Building Intentional Communities: Interview with Why Whisper Collective

In July 2014, I had the pleasure of speaking with Kate Vandeveld from Why Whisper, a collective of marketing and strategy professionals, about that work I've done with Coffee & Conversation. In addition to revealing my secret woodsman skills, we talked about the importance of face to face interaction in business and community. See the first question below, and read the rest at:

Tell us a bit about Coffee & Conversation, and why you started it. 

Coffee & Conversation, or C&C as we like to call it, is a Chicago-based community of entrepreneurs and innovators who value collaboration and face-to-face communication. We meet every other Saturday morning to get together, and share ideas, resources and support. C&C started because, as I was starting my own company, and my own entrepreneurial ventures, I realized how hard it was. There’s so much information out there, and I really value in-person information and personal referrals – I’d rather ask a friend than ask Yelp. So I started to pull together people who were interested in getting work done outside of the normal work hours. I just invited some friends to show up on a Saturday morning and get work done. The first time, six people showed up. We just talked and worked, and it was really good. It was just a Facebook post!

People are always “busy,” so the people who showed up on Saturday morning to get work done were people who had 9-to-5 jobs and were looking for support to continue to work beyond that. It was the side hustlers, the entrepreneurs – that crowd. I didn’t really intend for it to be an entrepreneur community, but that’s who showed up. So every couple weeks, we kept doing it, and different numbers of people would come. That number has ranged from 6 to 26 participants, with a total of over 70 people in the group. Read on...

 Photo by  Joe Tighe

Photo by Joe Tighe

Levi Baer

Chicago, IL