Get Together

Realizing a global movement 📣 Colombe Cahen-Salvador, Andrea Venzon & Laura Giani, NOW!

Episode Summary

An interview hosted by Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh with Colombe Cahen-Salvador, Andrea Venzon, and Laura Giani, the leaders behind NOW! a global, digital-first movement bringing people from all over the world together to tackle global issues. Colombe and Andrea forged the movement as co-founders and Laura is a volunteer turned campaign manager. We talked with them about finding a common call to action: the common reason WHY your people continue you to show up.

Episode Notes

“We really managed to create a community of doers. Our people always look at how they can impact the world, how they can impact change.”  - Colombe Cahen-Salvador

In 2016, Colombe, Laura, and Andrea were devastated by the UK's decision to leave the European Union. Colombe is French, and Andrea and Laura are Italian. For them, the E.U. is a symbol of a more open and global society.

In response, the team completely changed their lives to organize. Colombe and Andrea started by creating Volt, a pan-European political party. They were the first to attempt and succeed in building a continent-wide political party. 

But in doing so they realized the biggest issues of our time weren’t just European issues, they were global issues–climate change, big tech, and the rise of fascism. Action would be meaningless unless the world bands together. 

Colombe, Andrea, and Laura have been working over the last year on a global campaign movement called NOW! to unite and solve shared global challenges. We talk with them about how they are developing leaders around the world and taking action together.

Highlights, inspiration, & key learnings:

👋🏻Say hi to Colombe, Laura, and Andrea and learn more about NOW!

📄See the full transcript

This podcast was created by the team at People & Company. 

🔥Say hi! We would love to get to know you.

We published GET TOGETHER📙, a handbook on community-building. 

And we help organizations like Nike, Porsche, Substack, and Surfrider make smart bets with their community-building investments.

Hit subscribe🎙 and head over to our website to learn about the work we do with passionate, community-centered organizations.

Episode Transcription

Note: This transcript is automatically generated and there may be some errors. Timestamps may vary slightly based on episode announcement & commercial placement.


Bailey (00:00):

Welcome to get together. It's our show about ordinary people, building extraordinary communities. I'm your host, Bailey Richardson. I'm a partner at people and company and a co-author of get together how to build a community with your people.


Kevin (00:20):

And I'm Kevin, Bailey's co-host today. Also a partner at people in company. That's our strategy company, where we help organizations build meaningful communities.


Bailey (00:29):

In each episode of our podcast, we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds, maybe even thousands more members today we're talking to the leaders of now cologne, cayenne Salvador, Andrea Venzon and Laura Gianni in 2016, cologne, Laura and Andrea were devastated by the UK. His decision to leave the European union Columbus, French and Andrea and Laura are Italian. So for them, the EU is a symbol of a more open and global society. The team completely changed their lives to start a political party. Coloma, Andrea created volt, a brand new pan European party. They were the first people to attempt and succeed in building a continent wide political party in the history of the European union, but in doing so, they realized two things.


Bailey (01:23):

First, they observed that the biggest issues of our time are global issues that even national party politics are unable to respond to sufficiently issues like climate change regulating the tech giants, taxing those big global companies and protecting human rights. Action will be meaningless. They realize unless the whole world joins in second, they notice that today's youth are energized about political issues, but not about politics while the young generation is as ambitious and idealistic as ever most young people's thoughts on politics seem limited to who should I vote to stop? Thus today, informal quasi leaders lists digital first movements are taking the role formerly occupied by political parties to rally supporters and make the case for change. So cologne, Andrea and Laura have been working over the last year on a global campaign called now to unite and solve shared global challenges through developing leaders around the world and coordinating actions together. Numbers have now put pressure on governments to pass into law shared solutions to those huge global challenges. Kevin what's one thing you learned from our conversation today with the now team.


Kevin (02:38):

Well, I'm going to be thinking about after this interview is the power of finding common calls to action among very different people in different places, with different backgrounds. You know, to me now is figuring this out live for instance, connecting people around the world to put more women in power, to shift representation of women in political offices. Now, now what that looks like and how to make it happen may look very different depending on the place, but at a high level. It's what many people care about and they can learn from each other and inspire each other to help make more of that happen. So I think even if you're building a smaller community around an interest or profession, and you wouldn't consider yourself a political movement, there's a lesson there, right? How you probably have an opportunity to find that common call to action and enable your people to act on it together. You as a leader or an organizer, have that visibility to kind of see where the commonality lies. I love


Bailey (03:36):

That. You ready to jump in caste?


Kevin (03:38):

Let's jump in. Yeah.


Bailey (03:46):

All right. Calum, Laura and Andrea, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. I'm so inspired by your work. And I can't wait to have this conversation today. We really feel like people who are doing work to organize communities of people, they can't fake the funk. As we like to say, you know, they're motivated by something personal and meaningful to them in the work that they do. So I'm curious, you know, what drove you each of you, perhaps, whether it was your upbringing, your personality, maybe life experiences to change your life and devote yourself to a political movement.


Andrea (04:21):

Thank you so much. Vinnie's for these opportunities. We're very delighted to be here. I think this first question I think that obviously each one, each one of us has different experience, so I'm going to speak for myself. But I think that the whole motive behind the work that we started first focused on Europe and now with a global perspective is the fact that people actually at the same hope syndromes across borders. And they really want to have a way to get together and express these hopes and dreams and work together for, to achieve some results. And these was clear for us during our first work that we didn't eat on Europe during the European elections, when it was clear that at least a significant amount of the population of Europe felt like we w we came from the same background.


Andrea (05:14):

We had the same. We have you know, hoping for a different kind of politics, different kinds of vision of the future of our continent, but there was no way to express that all our political parties, movements and social movements were really nationally focused. And so we brought, we gave a house to these people, or at least we gave away for these people to build a house and together we built communities all over Europe, and we'll not talk about this later. But we found a way to bridge differences and bring people to work together. And the same happened when we actually shifted our focus to the global level. And this is what we're doing right now. And we noticed that there absolutely no reason for people from different cultures or different you know, religious groups or different simply different contents, not to work together, to tackle the biggest challenges of our times. And obviously the pandemic is one of them, for me, the idea of actually bringing people together across borders and give them a meaningful way to engage on the topics that are defining our lives is definitely what brought me to take on this.


Laura (06:27):

I'm coming from a different experience from Andrea and Columbia, because I just jumped straight into now when I saw Andre and Columbia launching it in January of this year, the project of now really gave me the space to do some good in the world. So I, I took the plan, Jen, I joined Andrea and Columbia in this new projects of now.


Bailey (06:51):

One thing I I'd love to point out just because, you know, I'm an American and calves and American, and we, you know, haven't had the exact same experiences of what you call the harassments generation. That's, to me seems like such an important rich insight that you've had and are taking to a global perspective now, but sort of was incubated in your experiences being a part of this generation of Europeans, who, who could experience and connect with other cultures in a way that so many others had had had more friction in doing before.


Colombe (07:31):

I don't think any of us did Erasmus. Obviously it's easier to connect with someone if you have some sorts of shared experience. So if you, you know, if you were able to travel to that place, that's great. But we realized very quickly that we usually share the same hopes and dreams across borders. And I know it sounds super cheesy to say this, but I really mean it. We connect with people from Naval B and I'm from Paris and lots from Rome, and then people in Seattle in the U S and in Hong Kong working together to try to change the world. We have the same and hope that by uniting and by working together, we can actually try to solve issues that go beyond borders. And I think it really creates a virtual, but a shared experience that is even stronger in a way than being able to travel to a place.


Bailey (08:16):

After working for two years on a pan-European political party that you started Coloma and Andrea, and you elected your third partner to the European parliament. You were the first people to attempt and succeed at creating a pan-European party. You decided to shift your focus. You, you Calum in your Ted talk, describe looking at Dre on the eyes and, and having a hard conversation about whether or not volt was the most impactful work that you could be doing, and whether you needed to change your focus, and that has led to where you are today. But I want to talk to you about that moment. Why did you decide to shift away from working on a party, a pan-European party at volt to a movement, which is what you're focused on today?


Colombe (09:12):

The focus with Volt was always to try to impact change, right? And so to make the world somehow a better place. And just to give you a bigger background, we started working on volts on the idea that we have a political European union, but we don't have political parties. So to put it into context, it's like, if in the United States you had States parties, but not federal consistency, which would be really weird to govern the U S. And so we started thinking about this after Brexit. It was kind of a shock not necessarily that it happened, but that, you know, we were in the situation where a country was leaving the EU something that's kept us more or less in peace since the second world war. And that really led to a lot of prosperity and we believed and still do, at least I do and I'm sure that Andrea would agree on this, that we needed to try to do something, to keep the European union together and to solve European problems. And it became logical that, you know, if you don't have European politics, you can't really solve your own problems. So we should try to create it by creating a pan-European party. And two years in, we elected Damian and co-founder and a couple of people at the local level, and this was a great success and what we'll continue to run, and I hope succeed, but it was for you can issues. The point is you can't solve global issues that are, you can level. And after the UK elections kind of taking a step back, we did have this really hard conversation. Cause we worked a lot in the last few years on this, but of asking ourselves why, what do we actually want to achieve?


Colombe (10:43):

What, what are we putting all of this energy input? And we realized that we wanted to try to solve global issues. And by global issues, I don't mean an abstract concept, but you know, climate change goes beyond Europe, beyond the U S beyond individual countries and continents. So does the fact that Amazon Facebooks and attacks in every country and you have a lot of problems like this, that just can't be solved within one single country. And so we, we thought that we ought to try to unite people beyond borders and beyond continents. And, and so we decided to use this techniques that we learned in the last few years of mobilizing people across borders at the CrossFit level of creating local teams that, you know, organize, discuss, and impact change, and, and to bring this at a more global level,


Bailey (11:31):

What was that decision hard to start over again? Or was it, was it not such a hard decision? It just made complete sense. And you knew that was what you needed to do.


Andrea (11:44):

I feel that it was definitely hard every time you missed, I think a lot of energy and passion in your project. Moving on to something else, very, very painful and difficult, but they think that once you realize that you could do more in a different way. And also like the, the, the previous project was to be running without a major difficulties, I feel is not really a decision. It's more like you must do it, at least is how me and Columbia. And so definitely there was a period of, you know, I w they stay these seizures not easy, but we must do it. But then after the switch was made, I seen that the first call we had with people from Nairobi people from windows, IRS, people from Toronto discussing how you could actually launch a campaign together and mobilize people across borders of all the sorrows and difficulties that we went through this transition. So I think, yes, I think that for whoever's listening, if you're pregnant project is always tough, but it's definitely worth it if you you're sure of yourself.


Bailey (12:57):

Yeah. So on January one of this year of 2020, you announced NOW! Officially a global movement aimed at bringing citizens from all over the world. Like you said, to work together to tackle the issues that are global and are really important, like rising nationalism, the fact that democracies are eroding climate change. And how did you bridge maybe some of the work you're doing from volt to now, was there any overlap in the volunteers, the people you are working with, or did you see it as sort of starting from, you know, starting from step zero,


Colombe (13:34):

As Andrea said, you know, as switching projects also requires a bit of switching mentality in a way. So we wanted to make sure one, because we still believe that voltage is needed, that we didn't take the members away or the volunteers away, but that, you know, both projects are needed, we believe for, for the welds. So we did a lot of athletes and it sounds weird, but she tweeting at people being like, Oh, are you interested in joining a global movement with, so you're active on those topics. Let's talk


Bailey (14:02):

Really what I want to hear. This is the details that no one ever talks about. Like, how do you start a global movement? You know, I'm just so curious. It's such a big vision, but what are the small ways that it starts?


Colombe (14:13):

Yeah. So I can tell you, practically first you express the idea and everyone laughs at you. It sounds really weird. The concrete steps, where we needed funds to be able to launch it, to create a tech infrastructure for people to try and from all across the world, because to be a movement, it conscious the actions on the street. People need to communicate, they need to unite. They need to work together. And when you work globally, Facebook is not your option because in China, you don't have access to it, or WhatsApp is not as available everywhere. So we had to create our own tools. And so we launched a very simple, I'm a bit ashamed of it now, but a very, very simple webpage saying we wanted to launch a global movement and we needed help. And we asked people to buy the memberships in advance. And this unable does to create the tech and gets assaulted. And then, yeah, we tweeted up, people talked about a bit about it on Facebook and so on. And the first day we did, she had a 2000 people who joined and, Oh my God, this is one a bit with, but second we think it's needed. So let's try it. Let's see how it goes.


Bailey (15:17):

What did those early days look like when you were working on now? How much of the platform did you need to develop an advance and how much of it did you want to co-create and what else was on your mind?


Laura (15:29):

I think I can give a bit of a, the perspective of someone that was amongst the thousands that joined on the first day and now, you know, looking back, it was 10 months ago and every time Columbia and Andrea, or, you know, like when we saw you joining us on the 1st of January, we thought, why, like, why is she not celebrating the new year? Um but I think it was a fantastic time to join in, I think as someone that it was a volunteer first, everything looked really new. And, you know, as Colombe mentioned, there was a very small website. And at the beginning, I remember we would get in touch with people from all over the world, through small groups online. And then it kind of developed into something bigger through the months by creating a more organized website and then a forum where people can meet with others, where we can discuss and brainstorm on campaigns to brainstorm on ideas and bringing up solutions on global topics. And so I think that you could really see the shift into something that was going in the right direction. And then throughout the month, even the first two, three months, you saw communities starting to building around one point person in different cities. And through that, we you know, Andrea and column first. And then I joined as well. We started building a better website, a forum that could be really inclusive and, and, you know, could really bring people together. These are things that we continue to evolve every day, but I think that there has been a huge shift already.


Bailey (17:15):

Yeah. It sounds like a very iterative process you build as you go.


Andrea (17:21):

I think that what this shows is that if you have the passionate, you have the commitment, everyone can build anything. And I'm not saying like as a motivational guru in a, in a conference, but that's only because it's true. I mean, Colombe and I started, as we say, we never travel most of the contents we need before. We don't know many cultures. We are, we are learning as we go, but with a good idea and as small initial investment of a website, for example, we've managed to be the community that supported istelf and grew in that. And now he's actually present in more than a hundred countries.


Bailey (17:59):

One thing that really stands out to me about both of you, Andrea and Calum, is there's something about your ability to communicate that. I think if you say I were trying to re unite people in a global movement, it might feel abstract to people, or it might expect it to feel kind of the corporate politics that we're used to in some ways, but Andre and Calum, if you can just share some of how you, how you think about that communication.


Colombe (18:29):

Yeah. I think the main thing is we actually think about it in the real world, in a sense, you know, we don't think of, of big concepts for free months and how we can actually implement it and then talk about it with very complicated words. One, because we work in English and English is not my native language, but it would be very hard. But second, it's just, we have an idea, we try it out and we talk about it with people and it sounds like an easy way of going about it, but it's actually very true if you took, if you stop someone on the streets and ask them, what are the biggest issues that facing, you will realize that it's the same across borders. And we actually did this. Like we do a lot. I mean, now with COVID, it's a bit changed, but we used to do a lot of physical on the ground events, you know, signature collections in the street, listening tours and so on.


Colombe (19:15):

And, and you just realize that people literally give you the same answers. They want a safe future. They want to be able to live in an affordable house. They want a job. And then yes, they also wants to be able to survive the climate crisis and they want to live in a democracy and so on. And from the moment you actually base it on people and not very abstract concept of a global democracy, you have a global tax system, but what this would mean for our everyday lives, I think it's much easier to communicate. And then the people you meet also give you the tools on how to communicate, right? Like I told you, at first, my friends laughed a lot at me because I had no idea how to talk about what I was trying to create. It was just too abstract.


Colombe (19:56):

It didn't resonate at all. And then we started, and that's actually how we met Laura at first in an event in London that we did in a pub. And we, we were trying to explain what we're trying to do and people with sending us for actually this for me, is not really a concern or for me, this is something that I don't really see how I can impact change across borders, but have you fought of women's rights, have you forwards of democracy and so on. And for me, it's really just a process of co-creation with people of listening and trying to understand how to actually impact change for us all and not just on the theoretical level, it's then much easier to communicate.


Bailey (20:35):

I love that. I really appreciate that. And I think that's something that when I look at community builders beyond political, just the political sphere, it's the center, the job is listening and reflecting back to the community, whether it's in services or tools or in stories and language, what it is that those people actually want instead of kind of building for them from a distance with, with an abstract approach, or like you said, a theoretical approach. Laura, I want to, I want to talk to you about your work a little bit, you know, this, one of the things that really struck me in and learning more about now is that you're having, I think, weekly events that are, like you said, hosting conversations about topics, important to people who are a part of now or considering perhaps being a part of now. And I'm curious, just, you know, I don't hear about many people in my life who are politically activated, going to weekly events to discuss these issues with a broader base of people. And why did you decide to host these events? And can you tell us a little bit about the design of them, how they work?


Laura (21:48):

Of course when a drone Colombia launched now, they probably didn't imagine a pandemic hitting on us, but I think that, you know, having the possibility through a screen to connect with people from all over the world is already something amazing. And you know, what we really wanted to do is focus a lot of the work that we do on, on our volunteers, because these are people that from all over the world decide to give up their time to push forward our campaigns. And those are the people that have the most creative ideas, the most innovative ways, the greatest solutions that you can think of to move global issues and understand them from a local lens as well. We engage with volunteers in different ways.


Laura (22:36):

One of the ways that you just mentioned is through a weekly events that we do. So every week we host community chats, which are basically events for our members and our community to come together and talk about global topics from a local perspective. And the reason why we do this is because as Andrea and Calum mentioned a lot of the volunteers and, you know, like us, they haven't traveled around the world. They don't know many cultures, they might not have knowledge about how a global issue might affect people in a specific country. So we really wanted to be able to bring the community together, but not only to have nice conversations, cause sometimes, you know, the, the topics that we tackle may be quite difficult and quite quite hard to understand from different perspectives. But you know, we really wanted to use this community chats to put together people that can share their experience and, and think about how global issues are affecting them at the local level. And this is fundamental for what we do. And to answer your second question on how we approach designing those events. I think that we're super lucky because we have volunteers that are really, really passionate about what they want to talk about. So it's, it's amazing when we see volunteers coming to us and tell us, I would really love to do this event on women's rights in Tunisia. And I just mentioned this, but in the past months, we were able to hear from people from all over the world on so many different topics you know, from LGBTQ rights to how technology is impacting democracy around the world. And so we were able to give them this platform to present their topics, but also to be ready to discuss it with people that might have different views might come from a different perspective, but they are very much willing to listen to each other,


Andrea (24:59):

No community chat. We actually bring into the community, we get very good ideas for our campaigns and we have a very specific example. Our pro-democracy campaign was started after a community chat more like what you could have your trunk town hall. They are the same, have a community chat with members. But when we invite an external guest with the activists, Joshua Wong from Hong Kong, and basically he, he told our community the story of a Hong Kong, the Hong Kong struggle and how this great democracy is being eroded there. And because of the cha chat that we had, our community started feeling very clearly an imp an urge to do something. And so from that, we crafted a campaign and we actually started, I think so far, the, one of the most popular campaigns that we have launched on democracy. And it's interesting because it came really from one of these moments of sharing and coming together on our, rather before we were thinking about other other topics, and these made clear to us there was a need, there were the, our community wanted to, to tackle.


Bailey (26:09):

I know that you organize people in different cities around the world to protest at the Chinese embassies in their countries. And that to me, just really demonstrates the global power that you have, if you are a global movement to show up physically and put pressure on these global systems in, in more than one location.


Colombe (26:35):

So, so we have a global community, but that's not the purpose we want to impact global change within the global problems that exists. And we can only them by working together idea governments would be capable of cooperation. It's often not the case, unfortunately. So we have to unite as people across the world to demand that they do better. But I do believe that there's a huge power in underground protest events and so on that is often, much stronger than digitally, which is why COVID makes all of this a bit difficult sometimes. And on this company that you just mentioned, basically, we noticed as undressed, the fact that democracy has been you know, backing down and the, in retreats for now five consecutive years. And in some places it's obviously worse, like in Hong Kong like the current genocide happening against the week is and so on. And we very quickly after a lot of discussions with members realized that there's not really any way for people that are directly affected by or for Diane regimes to succeed. Sometimes it happens and that's great. But when you have a country that is so powerful, like China, you need the international community to rally behind those actually fighting for freedom. And so we, we designed a campaign where we call for the creation of the league of democracy. So for big economy powers that are democracies to unite and actually impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on those responsible for those democratic and human rights violations. But all of this, all of those are big words as well. And it's hard to communicate and it's hard to, you know, mobilize governments behind this simple idea. So we volunteers, we came up with the idea that we would start hosting weekly protests at first in front of Chinese embassies. And we're now moving them in front of governments, buildings, and they're happening in within 40 cities online, they which one and 3 million people to demand that big democratic powers actually start acting and doing something about it.


Bailey (28:43):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, looking at your website, you have people everywhere from South Sudan to Russia, to the Philippines all around the world. And I'm just amazed at the the ability to create global conversations.


Kevin (29:02):

Tell me more about what happens at a community chat and how does that ladder up to, you know, what, what do you want the outcome to be?


Laura (29:10):

So I think that, you know, community chats are, are just an example of what we do with volunteers by organizing local teams around the, the campaigns, the global issues that we have, but definitely, you know, community chats are another good way to bring people together that perhaps wouldn't meet through those local teams agreeing to disagree during community chats is one of the most important thing. And I think that because we established pretty strong guidelines that are rooted in the values of now during those community chats, people are very respectful about each other and about different views. And the way that we organize them is pretty simple. We have volunteers that decide to host a community chat. They propose a topic and the topic needs to have a global perspective, but the whole point is for them to bring their local knowledge and the person that hosted the event, the sides to either prepare a presentation or have an interactive way for people to discuss the topic, but they present the main topic for 20, 25 minutes. And then we open the floor to a very open discussion. And, you know, most of the time people may not agree on everything, but I think that because if they are here and now it means that they hopefully believe in the, in, in our core values, it's, it's often an amazing time for people to understand each other perspectives and perhaps even changing their mind about some topics.


Andrea (31:02):

It's very important to put also in perspective that the community chat were very important, especially during the peak of COVID, then maybe for a few extra months would be the case. But the idea is that after this period, we're going to go back to activate a lot of teams on the ground. And I mean, protests in action has to be going on all over the world in our organization, and we're not fighting for democracy and for the rights in front of different institutions and different level of government. And, and so hopefully we're going to be able to transform this model of virtual community chat that are very powerful because it brings together people from all over the world to also become local more locally focused community chat. So where people come together physically and discuss topics, and we try to bridge that problem. And that often happens in communities all over the world or division and very strong, especially political lines that divide people. And so I hope that this committee charter, we run will be a way to bridge a gap for me, tearing a bit apart, a society,


Bailey (32:07):

One of the big insights we've had from our, our interviews and research we've had with so many different communities is that thriving communities need what we call a shared activity, which is sort of like the equivalent of what church once was, is something that happens on Sunday. People can expect it to happen, and it convenes the community together with a sense of sort of focus. I think, as I hear you talk about these community chats, they might seem like a small thing from the outside, but they really allow people to tap into the purpose of now, which is to, to, to learn more about global issues and to connect with other people who, who feel the way that they do and kind of manifest that sense of unity. It's not something that I think, especially with the, within the party system or the, the movements I see in the United States, I see a real gap there in terms of these repeatable, purposeful, participatory activities that I plug into with regard to the politics that I care about.


Colombe (33:14):

When you see people actually having this common activity that you talk about, I think it's way more around can campaigns, because the way which was to organize members and volunteers, and has been hyper-local. So at the city, village and town level and around the campaigns that we're running. So people are getting involved with one campaign, whether it be on, you know, showing COVID vaccines across the world stopping climate change increasing the Moxy or women's rights as well. And they push forward this campaign at the local level as a team, and they also meet digitally. They need physically, they do actions, but they really, they have those weekly activities, those weekly meetings. And we'll be, you know, we also create those rituals to make sure that it's it's, as you said, an activity that the community engages around. So from having music speeches and so on that are quite similar.


Colombe (34:06):

And then we'll meet as a group with the team to discuss one how they feel about it because certain of the seven topics are very emotionally loaded for people that are directly connected to them. So when you have a protest for Hong Kong and you have a big group of Hong Kongers that had to free their home city to be able to lead freely, it's not an easy thing to do to put yourself out there like this, but then also organized and understand how to impact change further. So I think the community chat is definitely one of the ways, but I would say it's more of a peripheral one where we share stories. We have some about very different topics or mental health in a pandemic to whatever. But the core of at East port amazes me with the members we have is that they really put themselves out there. Sometimes it's not that easy when you know, the consequences it can have and whether they do it physically or study to actually impact change. So they don't just talk. And I think that's the thing I'm the proudest of is we really managed to create a community of doers, not on your focus, which is often the case. And, but people who will always look at how they can impact the world, how they can impact change.


Bailey (35:15):

Laura, I want to ask you as someone who began as a volunteer and now is doing a lot of the work as a, as far as I can tell, interacting with people who are on the ground, what has been one of the most powerful moments for you thus far since, since now began


Laura (35:33):

Really at the beginning, when I had a first with the London team, as Columbia said we have those local teams on the ground, and this was at the beginning of February when we were still meeting people face to face long time ago. But at that time I was a volunteer at now. And I remembered the moment that Andrea actually sent me an email and he was like, Hey, Larry, so that you were in London, we don't have a local team yet. Do you want to take the lead? It was an amazing push for me because at the time I think I definitely needed an exciting escape from my daily job. So I didn't think about it twice. And, you know, I started building together a team and it was a very special moment because when I start sending out email, it was two people that I've never met before that I, you know, I could only see their names online.


Bailey (36:35):

And I thought, who knows, what's what's going to happen after this. And I remembered that within the space of, I think two, three days, I had already been contacted by two other women who are, were here in London at the time. And they were like, we heard of it. We want to help tell us what we can do. It felt like super surreal because you end up meeting people that you've never met before, but also with home, like you only spoke maybe once on the phone, but when we first met, I think that that was one of the most powerful moment because everything started coming together. I went from, you know, sitting in my room imagining ways in which I could impact change. And then there we were, we were a team of three people that were pushing other people to start acting rather than just listening.


Andrea (37:32):

Andrea, one thing that I spotted in your background is that you used to be a management consultant. And one question I want to ask you, given what I probably know about, about your brain and way of thinking is, you know, what's, what's one of the clearest learnings you've had, or had reinforced through your experience of building a party and now a movement for, for four years. What, what sticks out to you?


Andrea (37:55):

So, yes, I'm guilty. I used to be a management consultant. I think that, I mean, if I look back and what they did in passing, which we're doing right now, I feel really the main lesson I've learned is that anything is possible. It's such a basic thing, but actually if, if you put the time, the energy and the passion there, you can make your, your codes, the issue you care about some that other people care about. And this is the beginning of everything. When you create a team, a group of people that actually want to take action, we do in a particular matter, you are halfway through the success. And for me, these is the biggest learning because they have no clue. You know, when I, when I started being more interested in politics and social change, I really thought about the, as, almost as a start with a start non starter mentality, like, okay, we need to have the operations run.


Andrea (38:52):

You need to have the activities being super focused. And then actually I realized that this comes after the real important thing is to find the right people to to push forward a dream and idea project. And I think employed in social mobilization, for me, read the people, focus and try to relate the name of your, of your organization is the most important thing, because one is the only thing that can make change happen. So for me, it is the biggest learning of the last three years. And then I can go ahead for many other learn learnings, but these very fundamental for me,


Bailey (39:30):

I appreciate you saying that. And it's funny because, you know, we always tell people to start with the who, who brings the energy right now, and who's the most important to whatever impact you're trying to have. And, and if you can focus on the who, then you can determine, you know, what those people want and, and how to build structures for them, but starting with the who and perhaps a small group of people. I mean, we're talking five to 10 people, even things really big things grow from a small group of passionate people. And I feel like the world has made us doubt that as a, as a truth. I appreciate you emphasizing that point from your perspective, what message do you have for the folks who are listening right now?


Colombe (40:14):

So I would bounce on what Andre just said. It starts with you, and it starts with one or two people. And we're not just saying this, you know, for as unrested before as a motivational guru speech. But it's actually very true. I mean, what we're trying to do it is in itself completely insane to create something global and mobilize people across borders and sort of global issues that are some of the biggest of our times. It's beyond my comprehension on, on many good days. And, but I think from the moment you believe that something needs to be done, who else to try the new self in the first place. So what I would tell that isn't is, is, look, I think there's very few people today who could say that we can't make the world better, that we can't improve the current situation and whatever topic you care about, right?


Colombe (40:59):

Whether it's, you know, human rights the economy, unemployment, fiscal justice Wells, like there's a lot of room to improve. There's a lot of rooms to make the world a better place. Then the only question is what are you going to do about it. In an ideal planet? You would have very responsible politicians who will be able to collaborate across borders and do it. And in today's world, unfortunately there needs to be a push from people on the ground. And from a pragmatic perspective, my main point is you have nothing to lose, literally nothing. So I would ask people to actually start taking action. You know, if you'd like what we said, join now, but if not create your own global movements or, you know, create your own music level to connect people across the world through music, I don't know it could be anything, but do something.


Colombe (41:51):

We don't have the luxury in a, at the end of 2020 after a pandemic, after waiting for big economic recessions to come and so on for the world to suddenly become a better place. We are responsible for this and we have a lot of power to do so. Very, you said it, it doesn't start with five to 10 people. And I completely agree. It's the amount of things and the amount of mountains we can move with five to 10 people willing to put the energy, the time, the passion, and to do it is incredible. And so I would really ask everyone to do whatever you can with whatever time you have available to change the world. And also as a side note, it's fun to do. I'm the way, cause I don't just want to be depressing about, you know, the world is terrible. We need to add. It's also beautiful, but being able to connect with people from across the world, being able to work on a lot of the subjects and actually have hope that there's a way forward and that you might be part of it. And that, you know, you meet people who are willing to give everything to change. The world is incredible. It gives a new meaning to life. Thank you so much for this interview. And I'm just so inspired by what you've built. Truly.


Bailey (42:59):

If you want to connect with now, you can reach You can become a member there and even join a local now group, thank you to our team. Thank you to Rosanna Kayvon for engineering and editing Greg David for his design work and Katie O'Connell for marketing this episode, you can find out more about the work we do as people and company, helping organizations get clear on who their most important communities are and how to build with those people. By heading to our website, people Also, if you want to start your own community or supercharge one, you're already a part of our handbook is here for you. Visit, get together to grab your coffee. It's beautiful. And it's full of stories and learnings from conversations with community leaders like this one with the now team. And last thing, if you've got the energy here at the end of the podcast, we'd love if you'd click review of this podcast or click subscribe, click, click, click. And that really helps gets these stories out to more people and promote stories of folks like now there's probably phones. Maybe what's the task to percent tippity tap, tap to listening everybody. Okay, bye.