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Building Sustainable Ecosystems: Community

November 14, 2019ByKonstantinos Papamiltiadis

In my previous blog, we outlined our intention to democratize access to knowledge and opportunities through our investments in education, innovation and community to help develop a healthy tech ecosystem for the future. This time, let’s talk about the role community plays.

Community is at the heart of everything we do at Facebook. The programs we develop, the education we enable and the innovation happening on our platform are designed to help people in our community grow and build successful businesses so that they can themselves give back to their local community. Equally important for us is to engage with these communities through local, in-person moments like Facebook iD8. These moments enable cross-pollination of ideas and best practices through successes and impact shared by the community, with each other.

Recently, Facebook iD8 had stops in Sao Paulo, Berlin and New York, here are some insights on how members of our local communities managed to give back.

Platzi, an educational startup from Mexico that participated in our accelerator program Startup Hub CDMX, was in the process of building their mobile application. Through this program they learned best practices about building apps with React Native -- resulting in them developing online training courses on React. Their increasing growth and the impact of these courses on training developers & entrepreneurs in Latin America led us to partner with Platzi and make their content & trainings available to thousands of Spanish-speaking Developer Circles members in the region.

Olivier Jeannel became deaf at age 2. When he arrived in France to continue his studies, he was confronted with the lack of accessibility for the hearing impaired and it continued for years at work. With the release of Siri in 2011, he realizes that if a phone conversation was subtitled in real time, thanks to voice recognition, then he could call like everyone else. As part of the Facebook Startup Garage at STATION F, the program helped Rogervoice develop a mobile and web application that is able to subtitle any call in real time and connect users with a sign language interpreter for visioconference. In a period of 5 years, the company has reached 24 employees and 500,000 calls per year with 26 key account customers.

In the US, Framingham-based Cumberland Farms is one of the largest family-run convenience store chains in the country. Cumberland Farms partnered with staffing solution provider Talentify to find qualified candidates for their stores. Whenever Cumberland created new job roles in Talentify application tool, those were posted on Cumberland’s Facebook Page. This is important because people with shorter commutes are more likely to stay in their job and in turn fosters success within local communities. Within just four months, Facebook became the company’s primary source of candidates in the markets where it recruits using Jobs on Facebook -- this story goes to the heart of building, fostering and enabling community.

One of our last stops was Facebook NYC where we held a local community challenge with more than 100 developers who came together to build innovative solutions for the future using Spark AR, Messenger & React. It was amazing to see what these developers built in just 12 hours. Our winning team’s inspiration came from their time volunteering as entertainers in children’s hospitals. Using Messenger, they built an experience for children in hospitals, who may not be able to enjoy and discuss entertainment like movies and TV shows with friends.

It is invigorating and humbling to bring the members of our community together, learn and get inspired by the positive contribution and impact they are making to the ecosystem globally.

If you are interested in giving back to your local communities, please join your local developer circle and make an impact in your community.