Future of Communities

Community Builder Summit hosted by Circle

I’ve picked a few sessions to look forward to at the upcoming Community Builder Summit hosted by Circle.

Circle is the platform I use for the Maple Community as well as many of our clients who we’ve completed community design projects for.

→ See the agenda and schedule here

Over the past seven years I’ve worked with dozens of online educators – and helping them set up their student community is a big part of how we create successful courses.

For a while it was difficult to find a good community platform. It always felt like social media companies were dominating the space. Course creators would offer private Facebook groups for their courses, but it was usually a disaster of spam, distraction, and misaligned values.

A couple years ago I discovered Circle, and they continue to impress and surprise me. What started as a simple community forum has turned into a robust platform for online education and connection.

To help me build my own program, Build Your Website Essentials I joined Tatiana Figueiredo’s Build a Community Business. Her mentorship and lessons accelerated my career in this space. I’ve made new connections, started facilitating my sessions, and transformed my own program.

Students share their progress in our Circle Community


Tatiana offers a definition of community…

“Community is a group of people interested in nurturing their own and one another’s growth”

Which I love.

It puts into words the kind of optimism I have about human nature… the idea that with design, we can guide the mainstream of our society toward nurturing and growth.

I’ll be attending the summit this week to bring lessons into my work with clients, and watching how community builders innovate in the communities I’m part of.

Communities I’m working on;

  • Halt the Harm Network – a network of leaders working to protect their communities from oil & gas pollution and health risks.
  • American Solar Grazing Association – a place for farmers to connect with solar sites to coordinate grazing.
  • Build Your Website Essentials – my own online program where students focus only on the content and design and our team builds their website. We use Circle for lessons, sharing and feedback, and ongoing growth.
  • Garden Rhythm – a community of gardeners learning how to work with the cycles of the land for greater abundance.

I’ll also be watching what leaders are doing in the communities I’m part of.

Communities I’m part of:

  • Breakthrough Facilitation – an online community for educators who prioritize high-interactivity
  • Notion Mastery – a place to get into all the details of Notion, my favorite app for knowledge and team management
  • Circle Community – where other Circle members (like me) talk shop, share their communities, and trade ideas.

Reasons I’m all in on Circle

First, I could create a whole article just about Circle and why I love them.

Here’s a brief overview.

  • They practice what they preach. Their team is skilled, available, helpful, committed.
  • Their marketing is all about teaching and empowering people
  • You can learn from them, whether or not you want to use Circle as the software
  • They are releasing new features based on what people are asking for in their community
  • The platform is very very customizable, which means I can adjust the settings just right for my needs
  • The creators I feel most aligned with are also investing in Circle. It feels like the right place for my values and content.

And if you read this in time, maybe I’ll see you at one of the events in the summit!

→ Join the Community Builder Summit hosted by Circle

→ Check out Maple’s community based course, Build Your Website Essentials

Ryan Clover

Designer and founder of Maple Creative, providing technical wizardry for activists, educators, and small business owners who are out to change the world.