March | April 2020
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COMMUNITY AND RELEVANCE. THESE ARE THE twin North Stars that guide my business (I like twins, if you didn’t know). With these as our guide, we recently hosted our first-ever event, Roast Summit. This event brought 150 people together for two days of learning from guest speakers and hands-on workshops. Per the intent, ideas (relevance) were shared (community) at a scale where people could make lasting bonds. It was one of the proudest experiences of my career because it perfectly aligned with my North Stars.
Community and relevance are interdependent. They are bodies leaning backward with hands and wrists clasped together. Without relevance, there is no community. A magazine based on advertorials, a website that lacks original content, or an event without cutting-edge speakers and meaningful ways to participate provides no bond for a community. Relevance is the invisible force that mobilizes a community.
To us at Roast, “relevance” means providing content, in many forms, that inspires action. Those actions might be moving in new directions, leading others in the community or creating distinctive content. In whatever form of media it takes, Roast succeeds in being relevant when you, our readers, are pushing yourselves and those around you to work on being relevant. We succeed when you begin asking questions such as, “Where are we going?” and “How are we going to get there?” And most important: “Why are we going there?”
To Roast, “community” means providing platforms at a scale in which people can connect as individuals, both within and beyond the limitations of geography. Roast Summit created the space, with limitations of geography; however, the people who spoke, the people who attended and the people who worked the event created the community. Roast brings authoritative authors to all members of its community, regardless of geography or ability to attend events, creating a community of ideas that, at its best, inspires people to take the ideas presented and make them real in their own communities.
The real challenge Roast faces is in continuing to excel in finding new ways to build a community space for thousands of people to make individual connections. When done right, community and relevance are in perfect balance; however, it takes constant adjustment and energy. We are excited to continue on this journey and hope that our community will continue to find us relevant.