Community Building in Russian

by Emma Estborn - 19/09/2016 - 14:12

“If you want to meet likeminded people and hang out at a great place in Moscow, go to Strelka”. That’s the advice Kajsa and I got before leaving to Russia, and luckily that’s what we were about to do. By invitation from the Swedish Embassy in Moscow, we shared our “Malmö way” of working in a talk and workshop at amazing Strelka Institute. About 350 creative people from all over Moscow and Russia learned from how Minc and Media Evolution both work with community building and engagement, to co-create a sustainable future. Here’s what we shared.

“Developing Creative Industries by cross sectorial collaboration” was the headline of our talk at Strelka’s open air stage, as part of their summer evening talk program. With focus on how to build a sharing community and enable convergent development, we shared the ‘secret sauce’ that unites Minc and Media Evolution.

The key success factors for how we both have enabled city and creative industries development, is by working with three different perspectives:

  • Infrastructure - to define important stakeholders and build an infrastructure of networked organizations
  • Community - to engage and involve organisations and businesses
  • People - to generate and sustain co-creation with creative individuals and participants

It’s all about the people. The engaged individuals in the community is what gets the infrastructure moving. So what’s the secret sauce of how we make all of this work? The core methods that Minc and Media Evolution have in common, comes down to three things that functions as the base of everything we both do.

  • Transparency. Build an open, sharing and transparent culture. Enable this by designing formats where you feel safe to open up, and spaces where you can’t look yourself in. The see-through glass walls at Media Evolution City and the one-and-only coffee machine at Minc’s bottom floor, are’nt a coincidence.
  • Flexibility. Organise to be in constant change. When working with communities of many different companies and ever-changing needs, design your organisation to be responsive to this. Create formats and a business model that can deliver on both a short term and a long term basis.
  • Engagement. Is what it all comes down to. Listen - do - ask - listen. Develop in collaboration with, not for, the organisations and people in the community. That’s how you evolve the solutions people care about, and enable sustainable development.

The day after our talk, 18 people from creative clusters all over Russia engaged in a full day workshop on how to design to make all (or some) of the above happen in their cities. Hopefully, we have made a small step to enable a larger evolution by community building in russian..:)

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Media Evolution