THNK School of Creative Leadership has grown to more than 400 people in its first six years. This rapid growth rate makes it necessary to understand the needs and potential of such a rich and diverse group of belonging. To go beyond our current understanding of community, we needed to research religious groups, guilds, pioneer groups, families, the mafia, political parties, cults, online communities, alumni groups, movements, and tribes throughout history.
We immediately compared the differences and explored the commonalities that defined a segment, a network, and a community. We explored the world and understood that building a community stands alone by bringing together people that share a common belief, a lifestyle preference, or inherited customs. Think about the bonding agents of a fraternity, or a political movement, such as the Suffragettes. Though each group’s purpose inevitably varies, the solidifier is always within the boundaries of a shared belief or goal. A school like THNK, made up of a global group of leaders, truly believes in changing the world for the better and is actively participating in making that happen, by using shared language, experiences, and a tribal assurance of belonging.
Communities, however, will dissipate if neglected. They need nourishment and dedication from their members through traditions, behaviors, and a sharing of knowledge. We’ve broken down the elements of how to build a community by giving them eight specific design characteristics.