makers, to trendsetters, and innovators because they accept you as one of them. You must be one of them, otherwise you wouldn’t have a community. Our community has grown from one city to four. In one year, our young leaders have reached the Whitehouse, the Scottish Government and the coverage of the European elections. Community building changes the status quo.