How to Cope With Meltdown in Communities

In any community, conflict is inevitable. It can be destructive or it can be an opportunity.

How a group, and the individuals in it, deal with conflict is often the difference between the kind of breakthroughs that make a community stronger or the kind of meltdowns that turn an endeavor into a “late great.” In this session we’ll explore how to cope with meltdowns to optimize opportunities and avoid self-destruction.

This Keynote will be held by John Coate, an original member of the Farm community (Wikipedia), the largest and most successful hippy commune ever (still in existence, and doing great, though it is now a cooperative rather than a collective). Because of his experience at community organising, he was recruited into the WELL, Stewart Brand’s and Larry Brilliant’s groundbreaking virtual community – and so became the world’s first professional online community manager. He then went on to found and direct SF Gate, the world’s first big city news website. Later still, he moved on, becoming Development Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation; and on again.

How you can register for this session

This session takes place at 9:15 AM on Friday, February 26th.

  1. If you don’t already have one, sign up for an edgeryders account here:

  2. Leave a comment below to introduce yourself and let us know you want to come!

  3. Someone will say hello and suggest some small tasks you should complete for a ticket! When you finish the tasks, we will send you the ticket.

  4. See you at the workshop :slight_smile:

Image Credit: Photographer unknown, sourced from this site.

Date: 2016-02-26 09:15:00 - 2016-02-26 10:00:00, Europe/Brussels Time.




I do hope this means you are slowly reaching the decision to come, John. Fyi I took the liberty to add your session as a keynote at the beginning of the event on Feb 25th (see draft program here), but of course it depends on your preference and future changes. Let me know if you have a preference for a different slot, starting anytime in the afternoon of the 25th or 9 am the following days.

I’m still trying

I am working on scheduling a major surgery in January that will hopefully allow me enough recovery time that I can still come and do this.  I can only say at this point that it is my intention and very strong wish to make it.

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Just saw the message

Happy new year John. Hope this one brings you lots of love and health. Fingers crossed!

Projector needs

Hi John!

I’m trying to prevent technical errors from occuring and for that I’d like to know whether you’d like (a) a projector for your keynote (b) sound (not sure I can guarantee this) and (c) anything else?

Also if you’re back in good health and would still like your biking tour of Brussels, we can make that happen. Question is when.



I have a Macbook Pro and an projector adapter, so hopefully it will all work.  I have a bunch of slides that are text - they are phrases or ideas.  So could get along without them, but I think they are helpful.  I won’t need sound.

I gave a talk a couple of years ago that was recorded and is available to view as a .mov (Origins of Online Community at that tells stories about how my journey and online community began.  It is loaded with photos.  I recommend to whomever attends to view it first.  I think it’s pretty entertaining.  Also there is a set of podcasts from a long interview I gave to German public radio that really goes into detail.  Because of those ad because I only have 30 minutes, I will not be repeating all that is in those pieces.

I feel pretty good so far.  I’m in treatment (prostate cancer), but the heavy stuff won’t start until later in April.  So I ought to be able to bike ok.  Weather permitting.  I am otherwise a healthy person.

Documentation uploaded