Community calls coming up in Q1 of 2022

CSCCE community calls are a monthly opportunity for shared learning and connection. Members of the community of practice as well as anyone interested in the topic under discussion each month are all welcome to join, and we encourage you to spread the word among your own networks! 

In this blog post, we share our plans for the first three calls of 2022. We also talk about the ways that we chose topics to highlight, the different kinds of formats we have hosted in the past, and how you can propose topics and/or present on future calls. 

Coming up in Q1 of 2022

Wednesday, 19 January at 11am US EST

Our first call of 2022 will focus on project management tools and best practices for community managers. We’ve had several requests for this one, and we’re excited to share not only the tools we use here at CSCCE, but also hear from others in the STEM community. We’ll look at several online project management tools (Trello, Todoist, Mural, Asana, and more), and highlight the ways that they are particularly useful for organizing your team’s community engagement and/or communications plans. 

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Wednesday 16 February at 11am US EST

We’re currently finalizing a new guidebook that will lay out the third part of CSCCE’s Community Participation guide – the role of scaffolding to support communities in STEM. Scaffolding in your community might look like welcome tip sheets, how-to guides, playbooks, etc.- all supporting your members in moving from one mode of engagement to the next in the CSCCE Community Participation Model. The guide will come out later this month, and on our February community call we’ll give a brief overview of the core concepts covered in it. We’ll also make space for co-working so that you can take some time during the call to work on your own scaffolding documents while making the most of CSCCE’s reusable CC-BY-licensed scaffolding templates and the shared wisdom of others on the call. If you have your own templates to share or requests of what you’d like to work on, please let us know! 

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Wednesday 16 March at 11am US EST

Another project we’re working on behind the scenes and that will roll out later this quarter is a series of community manager case studies. Each case study will focus on an individual community manager in STEM, describing what they do within their specific organization. Our March community call will take a closer look at the varied nature of community manager roles and how they change depending on organizational context. We’ll also consider how these roles map onto the CSCCE Skills Wheel, and announce a new opportunity for members to join a working group focused on gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to be a scientific community manager. 

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What do CSCCE community calls look like? 

Our monthly calls are typically 90 minutes long, but we do try to keep the “meat” of the content in the first hour. We do this in acknowledgment of the fact that many folks regularly schedule meetings on the hour, but we know from experience that discussions on our calls benefit from a little extra breathing space. 

The format of our calls varies from month to month. We ensure that there is at least one interactive element to the call, whether that’s a scaffolded activity or time in breakout rooms for discussion. While not every call will have a presentation portion, when there are guest speakers we do schedule them in the first hour. Past calls have also included networking events and social time. 

We are intentional about how (and if) we record and share our calls asynchronously. We know that showing up at a certain time on a certain day is not always possible, and that the distribution of our community across numerous time zones adds additional complexity. And so when appropriate we do record presentations and make them available on our YouTube channel (usually within 48 hours of the call). With all that said, there are times when it is more appropriate not to record a call to allow for vulnerable and honest conversations about hard topics. 

Topic selection and how you can get involved

We consider a few factors when deciding on topics for community calls. We are always open to requests, and indeed if we see recurring themes coming up in the Slack workspace we try to use community calls to offer additional resources, context, or space for synchronous discussion. 

We sometimes use community calls to add nuance to the release of our resources, and where possible bring in the perspective of our co-creators (e.g., past calls that focused on CSCCE Community Profiles featured community managers who’d taken part in the project). 

We also prioritize networking and social connection. Two of our calls each year, the Summer Social and December Community Potluck, include activities designed to help members meet or deepen their connections. We’ve also hosted a pop-up curated networking event, and chances are we’ll do another one of those this year!

If you would like to propose a topic for a future call, or have a skill/area of expertise you’d like to share as a presenter, please let us know by emailing