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In these difficult times, more than ever we need to work together. So how do we keep momentum in a time of closing borders and social distancing? Here are three ways that we go about creating togetherness and collaborative environments at Reach for Change when we’re not able to meet in person​​. 

Using the opportunity to innovate. For us and for many of our social entrepreneurs, – just as other businesses – the inability to meet in person can really mean a crisis for operations. However, depending on what mindset you go into the crisis with, it can also be an opportunity to innovate. We are currently looking at how we can re-design our ways of engaging our target groups and delivering our programs. In this process, we are really inspired by how some of our social entrepreneurs have been able to quickly adapt through anything from providing support to children in virtual platforms as to creating new formats for virtual partner meetups. 

Finding the right digital tools to be creative together. Conference services such as Skype and Google Hangout are great for talking, but anyone who’s tried virtual brainstorming knows how challenging it can be to get creative together. Some of our favourite tools for virtual brainstorming is Miro (which has a free version), Mural and Howspace (which are paid services). Whatever tools you choose however, in our experience you need to allocate extra time for technical mishaps. 

Creating a digital work culture. The same way we have guidelines for how we interact with each other at the office, during meetings and workshops, we have also set up guidelines for how we interact and collaborate with each other in the digital space. One thing we have applied is that all participants should have the camera on. It might sound like a small thing, but it is making a huge difference in the way we communicate virtually. Also, we realize that new ideas, inspiration and social connections tend to happen between meetings rather than in them. To allow for those random conversations we have virtual, agenda-free, lunches. For this we use Zoom .

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