Together Institute
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Together Institute

Paying attention to the community cross-pollinators

Who are the people helping to weave local chapters into a bigger whole?

Photo by Jenna Lee

One of my closest friends, Sebastian Lindström, is a documentary filmmaker who travels a ton for his work. One day he is in Mexico, four days later when I call him he has just arrived in Poland. Being a crucial co-creator of the Sandbox community since its early days, he has visited local members wherever he went and often stayed with them.

Being part of a global community has assumingely brought a lot of friendships, joy and free accommodation to Seb’s life, but at the same time he also has done a great service to the group: he helped cross-pollinate it.

Even though Sandbox is a global community, most activity happens in local chapters (called “hubs” in Sandbox lingo). But hubs can be insular elements of the wider network, unless people actively are connected to members in other places. Parts of that happens through global events or technology. But my sense is that cross-pollinators like Seb play a hugely important role in weaving the different pieces together.

Cross-pollinators are often people who travel a lot for their work or just love a nomadic lifestyle. They bring stories, rumors, insights, questions, rituals, best practices and cultural attitudes from one hub to another. They make introductions across geography. They are a good reason to host a local dinner and energize the local chapter. And as a result they give the local group the feeling of being part of something bigger.

Once we recognized the importance of people like Seb, we created a dedicated role. Local chapters are organized by “ambassadors” and we invited cross-pollinators to become “global ambassadors”.

Who are the people in your community cross-pollinating between the different sub-groups? And what have you learned about working with them?

Thank you

Thank you to Seb and all the other Sandbox global ambassadors for helping to weave the whole.

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Fabian Pfortmüller

Fabian Pfortmüller

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