Communities’ Power | MissBiker at FCSEUROPE2018

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I just came back from London where I attended the Facebook Communities Summit, the event held by Facebook and hosting the most important communities all over Europe. Here I had the opportunity to be guest speaker during some workshops, as member of MissBiker, to talk about our Community in terms of strength, growth and development.
I’m more tired than before, but my heart is full of happiness and enthusiasm. I spent two days with other 300 people coming from all over Europe, plus Turkey and Israel: beautiful people, with amazing stories to tell and emotions to share.

During our first day in London I had the opportunity to visit Facebook’s offices: a huge building in the heart of London, with both innovative and futuristic design. I was definitely impressed.
Here I met part of the Facebook Team and 3 of the 5 speakers: Dave, founder of The Yes Tribe – who was sharing the workshop with me – Anne, founder of Girl Gone International, and Denise from CMX Series Berlin. I met the other two missing guys at the dinner at Giant Robot (a really cool place): Alex, from Anti Bullying Pro, and Christian from Make Sense. People full of energy, with fascinating stories and an incredible grit! We were all strangers, but after five minutes I felt like home with some good old friends.

So, after a sleepless night – because of some genuine anxiety – THE DAY arrived!

7 am: time to leave for Here East, creative hub of the capital hosting thousands of start-up companies – from a missing Uber driver, the beauty of the rainy London sky and millions of take-away coffees.
The Facebook Communities Summit starts, at 10am, with a presentation by Nicola Mendelsohn, FB Vp EMEA, who honoured the importance of communities with a personal example: the support she found in the “Living with Follicular Lymphoma” group in facing cures for the illness she got diagnosed with.
Not only a presentation, but a real personal story that shown with no fear all her feelings, her fears and her ability to face what society still draw as an illness “we can’t really call by its name”. In her words there was all the importance of sharing with people in her same situation, who helped her in holding her life in her hands without thinking about “what will happen then”.

After her, Jennifer Dulski – FB Head of Groups & Community – e Chris Cox – Head of Product Management, Design e Marketing – talked about the importance of Communities today, not only in real life but also on virtual one, such as on Facebook, especially to connect people around the globe, and about how Facebook will invest more and more on the power of these groups with a strong social impact.
From The Blind Veterans UK, an organization supporting practically and emotionally all the blind veterans and their families, to Donna Mama, a group that supports moms in France to share advices and information. A real toast to all those people that everyday do their best to help people by sharing experiences and values, no matter what the topic is.

In the end, we saw a small case history about Facebook growth and development, and all the new functions that they’ll introduce. Facebook emerged as an invisible link between all those amazing and inspiring stories.
My first thought went to all the people stating that “Social Network make us feel alone”, without understanding the real power behind it – if used responsibly – and its ability to connect people to not let them feel alone.

In the evening we had then the three workshops: first one, held by Denise and Christian about how to Engage your community, second one held by Anne and Alex about how to Manage your Community and possible conflicts, and third one held by Dave and me on how to growth your community and plan its future.
Rooms full of people, feelings, kindness and will to be there, together.

Personally, I can’t really say how it really was, because feelings were overwhelming me and the day just slipped away. But my shaking leg made me understand that it was happening for real, that the 300 people in front of me, interacting and sharing their experiences and ideas with me, were real.
An incredible event to celebrate Communities and the incredible social value that each one of them have: health’s group supporting “customers”, groups for “mom to be” and who’s already mother, groups for tourism promotion, for political discussion, for fighting bullying and to encourage people to meet in real life. Among all these incredible realities (and others as well) we were there too, the only group about female bikers!
I got back to Milan truly inspired, with the will to do more and more, to catch the first vehicle and go to meet all those amazing people once again, just to share even more.
But for the moment I can only do it virtually. So, I can say ‘Thank you, Facebook’.

I got back to Milan truly inspired, with the will to do more and more, to catch the first vehicle and go to meet all those amazing people once again, just to share even more.
But for the moment I can only do it virtually. So, I can say ‘Thank you, Facebook’.

Gilda Dota
Copyright MissBiker 2018

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