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Get Together on Smash Notes

Get Together podcast.

December 28, 2019

A show about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosted by Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh and (occasionally) Kai Elmer Sotto, founders at People & Company and co-authors of "Get Together: How to build a community with your people."

Learn more about our community coaching services at peopleand.company or get a copy of our book at gettogetherbook.com 🔥



Episodes with Smash Notes

Instant Pot, the multipurpose pressure cooker, is so remarkable that it has spurred an outpouring of enthusiasm from a community of fans around the world. Today, more than 1.8 million “Potheads” of all ages, languages, and backgrounds have joined their Facebook group to share recipes and Instant Pot fandom. Robert and his team opened the group in 2015, imagining it as a space where customers separated by geography could help each other with Instant Pot questions—both connecting superfans and lightening the burden on the company’s customer support team.

Updated on August 06

“Mom, Dad, Uncle, Auntie, Grandfather, Grandmother: We need to talk.You may not have grown up around people who are Black, but I have. Black people are a fundamental part of my life: they are my friends, my classmates and teammates, my roommates, my family. Today, I’m scared for them.” - Letters for Black Lives

In 2016, Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man in Minnesota, was shot by a police officer during a routine traffic stop. Philando’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath on Facebook Live and incorrectly identified the police officer as “Chinese.” Christina Xu, a 28-year-old Chinese-American, tweeted a call for other Asian Americans in support of Black Lives Matter. She encouraged them to talk with their families about why they stand in solidarity with other people of color. Sparked by this tweet, thousands would convene online to collaboratively write letters about anti-Blackness  to their elders in 23 languages. They called the effort Letters for Black Lives.

When the death of George Floyd reignited an urgent conversation around Blackness in 2020, Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani and Hema Karunakaram raised their hands to push the project forward. Adrienne, a first generation Iranian-Ameican, started to rewrite the original 2016 Letter for Black Lives as a guide for conversation with her family. She revisited the Letters for Black Lives Slack group and asked if anyone would want to join her in this effort. Hema was one of the members of the group that volunteered again.  

We talked with Adrienne and Hema about what it was like to collaborate with hundreds of people from around the world to come up with one clear message and bring this message to life with their elders. 

👏Learn more about Letters for Black Lives at: lettersforblacklives.com

This podcast was created by the team at People & Company. 

We published GET TOGETHER, a handbook on community-building:  

And we help organizations like Nike, Porsche, Substack and Surfrider make smart bets with their community-building investments.

Hit subscribe🎙 and head over to our website to learn about the work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations.

“If you're going to lead an organization, it's likely that more of your time and energy is going into building an engine and less of your time and energy is going into facilitating connection between people. It's really important for community leaders to recognize if they want to lead an organization or if they want to facilitate connection.” -- Ankit Shah

Motivated by a sense of nostalgia during his senior year of college, Ankit Shah posted an open call: he wanted to get tea with anyone on campus who he hadn’t met before. To his surprise, 250 University of Pennsylvania students said “yes” and he found himself spending the last 6 weeks of college meeting with six new people for three hours every night in the same cafe. 

He realized that strangers were excited to meet and learn about each other beyond surface day-to-day interactions. After graduation, he founded an organization called Tea with Strangers, which paired strangers together for small group conversations. Since its founding in May 2014, it has brought over 50,000 people in 25 cities together. Today, Ankit has brought this community-first mindset to his work at Facebook and Airbnb, and also to his personal life, creating Silent Hike Society and weekly neighborhood gatherings.

In this episode, we learned about how Ankit grew a global community of hosts for Tea with Strangers, how he translated his learnings into a career, and the value of alone time as a community-builder.

Hear more stories from community leaders like Ankit who are passing the torch and creating more leaders at: https://gettogetherbook.com/resources#pass-the-torch

👏Learn more about Ankit and say hello at https://www.ankit.fyi/

✨Learn more about our correspondent Maggie Zhang on her blog, Commonplays.

📙Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

👋Learn more and reach out about the work we do coaching passionate, community-centered organizations like Nike, Substack, and Surfrider at http://people-and.com/

“It's not that introverts don't want to talk to people. They really value quality conversation over talking to big quantities of people. [Silent Book Clubs] appeal because you can get that little bit of conversation about something that you're interested in. You don't have to come up with small talk. That appeals to the type of person that appreciates that mix, and I think most people are kind of ambiverts.” - Laura Gluhanich 

Laura Gluhanich and Guinevere de la Mare are the type of people who always had a book in hand and enjoyed reading in public spaces. But they shared a mutual frustration for the traditional book club. These sessions were often hard to schedule, and many times required reading a book that wasn’t of interest.  

So to satisfy their desire for social reading, they got creative. They transformed frequent dinner outings in their San Francisco neighborhood into a shared time for quiet reading. They called their rendez-vous a “Silent Book Club”and it became a ritual for the two friends. Soon, other friends started to tag along and they began formalizing the invitations with Facebook events. Then came a series of infection points–people reaching out in Alabama, Japan, Serbia, Italy, the UK and more to start their own Silent Book Clubs, features in NPR and Oprah magazine—that brought them to 220+ chapters today.

Our correspondent Mia Quagliarello talks with Laura about how she and Guinevere learned from their careers in online community building to make an assertive stand with their community guidelines. She talks about how they, as a team, have documented dream partners, personal values and deal-breakers, that have served as an underlying shared basis for decision making. Together they have continued the Silent Book Club as a global passion project with the support of volunteer hosts on the side of day jobs, Laura as the Director of Programs at Him For Her, a social impact venture aimed at accelerating diversity on the corporate board, and Guinevere de la Mare as a UX Writer at Google. 

Find more stories from community leaders who are passing the torch and supercharging their leaders.

👏Learn more about Silent Book Club and say hello at https://silentbook.club/

✨Say hi to our correspondent, Mia Quagliarello, and checkout her work with Flipboard and the Burning Man Project . 

📙Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 

👋Say hi and learn more about work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations.

“I always believe that when you present yourself in that deeply vulnerable, authentic, personal place, almost always people meet you there.” - Pei-Ru Ko 

When Pei-Ru Ko was recovering from an autoimmune condition, she spent a lot of time at farmers markets in the Bay Area and grew close to local food producers. Relishing the relationships she built with them, she saw the opportunity to bridge a gap between food producers, sometimes lonely from their isolating work, and eaters, like herself, who wanted to trust and better understand the food system.

In summer 2014, she hosted a night rich in food and stories, packing 45 guests into her living room to learn about sustainable seafood. Since then, the community has grown to thousands of people attending their events and listening to their stories over the years. This year, Pei-Ru passed the torch to Jovida Ross as the new executive director. Together, they are elevating stories from the entire food chain and reweaving connections in the food system.

In this episode, Pei-Ru and Jovida share the power of storytelling to bring people together, how to create a space for generous listening, and why food plays an important role in building a community. 

Hear more from other community leaders about stage 3 in getting your people together, 🔥Pass the Torch.

👏Learn more about Pei-Ru and Jovida and say hello at https://www.realfoodrealstories.org/

✨Learn more about our correspondent Maggie Zhang on her blog, Commonplays.

📙Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥

👋Say hi and learn more about work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations, visit: http://people-and.com/

The excerpt below was originally sent out via our Get Together newsletter. You see the original post here, and sign up to receive the newsletter going forward here.

Our small team is working on what long term changes we make to take a more anti-racist stance and start dismantling white supremacy that we have been complicit with in the past. 

Below are a few immediate People & Company commitments and asks where you can plug in. (And, at the very bottom of this email we’ve included a shortlist of resources and opportunities to support the Black Lives Matter movement.)

1. Refocus our office hours

We’ve set aside 5 office hours per week, every week, over the next quarter for current and aspiring Black leaders to talk through community projects (of any type) as well as non-Black leaders to strategize around bringing people together to combat racism (in small and big ways). If this is you, contact us here.

Note: We have a backlog of office hour requests. If you already applied and haven’t heard back, we’ll review shortly and prioritize office hours with folks who fit this criteria.  

2. Shift who we interview on our Podcast

So far ~13% of interviewees on the Get Together podcast have been Black leaders. Shout out to these inspiring friends 📣! Going forward, we are committed to amplifying more Black voices and their stories. Over the next six months, a minimum of 30% of who we feature will be Black leaders.

We’re working on how we adapt our process for sourcing stories. But immediately, if you know someone who would make a great podcast guest, we want to hear about them! Please tell us about them here, and share the form with your friends.   

3. Bring on a "Get Together" podcast correspondent to help us signal boost Black leaders

You may have noticed that we just started to bring on podcast “correspondents.” One of our first new correspondents will help us reach our goal for shining a bigger spotlight on Black leaders who are building all types of communities.

If you’re keen, or you know someone who would be excellent at telling these stories (no podcasting experience necessary!), please send us their name. Email bailey[at]people-and[dot]com

4. Up the diversity among our collaborators

Finally, we’ll work actively to increase the diversity in our pipeline of contractors who form the small nucleus we started building with this year.

For now, if you’re an audio engineer/editor, workshop facilitator, or anyone else reading this email and would like to collaborate with us, please reach out.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for speaking up. Take care of each other 🙌.

“This is about everyday people coming together with their friends, with their families, with their community, with their colleagues and saying that they have a voice and that they want to use it in a constructive and powerful way in their communities. It just happens to be that we're dealing in philanthropy.” - Joelle Berman

In this episode, we sit down with two bad**s women for a conversation on the joy and challenges of giving circles–how to get one started, how to reach a consensus as a group, and how to celebrate along the way.

In 2015, LiJia Gong attended marches and supported the #BlackLivesMatter movement. She felt inspired to do more. So she and three friends started gathering, exploring how they might use the bonds of their friendship and shared values to reduce inequality. Their giving circle "Radfund" was born from these conversations. The friends pledged to pool 1% of their annual income and 0.1% of their wealth annually to support organizers in NYC doing the work to challenge structural inequality and  fight for racial and economic justice.  In this episode, LiJia will share  stories and insights she’s learned from building a "political home" for herself and her friends. 

Joelle Berman was recently the founding Executive Director of Amplifier, a global network of 125+ giving circles inspired by Jewish values. From that position supporting so many different giving circles, she had a rare view of the ecosystem as a whole, and was able to pinpoint trends and best practices. (Shout out to Amplifier's founder, Felicia Herman, and Amplifier's current CEO, Liz Fisher, for their work continuing to spread the power of collective giving!)

From their respective experiences as giving circle practitioners and experts, Joelle and LiJia will share how to build a political home and community around the shared activity of giving. Hear more from other community leaders about stage 1 in getting your people together, 🔥sparking the flame by doing something together: https://gettogetherbook.com/resources#spark-the-flame

📙Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

👋Say hi and learn more about work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations, visit: http://people-and.com/

“Meet people where they are, not where you wish them to be.” - Kuik Shiao-Yin

Kuik Shiao-Yin has been called “the Singaporean voice of youth.” While serving two stints as a nominated Parliamentarian, Shiao-Yin delivered clear, passionate speeches that went viral. 

Beyond her work in government, she has committed herself to developing the "social and emotional capital" of the young nation. Shiao-Yin co-founded The Thought Collective, a group of social businesses including the School of Thought and Common Ground, a coworking and event space. These spaces are designed to equip more Singaporeans with the social and emotional skills they need to create the cultural change *they* want to see.  

In this episode we discuss weaving the fabric of the young naiton-state together at the grassroots and governmental level. Shiao-Yin shares her opinion that every successful community starts with leadership that has cognitive clarity and then remains vested in getting clearer and clearer. Shaio-Yin poses questions to other community leaders like, “What is it that you want?” “Who is this for?” “Who do you want to be?” “Who do you want others to be?”

We believe nearly every challenge of building a community can be met by asking yourself, “How do I achieve this by working *with* my people, not doing it *for* them?” Shaio-Yin offers clarity of thought and kindness, exemplifies what it means to “build with.” 

To hear more from other community leaders on “building with” at Stage 1 in getting your people together, 🔥Sparking the Flame: https://gettogetherbook.com/resources#spark-the-flame

👏Learn more about Shaio-Yin and say hello at https://www.facebook.com/shiaoyin

📙Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

👋Say hi and learn more about work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations, visit: http://people-and.com/

“Treat people like they're part of the brand, because they are the brand.” - Aundy Crenshaw

Where do you find the funkiest, dirtiest, most addictive house music around? Look no further than Dirtybird Records.  

Aundy Crenshaw and her husband, Barclay Macbride Crenshaw (better known as DJ Claude VonStroke), have translated this style and sound into a community vibe that comes alive at their events. Together, they have gathered a group of artists that feel like family and fans that are their greatest advocates. 

In this episode, Andy and our "Get Together" Correspondent Mia Quagliarello, start at the roots of Dirtybird Records and move into the new challenges they face today in keeping their community banded together while apart. The ethos at Dirtybird has always been to “treat people like they're part of the brand, because they are the brand.”

Aundy and the small but mighty team at Dirtybird are a testament to the fact you can’t fake the funk. When you pinpoint your people, genuine passion attracts passionate people. Hear more from other community leaders about stage 1 in getting your people together, 🔥sparking the flame: https://gettogetherbook.com/resources#spark-the-flame

👏Learn more about Aundy and Dirtybird Records at: https://dirtybirdrecords.com

📙Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

👋Say hi and learn more about work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations, visit: http://people-and.com/

Today we’re talking to Casper ter Kuile. If you're passionate about how the world builds meaningful communities, you likely know Casper's name. After an early career in grassroots climate organizing, Casper earned masters degrees in Divinity and Public Policy from Harvard. While there, he started a reading community around the Harry Potter texts, that has grown to more than 70 chapters and millions of podcast listeners around the world. 

He is co-author of the How We Gather report, a cultural map of Millennial communities, and now a brand new book: The Power of Ritual, which is available for pre-order and will publish on June 23, 2020. 

Casper’s depth of knowledge about historical practices and sacred references are a remarkable source of inspiration for modern organizers. In this episode, we will go deep on two things he knows a lot about: ritual and communal reading. We'll ask him about what he learned while writing this new book The Power of Ritual, and then dig into how he sparked, stoked and scaled the communities around his podcast, "Harry Potter and the Sacred Text." 

If you want to get to know Casper or hire him, follow him on Twitter @caspertk or visit his website https://www.caspertk.com/.

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

To learn more about People & Company and how we work with organizations passionate about their communities, visit: http://people-and.com/

Tim Courtney was a key part of a monumental shift at LEGO. For seven years, Tim was the steward behind LEGO IDEAS, a crowdsourcing platform that allows superfans to submit and vote on new ideas they want LEGO to bring to market. If you've ever played with a Minecraft LEGO set, a Big Bang-themed kit, or a collection of women of NASA, you have the LEGO IDEAS community to thank. 

Today the LEGO community has grown from a 20,000-person test group in Japan to a global community  numbering in the millions. 

Tim, a lifelong lego enthusiast, was the connective tissue between these superfans submitting ideas and the business and design teams at LEGO HQ in Denmark. 

We'll ask Tim about his experience creating a platform that allows so many people to submit and engage with ideas for the biggest toy company on planet earth. 

Tim will also share about the perspective shift at the company, and setting new standards for how they talk about customers and make decisions. Transitioning to see the collaborative potential in your customers or fans or community members is hard for any community leader, especially those in a company structure, and sometimes it takes a big project make the case for such a transition. 

If you want to get to know Tim or hire him, check out his website www.timcourtney.net

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

To learn more about People & Company and how we work with organizations passionate about their communities, visit:

 http://people-and.com/

Today we're interviewing Dr. Gbemisola Boyede, the founder of "Ask The Paediatricians," an online medical education community that can offer all of us some much-needed inspiration in the time of COVID-19.

In Dr. Gbemi's home country of Nigeria, the child mortality rates are high. But what causes these deaths isn't a lack of cost-effective treatments for common diseases. It's a geographic and information gap between parents and practitioners that leaves many parents uninformed and without access to experts who can treat their children.

Dr. Gbemi saw this problem manifesting online. When everyday people offered up false remedies for each others kids, she'd find herself  intervening. Playing whack-a-mole with each of these threads wasn't going to work, so she opened the ‘Ask The Paediatricians’ Facebook group. Its mission is to educate regular parents by giving them direct access to medical practitioners.

The group grew quickly and organically. Today there are more than 2,000 medical professionals who login to help more than 580,000 parents with their medical questions. Dr. Gbemi has also expanded the groups reach to Nigeria's most impoverished people–parents without access to phones or the internet—through offline work that brings volunteers to under-resourced regions around the country.

What stuck out to us about our conversation with Dr. Gbemi was how natural her community-building instincts were. We like to say that no matter if your community gathers online or off, the secret to community building isn't about management, it's about creating leaders. Dr. Gbemi has done that at every stage of her journey, giving volunteer moderators tools, bringing other doctors in to do webinars instead of just leading them herself, and giving people all sorts of roles and ways to plug into the mission in their local areas.

If you want to get involved with Ask The Paediatricians, you can find their group on Facebook or head to askthepaediatricians.com

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

To learn more about People & Company and how we work with organizations passionate about their communities, visit: http://people-and.com/

In the time of Coronavirus and self-isolation, how do we find meaningful community online?

We checkin today with Carly Ayres of the Slack group "100s Under 100," and revisit our stellar conversation with her from almost a year ago. 

//

If you're on the internet or if you're working in design today, you may have heard of Carly Ayres (@carlyayres). She's full of personality, sharp ideas, and has an alluring rebellious vibe. 

Carly's designs are not of the polished, precious, or minimalist ilk we've become accustomed to. Her work is interactive, it's dynamic, and it's sincere. If you want proof, visit her website CarlyAyres.com. It is a Google Doc. 

Almost five years ago, Carly started a community in Slack called "100s Under 100," a play on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list and other similar awards. The Slack group brings together a vetted collection of designers, everyone from senior creative leads at big companies like Dropbox to high school students looking for feedback on their college applications. "Hundos" feel they are on the same team, sharing resources, insights, and feedback in what can otherwise be an isolating profession. (Full disclosure: Kevin Huynh, my partner in People & Company, is a "Hundo.")

We wanted to ask Carly about this special Slack group because we get questions about community "watering holes" all the time. People want to know what platform they should use to bring their people together online. Or what they can do to actually make a digital space engaging. Carly has figured all of this out and more.

How did Carly pull it off? We sat down with Carly to learn more.

🔥 Check out our book Get Together: How to Build a Community With Your People 📙

Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

In each episode of this podcast we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds more members?

Today we're interviewing Kelsa Trom, the Head of Programming at NEW INC.

NEW INC is the first museum-led "cultural incubator." The New Museum here in New York City opened the program in 2013 as a home artists, activists, futurists and technologists. These multidisciplinary people come together for one year to create, pushing forward everything from new businesses, to ambitious art installations, to provocative experiments in science and urban design.

In its sixth year, NEW INC has over 100 creative entrepreneurs as members, with 175 mentors supporting them and 350 alumni. And we love this stat: they are 50% female and 49% POC.

In this episode, we ask Kelsa about the work she and her team prioritize to bind and support the members in the space.

If you want to get involved with the NEW INC program, whether its by applying to be a member or a mentor, you can find all that information at newinc.org. They’re also on socials at @newinc

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

To learn more about People & Company and how we work with organizations passionate about their communities, visit:

 http://people-and.com/

In each episode of this podcast we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds more members?

Today we’re talking to Nitika Chopra, organizer of Chronicon, a conference that brings together hundreds of people with chronic illnesses.

Nitika has been living with severe psoriasis since age 10 and was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at age 19, which made it difficult for her to walk.

That personal experience led her later in life to speak openly about what she's been through. Nitika hosted events for people with chronic illnesses, forged a Facebook group, and last year brought people together in person for Chronicon, a one-day gathering in New York City.

Chances are you have a friend, family member or colleague who is struggling with a chronic illness, and you might even be dealing with one yourself. Studies show that 45% of the United States population has at least one chronic illness today, and the rates are expected to rise to 49% by 2030. At Chronicon, Nitika and her team designed an event especially for those who fit in this category,  celebrating "all they have been through and how they have learned to thrive in their lives."

In this interview, we'll learn more about Nitika's journey and how she went about designing the specifics of Chronicon–from the space to food—to make sure folks with chronic illnesses felt honored.

For more from Nitika and Chronicon, head to: 

www.chronicon.co

nitikachopra.com

instagram.com/nitikachopra/ 

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

To learn more about People & Company and how we work with organizations passionate about their communities, visit: http://people-and.com/

In each episode of this podcast we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds more members?

Today we’re talking to Scott Amenta, co-founder of the COS Tech Network, a community of people working as Chiefs of Staff in companies around the world.

The COS Tech Network started in 2016 when Scott found himself as a Chief of Staff, a role that quite is new in techland, and, for Scott, felt somewhat undefined. He decided to seek out other Chiefs of Staff so he could learn tips and tricks, and also get inspired about career trajectories the role could lead to.

COS can be a lonely position, an ambiguous one. Scott had the intuition that others were tossing the same questions around in their head and he did something about it. 

A Medium post call out led to a dinner, a dinner led to a slack group, and the slack group has led to chapters around the world and a wealth of insights and resources. Recently, they even found their community covered by The New York Times.

Tune in to learn more about how Scott got COS Tech Network off the ground, and what tools the extremely organized group uses to communicate, collaborate, and connect.

---

For more from Scott and COS Tech Network, head to: 

costechnetwork.com

scottamenta.com

medium.com/cos-tech-forum

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: http://bit.ly/gettogetherbook

To learn more about People & Company and how we work with organizations passionate about their communities, visit: people-and.com/

 

Today we’re talking to Erin Wayne, or @Aureylian as she’s known on the internet. 

Six years ago, Erin was brought on as the first pure community hire at Twitch, a company that we cite often and respect for how transparent and collaborative they are with their community. 

If you know Twitch, you’re likely obsessed with it. The statistics are bonkers. More than a million people are on the site at any given moment! 

But if you don’t know Twitch, here’s the deal: Twitch is a platform that allows people to stream their lives. Twitch started as a place where people played video games while other enthusiasts watched along, but today has evolved to much more and Erin has been a part of broadening our perception of what we go to Twitch for. 

We’ll dig into the story of how Erin came to work at twitch, her early efforts there, and two remarkable community programs she’s led: Twitch ambassadors and meetups. 

You can find Erin on Twitch and Twitter @Aureylian.

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Today we’re talking to Catt Small, a product designer, game maker, developer and–most importantly for today’s podcast–one of the organizers of the Game Developers of Color Expo (GDOC).

GDOC is an annual event that aims to create a new normal in games by putting creators of color at the forefront–showing off their projects, holding space for new conversations, and pushing games forward as an artform. This year, GDOC held their fourth event, which was hosted at the historic at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. More than 700 people rolled out, some flying from lands as far away as Australia, to attend talks and share the games they’ve been working on with each other inside a 3-story arcade.

On the podcast we’ll hear more from Catt about why she and her collaborators started GDOC in the first place AND she’ll share her secrets about how they’ve been successful with finding sponsors.

If you want to get involved with GDOC, go to their website: gamedevsofcolorexpo.com. You can find Catt on twitter @cattsmall.

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

We're interrupting our regular broadcast for a holiday spectacular! 

We'll get zany and share some behind-the-scenes snapshots from how our business (People & Company) has grown and changed this last year. 

//

To learn more about our company, head to https://people-and.com/

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Learn more about the podcast: http://gettogether.fm

Today we’re talking to Lennon Flowers and Carla Fernandez, co-founders of The Dinner Party, a worldwide community of 20- and 30-somethings who have each experienced the loss of a loved one.

Using the age old practice of breaking bread, Dinner Partiers are transforming life after loss from an isolating experience into one marked by community support, candid conversation, and forward movement.

Today, The Dinner Party tables are regularly meeting in nearly 100 cities around the world, from Milwaukee to Tel Aviv. Most of their 275 tables gather at a host’s house over a potluck. To attend, everyone involved must fill out an application, which the team at HQ reviews by hand, carefully matching each person to a table near them.

The Dinner Party is not about one-off dinners. These tables of 10-15 people meet every couple months, so the attendees build meaningful connection over time. 

If you want to get involved with The Dinner Party, maybe attending, donating, or volunteering, go to their website:  https://www.thedinnerparty.org/.

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Today we’re talking to Jay Herratti, the Executive Director of TEDx.

TEDx began as an experiment. Ten years ago, Chris Anderson, the CEO of TED, made a big decision. He took all the videos from the exclusive, private TED conference and put them up online for free. That decision had huge consequences for TED, and Chris recalls from that moment, TED “became obsessed with this idea of radical openness, of giving everything away for free. That led to us giving away the TED brand itself, in the form of the TEDx conferences, a couple of years later.”

People wanted to co-create with TED, not just sit back and listen in the audience. And TED gave them the chance with TEDx, volunteer hosted events of TED like talks that happen in communities around the world.

The first TEDx conference was hosted at USC in March of 2009. Today, there are more than 3,000 TEDx licensees in 170 different countries. They put on 4,000+ TEDx events each year, which are attended by 600,000 people. More than 22,000 TEDx talks have been put on stage and recorded. Each year, those talks are viewed on the TED website more than 1 billion times!

In our interview, we talk to Jay about the origin of TEDx and how the organization has evolved the support it offers TEDx organizers over the last 10 years.

If you want to get involved with TEDx, head over to TED.com. You can also follow TEDx on Instagram at @tedx_official.

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Today we’re talking to Rafe Offer, CEO of Sofar Sounds (Sofar is an acronym for "Songs from a Room"), a community-led global movement that’s bringing the magic back to live music. 

Dissatisfied with a concert-going experience in 2009, Rafe and two friends decided to take action. They hosted an intimate concert in a flat in North London London for eight people. At the event, music was the undeniable focus: "At our gigs you could hear the music rather than the clatter of drinks being served, the purring of phones or murmur of side-bar conversations." Three living-room concerts later, there were lines around the block of people hoping to attend. Soon, people living in other countries raised their hands to bring the format to their cities. 

Ten years later, there are 500 gigs per month in more than 300 cities worldwide, and more than 25,000 performers have put on Sofar shows - including big names from Leon Bridges and Billie Eilish to Benjamin Clementine and Karen O.

In our interview, we talk to Rafe about the origin of Sofar and how community members around the world host these gigs, and how Sofar went from hobby to a full-fledged business. 

If you want to get involved with Sofar, maybe attending or helping to bring an event to your city, go to their website sofarsounds.com or check out videos from concerts on their YouTube channel.

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Today we’re talking to Camille Ricketts (@camillericketts), the superstar Head of Marketing for Notion.

If you know what Notion is, you are likely obsessed with it.

But if you don’t, here’s our best shot at explaining the software: Notion is an all-in-one workspace for note-taking, project management and task management. Most importantly, Notion is modular. People can remix and reuse the templates they offer to create their own powerful tools. That’s where the community comes in.

Kev, Kai and I all have roots in the Bay Area, and when we rub elbows with folks in tech we’re always curious about who out there is using digital platforms to connect people in interesting and innovative ways. Recently, a number of people we respect have begun to singing the praises of Notion and Camille, so we’re so stoked to have her on the podcast.

Since she started as Head of Marketing, she and her team have invested in Notion superusers, swelling their ranks and meetup numbers in the name of educating even more Notion-curious people about what the platform is capable of.  

If you want to get involved with Notion, download their app or go to their website: notion.so

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

 

Are you ready for a good story about people power and the environment?

Gravy because today we're talking to Jeff Kirschner who kickstarted a community of people around the world who are picking up the trash on our streets, parks, beaches, and more. They call themselves Litterati.

Bailey met Jeff back in 2014, when she was still working at Instagram and Jeff’s Litterati hashtag was burgeoning on the site. People concerned about how we were leaving the planet were photographing the pieces of trash they were picking up everywhere from Oakland to the Great Wall of China. 

Since we met back then, Jeff built a standalone app for the Litterati community. With this new app, the community can catalogue exactly what piece of trash they’ve picked up where. Some of the members of the Litterati community pick up hundreds, even thousands, of pieces of trash EACH DAY.  To date, the cumulative impact is remarkable: 145,000+ people in the Litterati community have picked up 4.2 million pieces of trash. 

If you want to get involved with Litterati, download their app or go to their website: https://litterati.org

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Today we're talking to Ruth Verhey, a clinical psychologist who works for the Friendship Bench team in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is a country of over 16 million people, but there are just twelve practicing psychiatrists. Twelve! These statistics are the norm in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the ratio of psychiatrists and psychologists to citizens is one for every 1.5 million and some countries don’t even have a single psychiatrist.

And because of the history of trauma and war in the country, Ruth tells us that ~40% of Zimbabweans may be suffering from some form of depression and anxiety.

Friendship Bench is beautiful community-sourced effort to close that gap. Grandmothers give their time to sit at benches and listen to people facing mental health challenges.

Since 2006, Ruth, founder Dixon Chibanda, and their team have trained over 300 of the grandmothers in evidence-based talk therapy, which they deliver for free in more than 70 communities in Zimbabwe. In 2017 alone, the Friendship Bench, as the program is called, helped over 30,000 people there. The method has been empirically vetted—meaning this treatment works, in some studies its proven more effective than conventional treatments like anti-depressants—and has been expanded to countries beyond, including the US.

This organization is all about training and capacity building, something we love. Asking others to help you with work - letting others participate - is what is so remarkable to us. It's hard for a lot of organizations to give up control, but in this case it has helped Friendship Bench reach more people than they ever could on their own.

If you want to get involved with Friendship Bench, go to their website: www.friendshipbenchzimbabwe.org/

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Today we're talking to Krystie Mak and Katerina Jeng, the founders of Slant'd, a collective that celebrates Asian American identity, one story at a time

Back in 2017, a piece of advice from Eddie Huang inspired Krystie and Katerina: “If spaces don’t exist for you, kick the door down and create them.”

Krystie and Kat didn’t see themselves in mainstream media. They wanted a place to share personal stories—not about celebrities, but told by real Asian-American peers. So they decided to kick down the door and create their own space.

When they did, they unlocked a groundswell of energy. They set out to create a humble zine, which quickly turned into a magazine, backed by a passionate set of crowdfunders.

When they hosted a magazine launch party, it blew up too. They turned that launch party into a thriving events series.

In today's episode, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of how they got Slant’d off the ground, and how they’re exploring building Slant’d as a business now.

If you want to get involved with Slant’d, go to their website slantd.media or follow them on Instagram @slantdmedia

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

Today we are talking to Jamie Allen and Sally Parham, two of the folks behind The Squirrel Census.

Yes, it is just what it sounds like.

The Squirrel Census started in Atlanta in 2012 with a simple, somewhat inexplicable, wild idea: let's count squirrels and present our findings to the public.

While they're certainly rigorous, what they're doing isn't dry science. The team is considerate, design-savvy, and deeply funny people. They've made a scientific activity into something not just accessible, but playful.

Jamie, the creator of the project, formed a team early on of cartographers, artists, scientists and more to bring the first census to life. The team trained hundreds of volunteers they call Squirrel Sighters to count squirrels, then spent the coming months preparing the data and stories they gathered to the community.

Since that first census in Atlanta's Inman Park, the team has hosted 3 more, including most recently an ambitious foray into Central Park. More than 500 New Yorkers came out to count squirrels with them, and it was all over the news, spurred on by features inThe New York Times, support from leaders at the Parks Association, and pun-filled tweets by the NYC Mayor's Office.

If you want to get involved with the Squirrel Census, check out their hilarious website thesquirrelcensus.com or scope them out on Twitter @squirrelcensus.

Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: bit.ly/gettogetherbook

 

Girls' Night In started as a simple but remarkable newsletter to 300 of Alisha Ramos' friends and family in 2017. It took off immediately. Now, there are more than 150,000 subscribers. 

As the Girls' Night In audience has grown, it’s transformed into more than just a media company. As more passionate readers came into Alisha’s world, she activated them, turning women into local book club leaders, employees and contributors. 

Alisha is swinging big to bring her mission of making wellness, and social wellness, available to more and more people. She quit her tech job to focus on Girls' Night In full time, and even raised venture funding. 

How did Alisha get “GNI” off the ground? What made the early newsletter so popular? How has she transformed the media company into a community, and how does she think about the business side? Tune in to find out. 

Grab your copy of  GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: https://amzn.to/2SxKUCO

If you want to get involved with Girls' Night In, whether it's starting or joining a book club in your area, or tuning into their email, just go to their beautiful website girlsnightinclub.com (http://girlsnightinclub.com/). They also have a gorgeous Instagram account where they spotlight members of their community: @girlsnightinclub. And you can follow the brilliant Alisha Ramos on Twitter: @alishalisha.

August 20th, 2019 is a momentous day for us. Our book "Get Together: How to build a community with your people" is now officially out in the world.


This book is a handbook, and it's full of both clear steps and principles and inspiring stories. It’s the book Kevin and I wish we had back in the day when we were working at Instagram and CreativeMornings, but it just didn’t exist yet. If you need help getting a community off the ground, or just understanding the work it takes to organize a passionate group of people, this book is for you.


Because y’all are our loyal podcast listeners, we thought we’d share a sneak peek of the audiobook with you. So instead of an interview in this podcast episode, we’re going to share the first chapter of our audiobook with you. We hope you enjoy it.


Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: https://amzn.to/2SxKUCO


Learn more about us and our work with clients as People & Company here.

Today we're talking to Cassandra Lam, co-founder of The Cosmos.


Cassandra and co-founder Karen Mok started The Cosmos with a simple question: what does it mean for Asian women and gender non-binary people to not just survive, but to thrive? To not merely assimilate, but to carve their own paths?


For their first community event, 20 strangers from all around the country flew to Seattle to meet Cassie and Karen and explore these questions together. After that weekend, Cassie and Karen put the attendees in a Slack group together. Then hosted another retreat. And another.


Now The Cosmos has more than 5,000 members in cities around the country. Their book club was just featured in The New York Times and in just a few weeks, 500 members will gather for their very first summit here in New York City.


What motivated Cassie and Karen start this group? How did they get it off the ground? What’s their big, bold vision for the future? Tune in to find out.


Grab your copy of GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: https://amzn.to/2SxKUCO


If you want to get involved with The Cosmos, whether it’s joining a chapter in your area, getting into the slack group, or coming to their summit in August, you can find all that information at jointhecosmos.com. They also have a rad Instagram account where they spotlight Asian women who are thriving. Follow it here: @jointhecosmos

Today we’re interviewing… ourselves! Bailey, Kevin and Kai, the voices behind the “Get Together” podcast and brains behind People & Company.


Three years ago, we started People & Company to help more people bring their people together.


We work with organizations to make smarter bets about investing in their communities.


We also interview extraordinary people organizers on this podcast. And in August 2019 we will publish a book called "Get Together" on how to build communities today. It's based on the conversations, research and strategy work we've done with hundreds of community organizers.


In the past, Bailey grew the communities around Instagram, IDEO, StoryCorps, Pop-Up Magazine and The California Sunday Magazine. Kevin breathes strategy and structure. He advises dozens of grassroots communities and in the past operationalized CreativeMornings, rolling out events to 100 cities. Kai focuses on how true communities fuel growth for companies. He helped pioneer Facebook’s growth discipline and launch Instagram’s business internationally.


Why did we start People & Company (http://peopleand.company)? Why did we start a podcast and write a book? What have we learned in the process? We’ll dig into all of that in this podcast together.


GET TOGETHER—our handbook on community-building 🔥: https://amzn.to/2SxKUCO


Our show is on the Listening Party Network and is recorded at Canal Street Radio!

Today we're talking to Courtland Allen, the founder of Indie Hackers, a primarily online community for independent entrepreneurs. By “independent” I mean these are people who are building businesses that make their money from customers. (They're not backed by investors.)


What started as 150 personal emails to Courtland's friends and some strangers has grown today to a community of more than 60,000 entrepreneurs.


These people come together on Indie Hackers to share valuable stories and insights, or tap each others inspiration and advice. Sometimes, they get together in person too. Last month there were 55 Indie Hacker meetups all around the world.


We sat down to talk to Courtland about getting his community off the ground, why they are open and explicit about revenue numbers with one another, and how he's approached building a business with Indie Hackers.


Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?


If you want to get involved with Indie Hackers, whether it's sharing your story, joining a meetup in your area, or tuning into their podcast, just go to Courtland's beautiful website https://www.indiehackers.com/. They also have a rad Instagram account where they spotlight members of their community - you can check that out @indie_hackers. Or follow the brilliant Courtland Allen on Twitter: @csallen

“At headquarters, you are in service of the community.” - CreativeMornings Chief Community Officer Kyle Baptista


Since the very first CreativeMornings in Brooklyn over ten years ago, the grassroots events have spread to more than 200 chapters around the world—everywhere from Louisville to Tehran.


The concept is simple: breakfast and a short talk one Friday morning a month. Every event is free of charge and open to anyone. Lecturers include founders like David Kelley and Jason Fried, artists like Jonathan Harris and Lisa Congdon, and writers like Maria Popova.


How did CreativeMornings onboard more than 1,500 volunteer organizers and spread all around the world? Our very own Kevin Huynh, employee #1 at CreativeMornings, sat down with current Chief Community Officer Kyle Baptista and Head of Community Lisa Cifuentes to learn more.


Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

"I've always dreamed of a soup party." - Liz Alpern


On today’s show we interview Liz Alpern, one of the founders of Queer Soup Night.


Queer Soup Night started in Brooklyn with a simple event format. Liz, a queer professional chef made a soup, attendees got to enjoy that soup (and a party!) in exchange for a suggested donation to a cause.


The first one went so well, Liz and her partners Jen Martin and Kathleen Cunningham knew they had to keep going.


Now, there are Queer Soup Nights in chapters round the country - from Oakland and Portland to Gainesville and Boston. Their events have raised thousands of dollars for Queer and Queer adjacent causes, from New York Transgender Advocacy Group to the Center for Anti-Violence Education.


Why soup? Why a party with a charity? Why launch chapters? We'll get into the whole story with Liz today on the podcast.


Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?


We’re definitely much more about community—bringing people together and having a good time. The competition is almost the excuse for doing that." — says Tim Williams, CEO of the World AeroPress Championship (W.A.C.).



Last year, the World AeroPress Championship (W.A.C.) season brought together more than 3,000 competitors at 120 events in over 60 countries.


But the idea started with much humbler beginnings—three coffee geeks and a cake in a small room in Norway.


Why start a competition? When the organizers, internationally renowned baristas Tim Wendelboe and Tim Varney, hosted the first event in 2008, the AeroPress brewing device had only recently been released on the market. Instead of spending months in isolation trying to work out how to develop better AeroPress brewing recipes on their own, the Tims decided to crowdsource ideas from other brewers through a small competition in Oslo, which they called the “World AeroPress Championship.”


In the years that followed, fans all around the world asked to lead their own events, and the format began to spread. We interview the CEO, Tim Williams to learn more about what makes the competition special and what structure he and his team offer organizers from HQ.


Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

If you're on the internet or if you're working in design today, you may have heard of Carly Ayres (@carlyayres). She's full of personality, sharp ideas, and has an alluring rebellious vibe. 


Carly's designs are not of the polished, precious, or minimalist ilk we've become accustomed to. Her work is interactive, it's dynamic, and it's sincere. If you want proof, visit her website CarlyAyres.com. It is a Google Doc. 

 

Almost five years ago, Carly started a community in Slack called "100s Under 100," a play on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list and other similar awards. The Slack group brings together a vetted collection of designers, everyone from senior creative leads at big companies like Dropbox to high school students looking for feedback on their college applications. "Hundos" feel they are on the same team, sharing resources, insights, and feedback in what can otherwise be an isolating profession. (Full disclosure: Kevin Huynh, my partner in People & Company, is a "Hundo.")

 

We wanted to ask Carly about this special Slack group because we get questions about community "watering holes" all the time. People want to know what platform they should use to bring their people together online. Or what they can do to actually make a digital space engaging. Carly has figured all of this out and more.


How did Carly pull it off? We sat down with Carly in our office in the Lower East Side to learn more.


Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

"The most surprising thing for me was how many people showed up on day one. And that continues to be the most surprising thing - that people are still showing up on day 300. Every time a stranger comes, I'm just like, where did you come from? It is amazing, and it's a huge motivator to keep me going." - Aria McManus


Aria McManus, an artist and creative director, started Downtown Girls Basketball in 2013. From the beginning, it was a team for women and people who don't identify as male "who are specifically bad at basketball."


At the first practice, 30 of Aria's artist and designer friends rolled out to play together. They had so much fun, Aria hosted another game the following week.


In the six years since, that core group has ballooned to a rotating crew of 400+ of women (including Bailey, this show’s host). Every week they come together to get exercise, revive their love for basketball, and, most importantly, goof off with other creative, playful women.


How did Aria build something so special? What makes her approach to women's basketball different from other leagues and pick up games? What keeps her going six years down the road? We sat down with Aria in the Lower East Side to learn more.


Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

*“The film was made in this amazing period in YouTube’s history where we were focused on how we could demonstrate the ways in which technology can be both innovative and net positive—how it was driving new ways of storytelling and building community.” - Sara Pollack

*


This episode we talk to YouTube's first film community manager, Sara Pollack, to learn more about a film YouTube made called "Life in a Day."


On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their lives to YouTube to create Life in a Day, a cinematic experiment to document a single day on earth.


All in all, 80,000 submissions containing over 4,500 hours of footage from 192 nations were edited into one 90-minute film of raw, first-person scenes from real people around the globe, echoing the experience of YouTube itself. To bring cohesion to the submissions, users were given a range of prompts from “What do you love?” and “What do you fear?” to “What’s in your pocket?” to respond to with their footage.


Since the "Life in a Day"'s debut on the site in 2011, more than 15 million people have watched the film. (You can still watch it there today.)


How did YouTube come up with the idea for the film? How did they get the word out to YouTubers and to the world? Why did they create a film in the first place? We called Sara to find out.


Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members? Subscribe to our podcast for more great stories like this one.

*“Every single time we go out there, we're looking to make a connection with people-to make people feel like they came to the right place and that they can carry that forward. A critical number of people have shown us or told us that what we're doing is important to them and that keeps us going.” - Nobu Adilman

*


In 2010, Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to sing in a choir with them at a real estate office where a friend worked in Toronto. He and Daveed prepared some minor arrangements to "Nowhere Man" by The Beatles and "Just A Smile" by Pilot. "It was kind of extraordinary what happened that night. People we didn't even know showed up," Nobu told us.


At the end of the evening, people wanted us to do it again the next day. Choir! Choir! Choir! was born. They ended up hosting the Choir! every Tuesday for the next year.


To participate in a Choir! Choir! Choir! event, you simply show up to their venue, pay five dollars for a lyrics sheet (more if they're touring), rehearse a three-part harmony, and then perform it with a crowd of strangers. Many of their videos have gone viral, from Prince and David Bowie tributes, to sing-alongs led in-person by famous musicians like David Byrne, Rufus Wainwright, and Patti Smith. In our interview, we ask Nobu about how Choir! Choir! Choir! went from something he and some friends started in a real estate office in Toronto to the phenomenon it has become.


The Get-Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

"These communities feel magical, but they don't come together by magic. Someone has to take the first step. " - Kevin Huynh


This is a special episode.


Today I'm interviewing our very own Kevin Christopher Huynh aka "Coach Kevin." Kevin's my co-host, biz partner, bud, and one of the most admirable, fun souls I've met on this planet called Earth.


We're talking to Kevin today about his coaching. Nearly every work day for the last month and a half, Kevin has taken at least one coaching meeting with a nascent community leader. In total he's had 3 conversations in 35 work days, and he's now totally booked through March. (If you want to book a session, reach out here!)


These are not hypothetical communities. These are real groups of people who are actively getting together. We're talking about people like →




  • Krystie, Kat, Kasey from Slant'd Media - an Asian-American media company that gets writers, photographer contributors brought into the fold and hosts events.


  • Kyle from Innerglow - one of the most diverse meditation communities in New York City.


  • Lynn from Homoground - the longest-running queer music podcast with an engaged community of listeners, many of whom don't have access to a queer community near them.


I ask Kevin about what he learned from all these conversations. It'll just be us chatting. If you want to read more of his insights, you can check out his post on research.people-and.com.


"Why join Surfrider? You’re going to have friends for life. I hear people say this is the best thing that they’ve ever done, and that’s

pretty amazing. Beyond all the good work we’re doing, there’s that

human element that’s probably equally valuable." - Dr. Chad Nelsen,

Surfrider CEO



If you’re a surfer, you probably know the Surfrider Foundation. But if you don’t know them, you’re in for a dose of inspiration in this episode of the podcast.


The Surfrider Foundation was formed in 1984 by a handful of surfers who gathered together to protect their home break in Malibu, California, from development and pollution. Now there are 190 Surfrider chapters and clubs and over 500,000 activists and supporters worldwide. These chapters share resources, insights, and form coalitions to push forward the same purpose: protecting the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches.


We spoke to Dr. Chad Nelsen, the CEO of Surfrider. Chad started working at Surfrider when he was 28 years-old and fresh out of grad school. At that time the foundation had just six employees and 20 chapters.


In our conversation Chad shares what they’ve done to expand the organization and its impact—an artful blend of refining their strategy, structure, and storytelling and keeping a sense of fun at the center of what they do.


The Get-Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?


"Running uptown isn't normal, especially our kind of social running.

You might see one middle-aged white person running along Riverside

Drive on a long run, but you never saw anyone running on Broadway,

Amsterdam, or Washington Avenue. So when people started seeing a big

group of us running, it’s very, very different from what they’re used

to." - Hector Espinal, WRU Crew



Growing up in NYC’s Washington Heights neighborhood, Hector Espinal never imagined he’d one day become a runner. “I've never played any sports. All the men in my family are really into sports but me, so I’ve always kind of been the black sheep,” Hec told us. And looking back, he and his friends felt like their neighborhood discouraged a healthy lifestyle, with fast food joints on every corner and few public spaces to play in.


To motivate himself to get fit five years ago, Hector Espinal would invite everyone he knew to join him on runs. Hec stuck with it week in and week out, and soon he had a group of regulars joining him. Today We Run Uptown, or WRU Crew, the run club Hec started, meets every week, even through the dead of winter. As many as 100 diverse runners gather at the same spot in Washington Heights on Mondays at 7:00 pm then take to the streets to hoots and hollers of support from folks in the neighborhood.


How did Hector build something so special? We sat down with him in Central Park to learn more.


The Get-Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?

"The Get-Together" is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?


In 2009, Todd Bol erected the very first Little Free Library book exchange in his front yard in Hudson, Wisconsin. Crafted from an old wooden garage door he didn't want to throw out, Todd built the little library as an ode to his late mother, a schoolteacher and lifelong reader.


Todd watched as the simple concept resonated with his neighbors. Soon people were asking Todd for their own little libraries. By the time of Todd's death in October 2018, there were more than 75,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges around the world in 88 countries.


To learn more about how Todd's simple idea turned into a global movement, we caught up with Margret Aldrich, who leads Marketing & Communication for the organization and authored The Little Free Library Book.

"The Get-Together" is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?


In this episode we interview Dan Madsen, the secret sauce behind the Star Wars Fan Club and the first Star Wars Celebrations.


After a fan zine he created as a Denver teenager was noticed by George Lucas himself, Lucasfilm asked Dan to help them. He was tasked with “[keeping] Star Wars in front of people. I had to keep it alive and vibrant, keep the excitement up,” Dan told us, and man did he nail it.


Dan took over the Star Wars Insider magazine, growing it to 500,000 subscribers at its peak). Eventually he also took the reins of the official Star Wars Fan Club (growing it to 180,000 members), ran a $20 million collectibles business and hosted the very first Star Wars Celebration, bringing tens of thousands of Star Wars fans from around the world together for the first time.


In our interview, we ask Dan about his lifelong devotion to Star Wars and its fans. We’ll dig into how Dan made that first Celebration a success, and also about how he grew his relationship with Lucasfilm from that first zine to a global fan enterprise.


"Whenever we're vulnerable, it enhances our ability to connect." - Lola Omolola, founder of FIN



The Get-Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?


In this episode, we'll speak to Lola Omolola about FIN, the private Facebook group she started for Nigerian women. Today, FIN has 1.8 million members and gets hundreds of post applications every day. The Facebook group is managed by 10 volunteer moderators.


But how did Lola get the first conversations started? How did the first members find out about FIN? We called her in Chicago to learn more.


“I always felt that clouds are a beautiful part of nature that we can become blind to." - Gavin Pretor-Pinney



"The Get-Together" is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?


Today we'll talk to Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society.


In 2004, a friend invited Gavin Pretor-Pinney, a graphic designer, to speak at a literary festival in Cornwall. In hopes of drawing a crowd, Gavin dreamt up an enticing title for his talk, “The Inaugural Lecture of the Cloud Appreciation Society.”


The title worked. Gavin’s talk was chock full of attendees. When he invited audience members to claim an official society pin, Gavin was bombarded. People asked him for more information about the Cloud Appreciation Society, and Gavin had to tell them the society didn’t exist… yet.


He went home and set up a simple website. After just a few months, 2,000 people had joined the society. Today, there are over 45,000 paying members around the world.


How did Gavin build something so special? We called him at his home in Somerset, England, to find out.

If you take away one thing from this podcast, we hope it’s this: don’t fixate on what to ask from people; instead, focus on what you can do with them.


"Get Together" is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh will ask everyday people who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members? You’ll hear us interview a diverse set of organizers, everyone from the head of the Star Wars Fan Club to Lola Omolola, whose Female IN private Facebook group now has more than 1.7m members.


But first, we’ll introduce the people behind the podcast. Bailey, Kevin and Kai are the partners behind People & Company. Together they help organizations build communities—real ones filled with humans who genuinely care and keep showing up. In this pilot episode, you'll learn more about their past work (Instagram, CreativeMornings, eBay) and what makes them tic.