“Fun, new, and creative has to be involved with what you’re doing.” – Brogan Graham
Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric were buddies at Northeastern University in Boston. Though their lives took them outside of Boston after graduation, they both came back in their late 20s. They decided to start working out together, training for one month before work as a way to “maybe become morning people.” But it was November, in New England, and terribly cold. In order to carry their success through the harsh Boston winter, they decided to log all of their data into one shareable document: the November Project.
In the early spring, Graham and Mandaric started telling a story online through social media about their workouts. They began “hosting” workouts as the November Project.
And people starting showing up.
By the end of the summer, some of the November Project workouts had over 300 people.
Graham and Mandaric made their story stronger through social media and began adding new cities after the first year. They created a powerful group culture: They called their communities “tribes,” created an accountability page on social media called the “We Miss You” page, encouraged the practice of hugging as a greeting, and made their workouts inclusive and weatherproof.
Within a few years, the November Project regularly had 300 to 500 people at workouts in 19 cities—all through storytelling.
Graham believes that storytelling through social media is an invaluable tool. In order to build community in this way, we must look at ourselves and figure out why we’re on social media, how we’re telling stories, and how we’re building community.
“Pay attention to your voice. Be yourself. Be colorful. Be weird.” – Brogan Graham
For more information, visit the November Project’s website.
Presented by Omega
Produced by Wanderlust Festival
Filmed and Edited by: Circus Picnic
Filmed at Wanderlust Squaw Valley 2015
Accompanying text by Kristin Diversi