From an UNconference came an UNChallenge, The #NoKidHungry 30 Day UNChallenge. For those of you not familiar with No Kid Hungry, it is a campaign of Share Our Strength and is on a mission to eliminate childhood hunger in the United States, where 1 in every 5 children goes hungry.
What is an UNconference? In this case, it’s Community Manager UNconference, which is a gathering of people who are interested in the practice of community management. The morning has speakers and the afternoon has breakout sessions. Sounds like a conference, right? Not quite! The speakers can not use PowerPoint and are encouraged to engage with the audience. It’s unusual and unnerving for many speakers. The afternoon sessions are crowd-sourced and most are not decided until the day of the event. This creates a sense of “the unknown” with an unexpected learning experience for all. At the Community Manager UNconference in Chicago, I spoke on the “Power Of We.” When we work together collectively, we can accomplish so much more than if it’s just me, or you, working separately. There was no better group to test this on than a group of community managers. We all are connected and have our own communities. Imagine the reach this group would have if we pooled our resources together!
What is the UNChallenge? The power of we was already in action shortly after the community manager UNconference, when Cathy McPhillips heard what we were up to. She created a 30 Day Challenge that was easily shareable, and only took 30 seconds to 30 minutes per day to complete. She called it an UNChallenge since it started with the UNconference. I tend to define (with a little help from my friends) an UNChallenge as:
“Collaboration over competition” and “transforming obstacles into opportunities” ~ Alicia Ontiveros
“Solve with unconventional thinking” ~ Andy Swindler
“Opportunity” ~ Casey Karl
“That we are being asked to participate in something beneficial with a great end goal, that really isn’t difficult.” ~ Cathy McPhillips
“Participation ribbons for everyone!” ~ Jessica Masterson
Of course some held an opposing viewpoint and thought adding UN diminished the actual challenge. As I see it, an UNChallenge encompasses the spirit of “WE”. There are no egos. There is no forced sense of obligation, just a choice. If the choice is yes, you have the full support of “WE” as we embark on this challenge, or UNChallenge, to eliminate childhood hunger.
We don’t actually have ribbons Jessica, but we will: 1) create a Twitter list of everyone who takes the #NoKidHungry 30 Day UNChallenge (just add your name to this list first); 2) make it easy for you to share each other’s efforts, including posts, events and photos (just add the URL to this list); and 3) check off “I’ve Been There” after you complete each day of the 30 Day UNChallenge on this list to be fully recognized for your accomplishment.
Are you ready to show the power we have together? Share this post and encourage someone you know to take the #NoKidHungry 30 Day UNChallenge. <-Click and Tweet. We made it easy for you!