I was at an event at the RSA in London recently where Pam Warhurst came by to speak about the Incredible Edible network. I had first seen Pam at a TED Salon in London a couple of years ago where she spoke about ‘Incredible Edible Todmorden’ (check out the TED talk here) and how the town was transforming itself by using public spaces to grow food. Pam is a leader in this movement, which she refreshingly insists is about ‘just doing it’, not seeking funding, making strategic plans or getting official backing. The movement is growing across the country and around the world, all on the basis of action, sharing and co-operation.
Pam breezed in with her usual lively and engaging style. She then set up in a corner of the room and proceeded to do some very high speed and effective Connecting. The ‘Connector’ is one of the six leadership roles in our book Host: Six new ‘roles of engagment’ for teams, organisations, communities and movements’. The role of Connector is about first connecting with others, then connecting others together to create a growing network of possibilities.
Pam’s style was a whirlwind. She carried no cards or papers, just telling people to look at the website. She looks people in the eye and ask ‘How can you help me build Incredible Edible’? She’s quick, enthusiastic, engaged – and then on to the next person within a couple of minutes. Her three key messages for those seeking to build a movement are:
1. Know your story and tell it.
2. You don’t need money – go looking to do something and start something.
3. Connect with other people, other initiatives and other groups in your area.
I so enjoyed watching her do this that I retreated to a corner to make these notes, looked around – and she’d gone, presumably on to the next place looking for support. Very energetic and very inspirational. Thanks, Pam.