I may have just found my new favourite community event, and lucky for me it happens every single week! Trep Café Tuesdays. In their own words, “Trep Café is a regular, informal meeting for entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners — anyone passionate about the Entrepreneurial life”.

The model is simple; head to CoLab, grab a coffee, and share. There were about 15 people gathered this morning, all there to meet new people and connect over ideas, roadblocks, and solutions. The wonderful Shane Austin, founder of CoLab, lead us through a simple activity, which filled the hour. We went in a circle and each person introduced themselves and shared one or more of the “G’s”, Give, Get, or Goal.

A GIVE: a tip, trick, hack, piece of wisdom, quote, etc; something that adds value to the folks in the room

A GET: an ask to the group for something you need; a connection, an opinion, or a point of view on something you’ve been struggling with

A GOAL: something you’ve been working towards; the reason you’re at an event like Trep Café Tuesday at 8AM and not still in your jammies.

What was incredible is that every single person shared a give! This incredible group of people were there to support their community through their own experiences and knowledge.

Here are some of the things that I was “given” today:

  • Innovation is a discipline not a directive. You can not simply say you are an innovative company, you need to choose innovative actions every day
  • Turning off your email notifications will increase your productivity
  • There is a Chrome plugin that allows you to only receive email at certain times or pause incoming mail for a period
  • Don't believe everything you think
  • Only accept accountable responses & always provide accountable responses (Yes, no, I'll let you know on Friday, or I need more information from you; not maybe, we'll see, I'm not sure).
  • Read The Elements of Style
  • Customers will accept good news. Customers will accept bad news. Customers will not accept no news.
  • If you believe you can not make a difference then you have not spent a night with a mosquito.

And finally, Shane wrapped it up by sharing his thoughts on community animation. He said that community animation leads to social innovation and that any environment or space aiming to faciliate innovation should be hospitable, anticipate the needs of people, contributes to wellness, and maximizes the potential for idea-sharing, collaboration, and communication. I can say that CoLab has met all four of those goals for community animation through this incredible event and I know that it is definitely contributing to social innovation.

I know I’ll be back next Tuesday at 8am and I hope I’ll see you there!

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