We hope you have had the experience of generating a Spark: creating an idea or having an “aha” moment with one or more people and wanting to share that experience with others. Aha moments feel great. They generate excitement and action. When we share common knowledge and insight among a community filled with people who have different perspectives, aha moments are more likely to happen.
The City encapsulates a large amount of information about people, ideas and experiences. By using the City to shine a light on the information, we illuminate potential commonalities, overlapping interests, or unique contributions that can lead to innovation.
One way to facilitate this process is by bringing members of the City together in person. You can choose the right name for your community, but we've noticed a “Spark Happy Hour” event stimulates networking and collaborative idea generation.
There are five parts to this event: Onboarding, Noticing, Introducing, Connecting and Ideating, and Culmination.
For information about basic onboarding, view the documentation here. We recommend people complete onboarding before attending the event, but it is not required if they will have a device with which they can onboard at the event (laptop, smartphone, etc).
The Noticing part of the Spark Happy Hour enables attendees to use the City’s Community View to find themselves, their artifacts and attributes, and to notice things about other people and their content in the City and make connections.
It is helpful for City members to understand the basic infrastructure to the City. See other documentation in the Making Your Users Productive section for guidance on this infrastructure.
To help attendees notice things about themselves and others in the City, look at the Community View and select a willing volunteer from among the Spark Happy Hour attendees. Find this person in the City network and ask them to introduce themselves using the context of one of the elements in their detail panel:
Once the the attendee has introduced themselves through the lens of that attribute about them, click on that element in the person's detail panel on the right. This will open a detail panel for that selected element that shows other users connected to that same element:
Using the discussed element's detail panel on the right side of the Community View, select another attendee who is connected to that element and hasn't already been introduced. Click that attendee's name to open their detail panel. Ask this newly-selected attendee to describe the element they had in common with the prior attendee. After they share that, ask the newly selected attendee to select another element and describe that element.
Use this process to enable attendees to introduce themselves while emphasizing connections within the City. This is sort of like a relay race, passing the baton to the next person to be introduced.
If you have an instance in which the element is not connected to an attendee who has not been introduced yet, find a new element in the City and try to continue to move forward with the introductions.
Connecting and Ideating
This part of the Spark Happy Hour enables attendees to record Sparks via the Spark Tool.
Encourage attendees to find another attendee to connect with and discuss their newly generated questions (or other ideas that they may have in common). Attendees can use the Community View or the Suggested Collaborators to get started (although some people will just connect with a person standing nearby).
Ask attendees to discuss ideas and/questions with others and then using the Spark Tool, generate a Spark.
Create a goal of generating a certain number of Sparks and recording them in the City.
It is interesting to consider the City Homepage and the City Community View at the beginning and the end of a Spark Happy Hour to see how the City has changed by the generation of this new information. Sparks will appear on the homepage and Sparks will appear in the Community View.
Attendees can continue to use the City after the Happy Hour to generate questions and Sparks, and to make connections with other members.