IWCF33 – Why Cross-Pollinating Knowledge Matters in Community Building

In this episode, we sit down with Kyle Crawford – a social entrepreneur, who combines design, technology, and social science – to talk about the importance of cross-pollinating knowledge across disciplines when studying communities.

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Kyle’s innovative projects have been used by people at MIT and Tableau, as well as a number of startups, universities, philanthropies, and social impact organizations. Kyle is the Founder of Fundraising Genius, a platform adapting startup growth techniques into a framework for the nonprofit sector. And he is also the founder of the gamified global social innovation community, Dwilly, where he’s curated 3,000+ solutions to social issues from designers, engineers, social workers, executives, and more around the world.

Here are just a few things you’ll learn this episode:

  • Why cross-pollination of knowledge matters
  • How to leverage technology to scale communities
  • The correlation between motivational interviewing and sales
  • Why you can’t always automate everything when it comes to people
  • How perception affects community building efforts
  • The role of leaders in galvanising communities
  • The magic number of 150 and what it means

So sit back, relax, and get ready for the show…

Guest Favourites…

What’s your favorite book? Different by Youngme Moon. This book identifies the outliers, the mavericks, the iconoclasts—the players who have thoughtfully rejected orthodoxy in favor of an approach that is more adventurous. It’s a book for “people who don’t read business books.”

What’s your favorite quote or motto? 

“I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.” ~Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr Fox

What does “it will come” mean to you? That it will come to be. Things will take the shape that they will. Something beyond you. You’ll be in a position to observe what comes to be.

What animal would you choose and why? Kyle typically chooses a bird, but his daughter always picks the monkey. So let’s look at its symbolism (for fun).

In the Chinese zodiac, the monkey represents versatility, movement, and activity. The Indian Hindu god Hanuman is associated with the monkey and is worshipped as a divine protector and embodiment of strength. In Mayan symbology, the monkey held a place of great honor. It was considered to be a silver-tongued talker – meaning, a great orator – one who can speak with grace and persuasion. The Mayan’s also revered the monkey as an artist. In both instances, the monkey in Mayan ideology reinforces the idea of alacrity in expression, and intense creative productivity.

To learn more about the monkey’s symbolism click here.

What advice do you have for our listeners? 

“Be divergent. Be a human. Live your life.” ~Kyle Crawford

Quotable Quotes

“It’s not about being the leader, it’s about somebody stepping up and giving people an excuse to do what they want to do anyways.”

“A lot of people settle into a lack of being vocal about what’s going on around them.”

“If you’re going to galvanise a lot of people, you book a really small room. You pack the room because the images and feeling of a packed room is much bigger than a bigger audience in too big a room, not carrying the same weight and not energising.”

“Would love to see the business world learn from the grassroots elements of political movements in the early days of community building.”

“You can’t automate all of it [community engagement]. Some of it has to be human, has to be personable. And that same approach is in the offline space.”

Relevant Links

Dwilly – a global innovation community of renowned designers, entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.

Fundraising Genius – an innovative platform adapting startup growth techniques for charities. – Kyle’s personal website


Want to connect with Kyle? You can connect with him via his website here.

Also published on Medium.