How to hold warmth and depth in virtual spaces

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Virtual community building (systems meetings)

  • Empathy in digital space
  • Human connection first

Micro interations

  • 1-to-1/regional

Macro community

  • Global movements

Access issues

  • Youth
  • Minorities
  • Elders
  • Income

This is not a new problem.

  • Tech makes these community building issues more visible

Indicators of health community

  • Love
  • Warmth
  • Vulnerability
  • Humor

Virtual culture building

  • Onboarding: expectations for new
  • Set up at the start
  • Old timers set up and teach new people (shadowing program)

Name the shared values that empathy building exercises build

Feedback systems are critical

Break down culture of "rude/efficient"

Best practices

  • Pre-review of documents
  • communication time is precious
  • Daily check-ins - different culture @ text messaging

History of online community

Importance of real time:

  • asynchronous: Expectations, accountability, @chat


  • synchronous: full attention, presence

All the practices of in-person meetings

  • Practice social emotional learning techniques
  • It is all about embodiment

At iEcology for video meetings:

  • Breathe together
  • Meditate
  • Guided with voice

It does feel weird, offer to turn off camera

Bravery and vulnerability

  • Play with finger puppets
  • Play with format of video chat (costumes)

i.e. blog post at Forward Together

Forward Stance: staff Tai Chi

Hand mirroring in digital space