The Future of Community — What I learned from my Webcast #RiseinUnity

Why we need to speak about community in the Nordics (and invite other perspectives)

In the Nordics, we promote a lifestyle where communities are fostered and wished for. While it is being promoted and talked about in the Finnish media, we don’t always see communities happen. Many people in Finland, especially immigrants, struggle with feeling like they belong and finding Finnish communities they can connect with.

Lesson #1: The power of diversity and inclusion

I got the pleasure of having so many diverse interview partners: my 20 speakers come from ten countries 13 different cultural backgrounds, ranging from choreographer, football player, and political activist to digital marketing expert or inclusion consultant.

Lesson 2: Importance of Local Community

Communities are often made where you are. It’s easy to connect with people that live in the same town, area, or region as you. The power of these local communities became evident in my episode with Sharron L. Todd.

Lesson 3: Online Communities and How to create them

Online communities are on the rise, not just since the outbreak of corona. They are spaces where you can easily connect with like-minded people all over the world without ever having to leave your home.

Lesson 4: Resilience and Covid

When corona entered the world, it showed us the importance of resiliency and being able to bounce back. On one hand we saw the spike of racism and xenofobia in many countries across the world. In Finland, it was noticed that the exceptional situation made it more difficult for immigrants who have already arrived, to integrate and build good ethnic relations with Finns.

Lesson 5: Beyond Volunteering and Crowdfunding

At the end of the day, communities are spaces where humans connect. We are social beings that love to be in contact and to create together. In my talk with Jukka-Pekka Heikillä, who is an academic researching communities, we talked about the importance of finding your context and relevance. Now more than ever it is good to keep in mind that we are all people.

How to benefit, learn and grow from community

If you are an immigrant, international talent, spouse

You already are part of many communities, you are worthy of your communities and you can contribute. Remember to give as much as you can get back in return. Communities are meant to be reciprocal and serve you and your values. In the beginning, you might be a consumer but life starts when you are a creator, in your own professional role, or just to be active in your local environment.

If you are a teacher, team leader, CEO

Build, maintain and engage conversations online as it adds up to employee experience & interactions. That is the ultimate source of well-being and protection from isolation, fatigue or exclusion. Community building fosters organizational culture. Recognize community champions in your team and enable community appreciation days which are beyond numerical company KPIs.

If you are a policymaker

Reach out to community leaders and channel all your work with people and embrace a technology lens. You have the ability to connect and show the synergies of communities — it is needed more than ever. Contribute part of your budgets to any policy communication that enables community leaders to speak and bring visibility and shape the communities

Some overall tips on how to create & foster community:

  • Recognize the community around you. Ask yourself what gives energy and what drains you. You are actively shaping a community with your actions or inactions. Be intentional when it comes to your and community expectations. This is a place you can grow, develop, learn and give back to.
  • Recognize the space which is safe for learning and growing, invite others and be among people who are like-minded and also those who are not. Keep your perspective broad. Learn to cooperate despite the differences.
  • Dialogue means growth. The more we talk to one another, the more we are able to break down our internal conscious and unconscious bias. Diversity and inclusion is everybody’s business and communities help us have these dialogues.
  • Community building allows for collaborations for a common good: In that common good I see the innate need for belonging, standing out and rise in unity through the power of collective action.

Need help with fostering communities?

I’m an award-winning community-builder and love to inspire my audiences to empower them to take action. If you want to create communities for your business or your organization, I can support you with events, workshops or consulting. Feel free to reach out to me or check out my website.

Want to learn more? Some further resources for reading:

Serendipity mindset — Dr. Christian Busch

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Kamilla Sultanova

Kamilla Sultanova

I’m a keynote speaker and entrepreneur with a passion for diversity and inclusion and all things cross-sectoral.