Making connections in Malmö, Sweden

by Celeste Hamilton Dennis on May 5, 2014

Connector Julieta Talavera first heard about Connectors when we did some preliminary testing of the concept with a small group of New Yorkers a couple of years ago. The idea immediately resonated with her.

“I thought, this is amazing. We need Connectors,” the Argentina native says.

She decided to try out an early version of a 3Qs meeting at her local laundromat, and also set up a box at the library where people could write what was stopping them from taking action and why.

While she never got to see the fruits of her efforts there because she soon moved to Malmö, Sweden, to study international relations, Julieta carried the idea of Connectors to her new home.

In Malmö, with the help of her friend Jonathan Ng, she recruited people to participate in a 3Qs meeting by telling people they knew and posting flyers across the city. Their particular interest and focus was people interested in social entrepreneurship and innovation.

By promoting and hosting the 3Qs meeting, “we had an excuse to knock on doors, find interesting people, make friends, share experiences, and learn from each other,” she says.

Connectors Malmö is all about looping the city’s resources together.
(photo courtesy Șuiu Marius)

After the initial meeting, they became a support group for their own social innovation projects and then began inviting more people to join the group and speak at their meet-ups. Eventually, they evolved into Connectors Malmö, an organization that encourages connections and collaborations to make Malmö and the world a better place.

They do this in a variety of ways, such as bike tours that introduce people to creative spaces, incubators, and more around town; 24 hour social innovation camps that pair problems with creative problem-solvers; a networking event called the Connectors Salon; a citywide calendar; a map that will visualize and categorize all the resources in the city, from libraries to funding opportunities; and more.

“We help people take their first step,” she says. “If you can prove to yourself you can do it once, then the second and third time come along easier. We really try to encourage that.”

Recently, they also started the Networking Bank, a database of people willing to share their skills for the common good.

“If you want to do something, you need to collaborate with others. You need to meet other people,” she says. “There’s no other way.”

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Think something like the Connectors Salon or Networking Bank could help your Team? Feel free to reach out to Connectors Malmö for advice on getting started: contact@connectorsmalmo.com.

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