Starting your #MeetupMonday conversation

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about #MeetupMonday and what you can do to build a stronger community. Whether you’re organizing or want to know more about how to participate, these simple suggestions can set you up for success.

If you’re an Organizer of a Meetup group, just schedule a Meetup with #MeetupMonday in the title to participate. Just like Meetup, #MeetupMonday is about building community. Check our #MeetupMonday Community Guidelines to learn more.

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#MeetupMonday Discussion Guide
Created by Citizen University

Goals

These Monday conversations, launching Martin Luther King Jr. Day, are made possible by Meetup and facilitated by partners like Citizen University and others.

Our hope is for participants to:

  • see and hear each other more fully
  • build trust and empathy
  • create a sense of shared destiny and common purpose

Rules

We’ll follow a simple 90-minute “talking circle” format. Form circles of 6-8 people. Agree on a timekeeper to guide the process. There will be four phases of about 20 minutes each.

  1. Participants introduce themselves by answering, in 3 minutes or less, a simple question: Why did you show up today?
  2. Everyone gets a chance to speak for 3 minutes to the topic you choose (see next section).
  3. Participants respond to each other with questions or reflections.
  4. Each participant commits to a next step, like volunteering or getting involved in local issues or organizing more gatherings.

Here are some ground rules for productive conversations:

  • listen deeply and compassionately – don’t interrupt to disagree or comment
  • respect the circle – turn off devices; don’t speak for more than allotted time
  • everyone gets heard – no one speaks a second time until all have spoken once
  • “yes, and” – don’t respond with “no” or “but”; try to bridge with “yes, and”
  • disagree well – don’t accuse others or be defensive; assume good faith

Topics

Here are a few possible questions to start and center the conversation. Choose one:

  • What is your dream for America now?
  • How can citizens like us build what King called “the beloved community”?
  • How do we convert protest to empowerment?

Each time round the circle, unexpected human connections will emerge. Listen for them. If the conversation drifts, return to the topic. There’s no “correct” outcome—but if everyone commits to sustaining the conversation, you’ll come up with ideas. And you’ll be practicing the kind of citizenship our country needs today.

Download this guide as a pdf

Meetup 2014: Culture Shifts by State

As 2014 winds down, we decided to take a look at the year in review, according to our data. Our team dug into Meetup group category growth by state to get a feel for America’s shifting interests landscape over the past twelve months. The results were more varied and interesting than we ever could have imagined…

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