by: Scott Bakken
What an incredible week! We try to place into words the 3 days at Socality PDX but words simply aren't enough. It is something that just needs to be experienced. So much to the point, where people immediately ask when is the next one! The truth is the event is just a touch point, but the heartbeat is carried on by every individual that goes back to their communities and brings Socality to life!
One of the most amazing things is when guest speaker Andi Andrew said within 5 minutes of arriving was ,"this is a true community". People hugging each other with sincere love and excitement, only to have met that day. People who had followed each other on social platforms for years now having a face to face encounter. Others who have not followed each other connecting quickly. I love what attendee Chris King said. "I expected to experience some snobbery and pretentiousness, especially having experienced people like that in the music world all too often. But there was none of that. I had legitimate conversations with at least 50 people, and every person I met was friendly, open, sincere, genuine and loving."
There is something significant happening through Socality and the culture that is being developed by the people, either in leadership or those attending. The core team came together just to serve this community. We had a team of volunteers who gave over 100 hours of building, constructing and designing sets and structure, packing swag bags and setting up for the event. When it came time to tear down, people just threw their hands in to help pack down and clean the venue. No one getting paid, just hearts beaming with joy just because we are building a space where people belong. This is a true family, a sincere community and anyone who attends an event or is following online is apart of shaping and developing this movement.
The three days brought main sessions ( which will be online soon) as well as workshops in the arts and leadership. Andi Andrew kicked off the weekend with a incredibly inspiring and challenging message encouraging us to be catalysts for community. Our second session focused on your story as Brit Moore and Ian Nelson made us laugh and cry sharing their personal journeys. The round table brought up Jeffrey Gerson, Instagram's Community Manager of North America to inspire and teach about developing a social platform as well as Tim Landis and Andi Andrew.
Sharing the Socality keynote and announcing Socality Community Projects was a highlight. We were able to clearly answer what is socality and how can you get involved. This was huge for us as we want to enable people right where they live to jump in and be a catalyst for change right where they live. We know that as people gather and build community right where they live and use their creative abilities for social good, that socality can truly make a difference. While we have connected via social media, socality is about faith in action. Being the hands and feet of Jesus wherever we live and the joining this story to the others around the world. We are really excited to see people make a difference.
Dale Partridge, founder of Sevenly and The Daily Positive blew our minds with his keynote, People Over Profit. What Dale invested into our community was of such high value that it truly inspired us!
The community excursion to Cannon Beach was completely unforgettable. Pouring rain and winds up to 70mph quickly renamed the event #soakedcality. Drenched from head to toe and fighting against violent winds, our community was true to form as we braved the storm. We gathered on the beach for the experience that will never be forgotten. Meeting at haystack rock, these moments were forever captured and shared on social media #socalitypdx.
As we all boarded the buses for the journey home, we were dripping from top bottom with the Oregon rains. Uncomfortable, wet and soaked we couldn't have been happier. Driving up to the venue people were hugging and laughing while others shook the remaining sands of Cannon Beach from their boots.
Socality PDX- a 3 day event that has brought friendships for life. The event may be over but now the real stories and journeys begin. Stories that will unfold from conversations that took place between dreamers, entrepreneurs and creatives.
Something is changing in the atmosphere of our communities. There is a shift from these mega crowds where people join an assembly line of production over to organically grown communities where people gather around common themes and contribute their heart, gift and authentic self. People who are truly appreciating each other for the individual they are and understanding that as a whole we are part of something rather significant. Belonging is more than a word, it's a true value, a non negotiable. Jesus is the center and His word and calling is our true north and His love is the compass. Social status and platforms are all brought to a equal surface as we look past celebrity and work together on common ground for common goal; that we could all actually be the hands and feet of Jesus and we GET to do this together. The only name in lights will be the only name that matters. Jesus.
I want to personally extend my biggest thank you to the team who gave so much to make the weekend possible. To our guests who keynoted and to all the hosts that helped house people! To our sponsors Dapper and Wise, Sackcloth and Ashes, Perspectives Global and The Giving Keys; Now more than sponsors but friends and partners! To all the volunteers and A Jesus Church for their incredible support and opening up their doors to host us all. Finally, to those who came, you are more than attendees, you are part of the family! We hope you know that you are valued and loved and that your presence made all the difference! You truly helped create this memorable experience!
IT'S GO TIME
And now with Socality Community Projects we can look forward to bringing the heartbeat of Socality into every community! Gather friends new and old, join creatives forces and bring others into the story and let's make a difference right in our own backyards! This is how you get involved. Let's surprise our communities with goodness and actually put love into motion! It is officially go time!
All for eternity
Scott and Socality team