Friedrich's Market Join Community Leaders in Menlo Park for Facebook's 2019 Community Summit
On February 6th over 400 community leaders gathered at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park for the Facebook Communities Summit. There are millions of communities on the social media platform representing thousands of interests. Every attendee was hand picked out of thousands of interviews, all with one thing in common - a leader who brings people together around a shared interest. Attendees came from as far as Norway, Kenya, and from across North America. They all use social media like Facebook and Instagram to build community and Facebook announced a number of tools and product updates to help them continue to build community on Facebook. Our favorite new tool is the Mentorship program that allows community members the opportunity to learn from each other.
Dan and Nicole Radke opened Friedrich's Market in the fall of 2017 alleviating the food dessert in downtown St. Joseph. Last week Nicole was fortunate to be invited to attend an incredible 3-day event at Facebook HQ for the 2019 Facebook Communities Summit. Here is what she wants to share with you.
A QUICK VIDEO TOUR - CLICK BELOW
Hundreds of leaders who are building bridges in their communities flew in from around the world. I am so thankful for all the tools that Facebook provides for us to use everyday to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
On the first day Friedrich's Market and Nicole were featured on Sheryl Sandbergs & Facebook’s official 15-year anniversary announcement along with 2 other inspiring organizations. The cool part was the a behind the scenes HQ tour and recording in Sheryl Sandberg’s original Live-stream room.
Just a few of the fabulous Facebook crew and support staff that made #fcs2019 a flawless event. Photo Credits: Facebook, Inc
The first day we received an envelope and box at check in. This was just the first round of some pretty cool treats, fun activities and gifts. One of the items we were given was a tiny figurine with instructions to bring it the next day. Facebook found our story so interesting that I was invited to do a video interview for Community Voices, to be released at a later date. I arrived at HQ and once there I didn't want to miss a single detail. Katerina came to meet me and gave me a tour on the way to Sheryl Sandberg's orginal studio where she started livestreams. She showed me Mark and Sheryl's original "fish bowl" offices. The staff zoomed by on skateboards, bikes hung on walls, and the people were incredibly friendly and helpful.
The first evening, we boarded buses to take the attendees to HQ for an outdoor reception. We traveled through a guided maze going through four stages of screening. We were each given a warm scarf, blanket and offered hand-warmers, for those from the Midwest we thought we were having an early spring! Everything was thought of to help make us comfortable.
Photo Credits: Facebook, Inc
We were in a multi-level outdoor area staggered across many sections. Music was playing, heaters and fire pits with seating areas were going underneath lights strung all around. This is the area where fb staff can enjoy their meals and enjoy down time, which seemed to be available everywhere on campus. It was beyond magical.
People gathered in seating areas all around while others enjoyed tabletop activities, games, making friendship bracelets and so much more. I had a personalized poem written while meeting new friends we have been talking two for two months in our fb group.
There were several open bars with a selection of local beer, wines, and a choice of 2 signature cocktails complete with edible flowers created for the event.
Food stations were scattered around, serving taster-size portions. I love the winter taco station, chicken & waffles, mac & cheese, hand pies and dim-sum station. All serving wear was biodegradable.
In addition to getting to meet absolutely inspiring leaders from all kinds of communities, from international nonprofits, local town leaders, health-related organizations, equality and civil rights, and ocean-saving organizations, I got to share strategies and ideas on how to build better, stronger, more engaged communities both on-and offline.
We were guided up the stairs, toward breakfast and the main event. Staff greeted us by name and checked us in on their tablets. The reception area was quickly buzzing with people from around the world. Breakfast was ready in a sort of buffet style with a variety of breakfast burritos, scones, fruit, yogurt and lots of options for any dietary requirements. A coffee bar was available during all hours. In addition every room had an impressive snack shelf. These pantries and refrigerators with drinks, and even gallon bottles of milk, are available in almost every area of the 21 builiding campus, all free.
Photo Credits: Facebook, Inc
We finally learned how to use the figurines. The pics below show the story of how we added our figurines to a commissioned art piece using everyday objects to illustrate how we can place ourselves into, and come together to form communities.
We moved into the main stage where opening remarks by Ime Archibong, VP of Product Partnerships, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO, assured us that we were each handpicked to attend #FCS2019 Facebook Communities Summit.
Although the entire day was amazing, it was great to hear Mark Zuckerberg expressing his gratitude for what we do! The consistent messaging was that "Facebook is the TOOL, we build the communities!"
We had the opportunity to not only learn from the teams responsible for creating apps, and products but they were insistent on a two way dialogue all the way through to hear from us what works and what doesn’t. Continually we heard "How can we help?"
Successful communities shared their stories to better equip us.
It’s imperative that I call attention to the fb Group Mentorship tool for those who run groups.
For those who run business pages, you should know about twelve free and inexpensive content design apps that can enhance your post appeal and increase engagement, all available through fb creative shop!
Facebook is for Engagement and Instagram is for Inspiration. For the first time we will be able to manage all of our Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp messaging from one central place within Facebook allowing us to have more time to focus on our communities.
We had our own Oprah moment when we were all surprised with a free Facebook Portal video-calling device to take home. It's pretty nifty!
We ended the evening with a delicious dinner at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Francisco where we were encouraged to take flight with our ideas.
I was invited to speak on Empathy in Business: The Art in Kindness on day two. Only 12 attendees were chosen to speak, so it was an absolute honor. I was inspired to continue using social media to encourage ‘real life’ connection to enlighten, educate and entertain as we identify barriers and build bridges in our local community for good. Every human has a need to be a part of a community, but it does not always come to us we each have the opportunity, and responsibility to place ourselves into our communities and meet people where they are at.
We were asked to bring one item that represents our community for a gift exchange activity. Read some of the messages below.
Photo Credits: Facebook, Inc
In the end I got to merge my worlds. I run several Facebook pages and groups – Friedrich’s Market and our subgroup Friedrich's Market Real Food Community Group, was handpicked as our official representation at the Summit. I also run Natural Pathways Community Group, a group where we support people who want to live a conscious life through helping ordinary people with ordinary problems; in addition to couple grassroots community groups still in the early stages.
I’m still reeling from the incredible experience and are keeping in touch with the 400+ leaders I met in person or connected with online in our permanent Facebook #fcs2019 group.
I can’t wait to roll out all I’ve learned into my own groups, but most importantly into our community so others may benefit from support in the work they are doing also. A lot can be said about the downside of social media, but I truly believe and saw this week and the past two months preparing for the event, what incredible things can happen when a community comes together, and the tools are used to do good. The noise can be loud and overshadow the good and it is up to us to take action.
For starters, I would never have met any of these amazing people if it weren’t for social media bringing us together. Dan and I would not have known many of you nor would we have a viable local business if we didn’t have the platform of Instagram and Facebook as a means to convey our message and make healthy food accessible in our community. And I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to connect with and learn from communities doing incredible, good things. We believe that reestablishing healthy communication within our city and the world is needed and it is exciting that you can be a part of that.
Though much more than any of this the unexpected love and support from everyone has taken us by surprise and we cannot be more appreciative. I cannot thank the dedicated fb team, the executives, Sheryl, The Zuck and Ime enough for their support and warm heartedness, it was beyond anything I ever expected.
It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, a microcosm of how the world should be. Everyone had a common bond which was to bring some good to the world! And we only have you to thank!
Some things to expect this year… We are starting a Saturday farmers market in our parking lot staring May 5th and we will be rolling out educational cooking classes for kids and teens this summer.
We love you. Thank you for your support no matter how small, you are appreciated. I will be hosting several get togethers for those wanting to learn more and need help with their social bridge building. If you would like to host a group or want me to come and share some helpful tools for your social engagement email me at email@example.com Dates and time will be announced soon! In the meantime, check out our Facebook page for more videos and pictures.
Co-Owner - Friedrich’s Market