I just finished the Microsolidarity Practice Program and want to give a recommendation by way of sharing my experience with you. This course is put on by Nati Lombardo and Rich Bartlett of The Hum, one of many companies birthed out of Enspiral. I recommend the "What is Enspiral?" video on their homepage, but they are a community of people (weighted to New Zealand) supporting each other to do more meaningful work.
I've known of Rich and Enspiral for a bit now via Twitter, and had read enough of Rich's writings about microsolidarity and other things, as well as a few podcasts, that signing up was just an absolute no-brainer for me. The space of "building community" is of course my whole jam right now, and this two-week class hanging with Rich and Nati and the people they've attracted was just such a richly diverse space. Community-builders from Chile and Peru to France and the Netherlands joined our Kiwi and Argentinian hosts presenting from Italy, all feeling the kinship of our shared aims.
Connection and belonging happens on many levels:
The strongest insight I'm taking away with me is of the role of congregations (about 100-200 people) as a container/superstructure for containing, seeding, and re-launching many different crews (small groups, 5-10). If you just have a crowd, you don't have the feeling of trust and safety in connection that you can get in a Dunbar village. This rings true from my experience of small church vs big church and small company vs big company. It's a useful and perhaps essential level of organization that I was previously short-changing. (I had some previous thoughts about software serving as crowd management, mediating and monitoring trust levels for each person's virtual network... that might not be wrong, but it does seem more risky and un-instinctual at least.)
My relational takeaway might be even stronger than any insight in the course. The connections across this cohort of people were fast and beautiful, flowing (in my perception) directly from the commonality of being attracted to Rich & Nati's philosophies, concepts, and way of being. I hope to continue several engagements with various folks, but even more than the specific individuals this has been a great reminder of the value of co-creation, self-organization, serendipity, and cross-functional teaming. I'm re-examining my own understanding of balance in community leadership: how strong of a "call" or caller is needed to point in the specific direction, and then how much and how soon can the caller step aside to make space for communal ownership and fractal leadership? As much as is needed to point in a specific-enough direction to attract people who resonate strongly with that vector... and no more - maybe even a little less!
Of course time put in, depth of thought/convictions, legal status differences, residual social status of "caller"-ness, all of those are real and exist. They're just not the same as "founder who is the sole keeper of the true vision". And they can and should be explicitly sensed, named, and discussed to process them in intentional awareness.
So anyway, I recommend this course and meta-community - your mileage may vary, of course, everyone has their own experience. But if you're looking for tools, for support, for kindred spirits, there probably aren't too may better and accessible places to look. Ciao.