Together Institute
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Together Institute

Community leadership: are we paying enough attention to member enthusiasm?

And when is enthusiasm more important than strategy?

Photo by Nikola Jovanovic

Enthusiasm as a guide for decision making

Case study The Borderland

  • “While enthusiasm is Borderland’s main ingredient, our true secret ingredient is the poetic vision, ambiguous statements and flowery language that inspire people and allow them to galvanise their dreams and inspirations.”
  • They built a platform called Dreams — think of a community-internal Kickstarter — where people can list their project ideas and get funded by other members. “We operate using Dream grants as a significant part of our budget. Dream grants are pots of money to turn a certain vision into reality. In our drive to decentralise we built a platform to allow everyone to participate in the process of allocating the money.”
  • Re Dream grants: “This came with tons of difficulty as it can cause a lot of friction when a dream is not supported by the community. Enthusiasm and inspiration can be a double edged-sword. We reacted by creating a culture where conflicts are met with vision and poetry that can generate growth instead of draining energy.”

Does energy and motivation always trump strategy, consistency and alignment? Probably not.

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Fabian Pfortmüller

Fabian Pfortmüller


Grüezi, Swiss community weaver in Amsterdam, co-founder Together Institute, co-author Community Canvas, |