WTF is a ‘Community Call’?
WAO Members have been establishing and running community calls for a long, long time. Laura Hilliger wrote a post for Opensource.com back in 2016 in which she described what they are, how to get started and all the important bips and bobs to running these types of online meetings. She wrote:
You might think of community calls as office hours for particular themes, or as design sessions for programs. A community call is a meeting, held online, that invites people to gather at a specific time each week or month. They’re recurring and open to anyone who wishes to join. A community call is a tool for solving problems, breaking out of individual silos, and finding points of connection between different initiatives or people. Most importantly, a great call serves as a launchpad for communities. Community calls bring people together from all over the world. They serve as a social and cultural touchstone. It’s all about connection.Laura Hilliger, “11 steps to running an online community meeting”, Opensource.com 2016
We encourage you to read her full post. Over the years, we’ve found that community calls are better than your typical meeting. We’ve developed a free online course that further touches on the mindsets and behaviours needed to facilitate such a call.
Communities are made up of living breathing humans, so every single one is different. We recommend starting with an Architecture of Participation and then figuring out how a community call can support your contributors, volunteers, staff or audience.
We’ve run community calls with Greenpeace, Mozilla, Red Hat, Catalyst, the CoTech network and likely elsewhere too. Read some community call posts here: