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Building Communities in the Post Social Media Age.

The Highlights from The Community Leadership Summit #2, 2019 Berlin

On January 24, 2019, 85 community leaders across industries got together in Berlin to explore how we can bring people together beyond the platforms that define today's social web.

As an ongoing research project into the power dynamics and incentive structures of the post social media age, we invited the group to share best practices and explore solutions through 13 talks, 12 workshop groups, 1 communal dinner and 6 key guiding questions.

Scroll down to see the photos of the day, access the transcripts from the talks and read the shared feedback from the Community Leadership Summit #2.

If you're curious to join the next Summit, please RSVP and we'll notify you as soon as the dates are set.

The Talks

6 minute talks on the status quo and future of bringing people together across different purposes and platforms.

Part 1: The Status Quo

The mechanics of inspiration: insights from Ableton's annual Loop conference - Niklas Kroeger (Ableton)

“When community?”: Translating crypto-hype into meaningful, lasting engagement - Emily Hirschberg (Ocean Protocol)

How to stay authentic while growing a gen Z creative community - Mitchell Maynard (Depop)

Internal communities and the value of truth, well told - Simon Jon Gademan (Zalando zLabels)

Connecting the dots: how to leverage the knowledge of a global network of entrepreneurs - Olivia Stamp (Entrepreneur First)

Engaging journalism: How working together with your audience builds trust in journalism - Rico Grimm (Krautreporter)


Part 2: The Future

A hot take on fashion and social media - Fiona O’Grady (H&M)

Learnings from scaling two-sided networks. Stories from SoundCloud and Oscoin - Eleftherios Diakomichalis (Oscoin)

Un-f*cking the restaurant industry with a little tech & a lot of community - Mathias Holzmann (Informal Labs)

Building & supporting micro-communities - Natasha Lytton (Seedcamp)

Watching the seed grow: creating a real world around a virtual one - Jonathan Baker (Klang Games)

ETH Exemplified: Frameworks for building decentralized communities - Adeola Ogunwole (Independent Consultant)

#citizenspring: time for citizens to get together and do something about climate change - Xavier Damman (Open Collective)

Select a talk from the grid below to access the transcript of each.

The Workshops

Following each session of talks the workshops are intimate breakout sessions for groups of 6-8 people. The groups were split across 6 key questions we aimed to explore for this Summit:

How do people gather?
Why do people care?
How can communities sustain themselves?
What defines a healthy digital space?
Where do communities matter the most?
How to build trust?

Sabina wrote a great post with a ton of quotes and insights from the sessions. Such as this one by Fiona O'Grady: "A healthy digital space reflects a healthy analog space, which at the end of the day could be just about not being a dick online."

Read more here: Communities don't grow in troll farms

The Participants

The Summit brought together an international crowd of 85 participants across a wide range of topics & expertise.

Community-driven startups
in the field of health, government & insurance tech, food innovation, decentralization, gaming, co-living & more such as:

Clue, Civocracy, Researchgate, Open Collective, Informal, Roy, Slurp Ramen, MAD, Ocean Protocol, OSCoin,, Pixsy, Uplink, Fiverrr, Coya, Klang Games, LifeX

Media & publishing platforms
Die WELT, Krautreporter, Infographics Group, MOLD Magazine, Majestic Casual

Fashion & creative companies
Depop, Zalando, H&M, Native Instruments, Ableton, Minute16, MORPH, A Color Bright, Comagick, Art Rebels, Disciple Media, Studio Intraligi

VC funds & accelerators
Fabric VC, Blueyard Capital, Entrepreneur First, Seedcamp, Cherry Ventures, Samsung NEXT, Neufund, Speedinvest, Leaf Ventures

Ecosystem organizations, schools & co-working spaces
Founders Pledge, REDI School of Digital Integration, Katapult Future Fest, ETH Berlin, School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe, Betahaus, Factory, Vonder, Talent Garden


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"It was genuinely one of the best events I've been to in a very long time. Really well organised, really interesting and the quality of the people and conversation was just incredible."

"Thanks so much for this interesting and thought provoking summit. It really lit a fire under my arse and I connected with so many awesome people. In January! So appreciated."

"Fantastic to see such an enthusiastic group of people support, question, and encourage each other. Felt very ego-free and really honest an environment."

"Thanks for bringing the community leaders together. It's great to see that there are so many of us."

Final Remarks

Following our first Copenhagen Summit in 2018 this second edition taught us a lot. It reaffirmed our belief that when people from a wide variety of fields come together over a shared purpose, magic can happen.

We've also learned that we can still improve on the diversity of participants and talks, fine-tune some of the formats and make the workshop sessions more focussed. And that it's a lot of fun when 85 people grab food at a communal dinner.

Moving forward we're committed to making this bi-annual Summit a unique gathering for community leaders worldwide. With every edition we strive to create an experience that's a little bit better, smarter and more surprising than the last one.

Finally, a big THANK YOU goes out to the people who helped make this happen. Much love to BlueYard Capital for hosting, Ana Santl for photography, Kala Sung & Philip Inreiter for food and our amazing team of supporters and facilitators who filled the room with energy and helped make this Summit a smooth experience for everyone involved.

Are you with us?

If you're curious to join the next Summit, please join our mailinglist and you'll be notified as soon as the dates are set.

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