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Virtual Book Club ‘Powers’ Communities Around The Globe

Jono Bacon to offer free, 11-week online book club for his community-centered People Powered.

Members of the UK tech community interested in creating a community or making their existing community better can take part in a global book club to discuss the do’s (and don’ts) of building and maintaining communities. The group will read Jono Bacon’s People Powered, with discussion on Slack and weekly Q&A video sessions with the author. The book club, which takes place entirely online, is free and will run from October 6 to December 15, with Q&A calls every Tuesday.

Communities are at the heart of endeavors like open source, and other organizations have embraced more community-oriented models, both internal and external. Recent conversations in discussion forums and conference talks have explored how to make communities more responsive, more collaborative, and ultimately more successful. People Powered, published in November 2019, explains the draw of communities and the pitfalls inherent to building them. Though the principles in the book are tailored for businesses, they can be applied to countless other organizations. As COVID-19 forced many companies to remote working and pushed numerous organizations to move their conferences online, creating internal communities that can thrive while distanced is crucial.

Given Bacon’s extensive background in open source communities, including UK-based Canonical, it’s fitting that two members of an open source project initiated the idea of an online, community-focused book club to read through People Powered and use discussion to help improve their respective projects and communities.

Bacon loved the idea. “Group learning is always more fun than sitting alone with a book and no-one to ask questions to,” he said. “It provides a place where you can explore ideas, ask questions, better understand the concepts, test ideas, challenge your assumptions, and overall grow and learn faster.”

Both Bacon and book club organizers hope anyone who wants to start a community or make their existing community better will take advantage of this chance to not only learn from the book and its author, but from each other. “This is a unique opportunity,” one of the organizers said, “for smaller projects to have access to a resource like this.” To paraphrase one of the best television shows in recent years, this isn’t just a book club – it’s a community.

Information on the book club, including sign-up instructions, can be found at https://www.jonobacon.com/books/peoplepowered/club/ . The book is available in hardcover and Kindle formats, and can be purchased through Amazon and through independent booksellers.  Signups are open until October 2, and further information on the Slack group will be e-mailed to participants closer to the first Q&A.