Community Engagement 101: Fostering Human Connection and Collaboration Online
Our world is increasingly reliant on virtual collaboration. At the same time, techniques for driving genuine engagement and collaboration online often fall short of what is needed. What to do? Ideal State, digital transformation partner to the social sector, has lived this challenge since 2015. We have designed and run several online communities for our clients, which include some of the largest U.S. foundations and nonprofits. In this session, we will share practical knowledge, tools, and experiences—good and bad—based on our years of experience. Participants will also be introduced to Ideal State’s free online toolkit for planning successful online communities, which was developed in collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to spearhead the new #OpenChange online community for changemakers. Join us to unlock the full potential of virtual collaboration for building inclusive community, and to upgrade your skills for the new world of work.
Session Type30 minute session
- Be able to design an inclusive, stakeholder-driven engagement plan around the "why" of your community
- Learn methods for recruiting and mobilizing community champions that can help reduce barriers to member participation
- Welcome new energy and perspectives into stagnant communities using proven, purposeful engagement tactics
Target AudienceAnyone involved in designing or facilitating an online community, community of practice or partner network
Carrie serves as a human-centered design specialist and project manager at Ideal State. She’s passionate about helping organizations transform and improve their digital tools to create even greater positive change in the world.
Prior to joining Ideal State, Carrie served as the Director for Knowledge Management for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), a nationwide refugee resettlement support agency headquartered in Baltimore, MD. She led the development and oversight of processes and systems to foster learning and sharing among LIRS staff and the organization’s national network of refugee resettlement partners. Carrie also managed communications, organizational planning and knowledge management for Everyday Democracy, a national civic organization supporting communities to engage people in dialogue on problem solving on critical public issues.
Carrie holds a master’s in organizational management from Eastern Connecticut State University and resides outside of Baltimore, MD, with her husband and four socially-awkward cats. When not working on digital transformation projects, Carrie enjoys feasting on Maryland crabs, gardening, running, and biking on the C&O Canal Towpath.
Principal and Co-Founder
Sara co-founded Ideal State after nearly 15 years as an international health and development professional. During her time at organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Sara realized that dispersed networks of staff around the world were struggling to keep up with the latest health research and practice discoveries in and outside of their organizations.
Determined to leverage the best thinking and latest technology to tackle this challenge, she discovered the practice of knowledge management (KM) and became a certified KM practitioner. She went on to lead highly successful, technology-driven KM initiatives focused on helping organizations amplify the impact of their work with partners and beneficiaries. At her last position as KM Director for international NGO, Pact, she led an ambitious and highly successful three-year digital transformation effort that resulted in across-the-board efficiency gains and significant reductions in IT system cost and complexity.
As lead strategist for many Ideal State client engagements, Sara blends the practices of knowledge management, change management, and design thinking to bring a fresh, non-IT perspective to even the most technology-laden projects. Her deep experience in the nonprofit sector helps her understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by Ideal State’s nonprofit clients. Sara holds a master’s in public health degree from University of Washington and is based in Santa Fe, NM.