This weekend world leaders will convene at the United Nations for a landmark summit on the climate crisis. But the summit isn’t the biggest news—on Sunday, just outside the doors of the UN, thousands of people will add their voices to the debate by joining what’s expected to be the largest Climate March in history. The People’s Climate March will bring people of all stripes together to peacefully flood the streets of New York. Together, the marchers will make their way through Manhattan, taking a collective stand for the kind of world we all want to live in. In addition to the businesses, unions, schools, and church groups marching for change, many local Meetups will be participating.
Today we’re proud to join the Internet Slowdown to defend net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commissions is close to rendering a decision regarding potential internet regulations and the stakes couldn’t be higher. “The FCC’s current proposal surrounding the issue of net neutrality threatens the concept of a free and open internet,” explains Meetup’s general counsel David Pashman. “The FCC’s proposal would create a two-tiered internet with slow lanes for most companies and fast lanes for those willing and able to pay for it. This two-tiered system fundamentally alters the nature of the internet as an open platform for innovation and entrepreneurship and threatens the economic growth that it has supported.”
The FCC’s proposed regulations go against the openness of communication and community that Meetup was created to support. Meetup believes that tech companies should compete on the basis of their products and services, not on their financial ability to negotiate a better deal with internet access providers. If rules like these had existed when Meetup was founded, we might not be sitting here, watching more than 170 thousand Meetups thrive, today. That’s why we’re banding together with internet advocates and like-minded companies across the country today to Go Slow, and inviting our members and organizers to join us. We hope that this collective action spreads awareness and inspires people who use and depend on the internet every day to rally against these restrictions. We all have to work together to make sure regulators see and understand that a truly free and open internet is the only way to go.
Meetup has already taken a stand—in July, we submitted comments with the FCC in support of net neutrality. Stand with us, and make your voice heard. Tell lawmakers to protect internet freedom and defend net neutrality.
Meetup is pursuing a big goal: a Meetup Everywhere, about Most Everything. “Everything” is, admittedly, a broad pursuit, so we’d like to take a moment to share what exactly “Most Everything” means to our Meetup community.
The variety of Meetups on the platform surprises and delights us day in and day out. Meetup members, it seems, are passionate about everything under the sun. At Meetup HQ, we approach those passions agnostically. Whatever you’re into socially, politically, religiously, whatever you want to Meetup about—chances are we’re cool with it. The few exceptions to the rule, and the precedents we expect all Meetups to adhere to, are outlined in our Community Guidelines. Our Community Guidelines are a set of principles that outline the kind of Meetups allowed on the platform. They help us make sure that every group is aligned with Meetup’s mission to build local community, and ensure that the Meetup community stays as friendly, welcoming, and respectful as we want it to be. The guidelines are pretty straightforward, but here are the headlines below.
On August 9th, an over 50 basketball team from Yokohama, Japan, faced off with an over 40 basketball Meetup from San Jose, California. The game was organized by two players named Mike – Mike B. from California, and Mike S. from Japan. We caught up with both Mikes after the game to learn how it all came about…and, of course, to find out who won.
“I grew up playing basketball,” Mike B. explains, “but when I turned 35 I felt too old to keep playing. I thought, ‘okay, this is a sport I can’t play anymore.’” He stopped playing, and shortly after turning 50, found himself joining Meetups about everything from business networking, to food and film. “I joined all these Meetups and realized, ‘I think I can pull this off and start to play again,’” he remembers. In December 2011, he created the Over 40 Pickup Basketball Meetup in San Jose, California. He wasn’t sure what to expect, but the response was overwhelmingly positive. “I think there are a lot of people like me, who grew up playing and gave it up when they got older,” he says. “We’ve had people come from up to 70 miles away to play.” Today the Meetup is over 130 members strong. “I’m always blown away when I see how many Meetups we’ve had. It’s really amazing. It’s changed a lot of people’s lives. Most of the people who play say, ‘I haven’t played in ten years!’ One guy lost 30 pounds since he started playing again.”
Over 5,000 miles away, in Yokohama, Japan, Mike S. plays on a similar team for basketball players over 50. “I’ve played with my team in Yokohama for just a little over a year,” he says. “These guys are all retired and some have played together since high school, for more than 40 years now. We practice a couple times a month and get together once a month for a senior tournament.” The team also travels together to watch and play games outside of Japan. A few months back, they got to work planning their third overseas trip, this time to California. As the only English speaker on the team, Mike S. helped out with the planning. “Our organizer asked me to arrange a game in California,” he says. “I did a search online for seniors basketball and up came Mike B.’s Meetup.”