Summer weekends are revered in the Twin Cities - free festivals, lake and trail adventures, flex Fridays, and Vitamin D replenishment - yet a few dozen YNPN members and potential members spent part of their Saturday, May 19 at one of 11 coffee shops throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul to network in their neighborhood.
Inaugurally organized in a more grassroots effort to engage members in a uniquely formatted way on a new day of the week, the Scattershot Cafes gave attendees the opportunity to really dig into a topic and connect with a smaller group of people. Coffee talk topics ranged from community-based topics for transplants and former AmeriCorps members to advanced professional development talks on starting a nonprofit consulting firm and how to worry less about the financial state of nonprofits.
Krysten Lynn Ryba, co-host of Nonprofit Consulting: Getting Started, said the conversation and response were fantastic. "Several attendees commented that this was that 'in-depth' experience that they had craved at other events."
With less of an emphasis on session objectives or sometimes awkward networking pressure, the small group format allowed for both learning and socializing in a comfortable atmosphere. Attendees commented that meeting new people, brainstorming and collaborating, and connecting without a formal structure made it worthwhile.
As host Jared Rendell, Coach at STAGES Initiative put it, "People had good things to say about the model we used. I'm excited to see what's next." So are we!