Resources  ·  Posted February 16, 2024

Bridging Communities: Creating Spaces for Authentic Connection

Bridging Communities Host & Facilitator, Anna Brow, explains how these special networking events seek to break down silos to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Scotland.

Networking events have always held a special allure for me. Finding a new community to tap into opens up new possibilities for connections – be it new friends, collaborators or support when things aren’t going just as they should. But familiarity breeds comfort, and that spark of possibility soon gives way to deeper relationships and stronger communities as you see the same faces at the same events.

Strong communities are essential to individual and collective growth. But, soon, silos of thought and worldview grow – meaning there isn’t space for challenging ideas when we look for new approaches to old problems.

This was the catalyst for The Melting Pot’s series of ‘Bridging Communities’ events across Scotland. Knowing the strength and support offered by our usual communities, Helen and I were driven to build more impactful than the usual networking fare. We imagined a space where business communities across Scotland could converge, not just to network, but to truly connect and grow together.

Bridging Communities exists to subtly shift the networking paradigm.

It’s not openly advertised, but attendees soon realise they’re part of something different – a gathering prioritising genuine connection and shared experiences over the usual business card exchange. This structured yet open environment gently nudges participants towards more meaningful interactions.

Our events have been a melting pot of diverse voices. Storytellers from Black Professionals Scotland have graced our stages, their narratives enriching our understanding of community. Academics delving into entrepreneurial ecosystems have pointed out the lack of trust within our circles, spurring us to build stronger foundations. Leaders from social enterprises have challenged the notion of ‘community’ as a weakness, emphasising its strength in business. Founders of high-growth start-ups have shared their personal struggles, underscoring the importance of community support for mental wellbeing.

Bridging Communities is a response to the fragmented yet vibrant Scottish business landscape.

Our vision is to serve as a space for synergy and collaboration. With the support of the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund, we’ve transformed this vision into a series of successful, impactful events. By breaking down silos and fostering a culture of inclusivity and cooperation, we aim to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Scotland.

The project’s reach extends beyond immediate attendees. Each event, each connection, sows the seeds for resilient, sustainable and inclusive local economies. We’re creating a Scotland where businesses, regardless of their location, can access a wealth of knowledge and collaboration opportunities. This interconnected, innovative approach is our contribution to Scotland’s long-term growth and sustainability.

As we prepare for our upcoming events in Inverness and Dumfries, culminating in a one-day national conference in Edinburgh, we invite you to join this growing movement. Let’s harness the power of our diverse business communities to create a more prosperous, connected and collaborative Scotland.

Join us at Bridging Communities. Be a part of something bigger. Let’s build bridges, one conversation at a time.

 

Upcoming events:

28th February – Inverness

13th March – Dumfries & Galloway

25th April one day conference – Edinburgh

Check out our events page for more

 

Our Bridging Communities series of events and final conference are funded by the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund.

With thanks also to all our fantastic partners who have collaborated on this project in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Dumfries & Galloway – and all the speakers who have been generous with their time and wisdom.