PIFO 2024

Sometimes a step back is the fastest way to move forward.

In the new year, I want to take a step back with community building in its current form (bring people together and wait for magic to happen) and learn from all the signals/noises of the past 6 years of community building. 

It is a pattern and the pattern repeated itself in 2023 as well. 

As long as I pour myself into it, it works and shows phenomenal results. 

We read one book every week for 24 weeks. We wrote every single day of the month. We shared our narratives (and stories) every week for 15 weeks. We made a visual everyday for 2 weeks. The community grew leaps and bounds. We kept it no nonsense and the sanctity of the space was kept up by everyone. It truly felt sacred. 

Then, Life happened to me. I ended up dealing with two terminal illness in the family, lost two important people of my life and I had to step back. The minute I stepped back, it became a ghost town. 

Amazing people came forward to volunteer but keeping the rigor falls apart as life happens to everyone. This is not a new learning. This has been the case for the past half a decade. My resilience and grit kept on trying different modes and mediums. I guess sometimes resilience and grit needs to pivot too. It is not helping me or others to actually become better and as a result belong which was the original intent of the Makers Guild. 

While all these realisations was hitting me hard, there were some amazing things that happened as well. These are cohorts. 

Short sprints of betterment for reading, writing, visual thinking and storytelling was the best that happened to me and many folks in our community in 2023. Cohorts for health (aka Sensibowl) is rocking. Mentor circles was the most fulfilling cohort I have ever done in my entire life. So something is working fabulously there. 

While communities are not working cohorts are. This year I want to double down on what is working and let go of what is not working and still make the vision happen. 

Listening to the signals (and noises) and learning from it is a core job of a designer. It is time to pivot the strategy. 

My hypothesis was if belonging is set, betterment is a byproduct. I guess I need a slight tweak to that hypothesis. Evidence shows that if betterment is the strive, belonging thrives. 

So betterment will be the objective and belonging can be a by product. This is the direction #pifo will take in 2024 and we will keep learning as we go forward. 

When awareness is sharpened, action changes. That is what #pifo will focus on. 

Being vulnerable with things that are not working is hard. But hey, that is what community is for. Stay tuned on the cohort dates for 2024 and let’s rock it 🫶

#pifo #community #makersguild

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