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Everyone’s scared.

That’s the bottom line here. And compounding that fear is the fact we have now retreated to our homes. We’re avoiding public spaces. We’re staying clear of strangers and friends alike.

Our world is sewn together. We are so connected.

But now we’re disconnecting.

Self-isolating. Sometimes with our families. But sometimes alone.

It’s undeniably scary. And, yet, despite the fear we are seeing extraordinary examples of community spirit all around us. There’s such an amazing human instinct to want to help in this moment.

That’s what this blog is about.

There’s a wonderful quote being shared the last few days, attributed to Dr. Lindsay Jernigan. It reads:

“Try this perspective shift. Instead of seeing “social distancing” and travel bans as panic, try seeing them as acts of mass co-operation intended to protect the collective whole. This plan is not about individuals going into hiding. It’s a global deep breath… an agreement between humans around the planet to be still. Be still, in hopes that the biggest wave can pass without engulfing too many of the vulnerable amongst us.”

This is a wonderful view of human solidarity. But, of course, it does require some level of physical retreat from community, which is one of our great collective defenses against fear and despair.

At IOVIA, we’re thinking a lot about how we can help and support each other. Our team is located in Italy, Denmark, Spain, the UK and Canada. So, we’re used to working together while also working alone. We’ve managed to figure out good ways to stay connected, with digital tools, but also by prioritizing actual conversations and human connections. Our team members are unusually close despite being unusually far away from each other.

And of course, we’ve built our business on the power of community. Helping brands connect with their fans, connecting international stakeholders together, helping organizations build internal communities. If you’ve followed us at all, you know the drill by now. We believe community is critical to the present and future of business.

But it’s also critical for each of us individuals right now.

Maybe more so than ever before.

With all of this in mind, we want to do our small part to help our community in this moment. And we must admit we think of our community as every one of you out there. We really are all in this together. So, let’s get together.

On Thursday March 19 at 10 a.m. EST / 2 p.m. UK time we’ll be doing an online Zoom call with a bunch of our team members. You can find the information for the call below.

The call is open to anyone who wants to join. The focus of our discussion will be on how to build authentic and productive digital communities. It might be useful if your company suddenly finds itself collaborating virtually rather than in-person, or if you’re looking for ways to build effective communities for your stakeholders or brand fans. Or if you want to think through how to put community at the heart of your business continuity plans.

We don’t have all the answers. We’re only here to help. As much as we can. And community is the thing we know best. It’s one of the best ways to strengthen the bonds that will hold us together as we head further into the unknown.

We’d love it if you’d join us.

–From all of us at Team IOVIA

IOVIA Community Call

Time: Mar 19, 2020 10:00 AM EST / 2:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 575 392 307

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