26 August 2018

Why and how to do an “Attends” or “Goes To” event for your community group

Communities often demand a constant source of nurturing for healthy maintenance and growth.

Meet-up events are a great way to do this but organising such events can be exhausting and time consuming. Especially, the complex ones that need preparation and a hired venue – speaker events, presentations and discussion groups, for instance.

A great strategy for relieving stress on the organisers, while maintaining the momentum and growth of your community, is to organise “attends” or “goes to” events.

These events don’t need you to curate the core content because someone else has already done the hard work.

Think of all the benefits:

  • Low amount of effort to organise.
  • Grow your community by mixing as a group with other people that are like you.
  • Frequent events help in keeping the momentum up.
  • You could come across partners for future events. Such as other local groups who’d want to run “attends” events to bring their community to your events.
  • Reduce costs by getting group discounts, traveling together and avoiding the need to hire venue or equipment for your events.
  • You can encourage other groups to attend your events by officially attending their events. A great way to cross-pollinate.

1. Find relevant events

Your community probably has a lot of overlap with other communities and things going on in your local area – or even ones you can travel to.

a) Attend regional or national events

If your group is (officially or unofficially) part of a bigger network of groups (e.g. a club, society, social movement) there’s likely bigger events being held in your city or in another city that your group could “officially” attend together.

You can save on hotels and transfers by sharing stay, travel and booking expenses.

b) Attend talks, discussions or conferences by other groups

Often there are adjacent groups to yours that have similar overlapping interests and topics.

You can easily find them on sites like Meetup, Eventbrite or Facebook.

If you get in touch there’s often an opportunity to partner with them or arrange for a group discount.

c) Films, shows, festivals

These are often much bigger than your own group and require little other than sometimes booking ahead, picking a time and showing up.

You can find them on listing sites that have choices from local government, cinemas, venues or chambers of commerce

This works the best when you have a central meeting point. You can use it to meet with your group for food and drinks before or after the central event.

d) Take part as a team in a sporting event, volunteering or a fundraiser

Find them by searching online or asking your community about the ongoing campaigns that they are already involved with.

2. Confirm a core group of people who will be able to attend the event

Use existing channels to post the event details such as Facebook, Meetup or email, tailored for your community.

Make sure to mention that this would be an externally organised event. Provide the details for booking tickets, travelling logistics, significance of the event to your community, who is the community point of contact and where will all the members meet before the official start time.

3. Show up, find each other, and enjoy it!

The hard easy work is done, and all you need to do is have fun!

 Later you can review the whole event. You could talk on how to improve the experience, and if such events could work out for your community in the future.


A quick Google search can show you how other groups are doing such kinds of events:

Now, over to you…

So, will you organise such an event? Why or why not? If you do already, how do you do it? Share your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments.


16 July 2018

Stop trying to 'achieve'


I live in a society that celebrates people who do TED Talks that go viral, people who own three properties before they are 30 and become CEOs by 40, people who found organisations and write best-selling books. People who, in short, achieve. I live in a Type A, success-orientated society, where ‘success’ is understood to apply to the the achievements of the individual, and stands as a barometer for personal value.

We all swim in these waters - even those of us who profess to live by other values and alternative paradigms that emphasise collective good over individual gain. Success-culture envelopes our bodies and moves across our skin in the most natural way imaginable. This is why there is such a proliferation of organisations and movements trying to create a better, more just, and more environmentally sustainable world, and why so many people feel the need to make their mark and instigate even more. We know, on one level, that change happens only when we put personal agendas aside to work together for the collective good. But to put a personal ‘success’ agenda to rest is as shocking to the system as a fish that has leapt onto dry land, or a baby who gasps a first breath. To many of us, it feels like death. Who am I if I don’t ‘achieve’? 

I write these words with the shame of remembering my own self-promotion as I have sought personal success, and also a degree of compassion towards myself for being so thoroughly human. 

Also, as a woman and a feminist, I write a very tentative critique of the over-valuing of personal achievement, because for too long women have put aside our personal agendas for the (seeming) benefit of everybody else. Women have been socialised not to be personally ambitious, and when we are, countless barriers are put in our way to prevent us from reaching our goals. As I write about the need to lay aside the drive for personal success in pursuit of a greater good, I do so with a tight-fisted caveat that women and other marginalised groups must not obliterate our selves in the process. 

It is my firm belief that one must become all that one can possibly be in order for us to create a world marked by justice, equality and caring custodianship of our earth. Surely we are in an excellent position to bring about these things when everybody is able to reach their potential. But ‘reaching one’s potential’ is not the same thing as the way that my society understands ‘achieving’. It is very possible that reaching one’s potential involves TED Talks and book authorships and CEO roles - and it is of upmost importance that women, people of colour, LGBTIQ people and people with disabilities are fully represented in these achievements. However, one may reach their potential in a great myriad of other ways, that do not attract much congratulations and are not celebrated as any great ‘achievement’.

Perhaps paradoxically, we only reach the heights, depths and outer-edges of the potential self when we first give away our desire for personal success. We must escape the invisible, lukewarm waters of the surrounding culture’s value-system - which is the very value-system that is killing us - and breathe something new. Because the pursuit of personal success only leads to two things: either personal success, or personal failure. There is nothing that will change the world in that. Personal achievements keep us fat and content with our lives, and unaware that we could be playing a wholly different game. But by giving up the pursuit, we can open ourselves up to playing the critical part that is required of us to play - whatever that part looks like - and work as co-creators of a better world. 

The difficult thing is how to tell when we are motivated by our desire for ‘success’, and when we are motivated by a deeper stirring to be all that we can be [...]


July 2015



December 2013

tea for free


March 2012

A Good Story

Looking for webmail or