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Boma Circle Overview & Guidelines

Boma Circle Guidelines

What Is a Boma Circle? Boma Circles are self-organized community actions and events hosted weekly or monthly by local community members and volunteers with the goal of driving impact, action and outcomes. Boma Circles work to identify local innovations, bridge opposing points of view, and drive scalable impact through the use of Boma Circle Formats. The more diverse your Boma Circles are the richer your community actions.

Boma Circle Values & Purpose: All Boma Circles and all community activities should strive to embody the vision, principles, and spirit of Boma and create a community that positively impacts your schools, towns, cities and the greater Boma ecosystem. Our goal is to work with you to develop a worldwide network of local ecosystems that help people think differently, solve the world’s most pressing issues, and drive maximum impact both locally and globally. Boma is a global, open, learning and community-driven network. Local innovations and success stories will be shared across the global ecosystem to encourage learning and growth.

Specifically, Boma Circles strive to:

  • elevate local ideas, innovations, and actions
  • host initiatives directly driving local impact and actions
  • support networking and connections across different backgrounds, perspectives, cultures, and demographics
  • collaborate with all Boma partners and stakeholders in the Boma ecosystem
  • share and collaborate with the local, regional, and global Boma community
  • value the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for action

Benefits of Organizing a Boma Circle:

  • You operate under a global brand symbolizing open, cutting-edge thinking about a better and sustainable future for humanity
  • You get access to innovations and circle formats of other Boma community members, which you can adapt to your local community --there is no need to reinvent the wheel
  • You get connected to a global network of passionate people and organizers who can support you when things get difficult
  • You gain access to a network of extraordinary speakers and thought leaders and changemakers
  • You get the freedom and autonomy to develop your community formats -- including your pricing -- to suit your needs and enable you to build a team driving sustainable, year-round impact.

Boma Circle Formats: To cultivate a rich dialog, your Boma Circle should include people from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. Here are just a few event formats other community members are prototyping. For more information, see our resources toolkit.

  • Boma Campfire: Campfires are dialogs that are centered on solutions or ideas. They are hosted in a "fishbowl" format and are spaces where the whole community can participate and discuss ongoing problems.
  • Boma Debate: Debates unite people with opposing points of view and attempt to bridge the canyons that divide us. Debate speakers are curated with diversity in mind and are always representative of all the key stakeholders.
  • Boma Salon: Salons identify community-based entrepreneurial solutions and innovations. Their focus is on scaling and growing the things presented, connecting mentors and funding to innovations, and answering “what’s next?”
  • Boma Impact Dinner: These events are a time to relax, break bread together, and have a moderated conversation. A guide (or speaker) will lead attendees in conversation about an idea or issue that is relevant to the community.
  • Boma Pitch: These gatherings connect promising local innovators to funding sources, mentors, and strategic partners, helping build the high-growth sustainable businesses the world needs.
  • Boma Action: These events are centered on taking real, meaningful action. Sometimes that means writing to local politicians. Other times, it means hosting community cleanups, participating in a march or protest, or working on protest art projects. These can be hosted as Boma events or in collaboration with like-minded organizations.
  • Boma Viewing Party: Want to watch a debate, documentary, or live stream of a Boma event and host a discussion? The Boma viewing parties are the thing for you.
  • Boma U: To solve global challenges, we need the leaders of tomorrow. If you’re a student who’s passionate about elevating local sustainable innovation and tackling global grand challenges, start a BomaU Circle on your campus.
  • Boma Youth: Formed as school clubs, Boma Youth Circles ensure young people are inspired to champion — and prepared to lead — transformative initiatives. Boma is partnering with the Conrad Foundation to help elevate these Circles.

Starting a Boma Circle: To launch your own Boma Circle you need to:

Governance: Boma Circle activities are led by volunteers. The goal of your Boma Circle is to build a vibrant local and regional community. Circle activities should not be profit centers. You may charge a nominal fee to cover all activities.

The Boma Impact Ecosystem: Boma Circles are managed in collaboration with Boma Country partner. If no country partner exists in the region currently, volunteers will work in collaboration with Boma Global. Circle activities must be primarily and explicitly for impact (i.e. aligned to the SDGs), and must be financially and socially inclusive to all members of your community.

Naming Your Boma Circle: Your Boma Circle is named after the city or neighbourhood you live in, nonprofit you represent or school you attend. Your Circle’s name must be approved by the Boma Global team or Country Partner team before launching. Example: Boma Nashville Circle.

Branding Your Circle: You and your leadership team must review and agree to the following Boma Branding Guidelines.

Theme: Consider picking a theme for your Boma Circle action or initiative. Ideally this theme maps onto the UN SDGs.

Fundraising Best Practices:

  • Where there is a Boma country partner, all fundraising for Boma Circles should be done jointly, in collaboration with the Boma country partner.
  • Where possible, find local partners/sponsors instead of global companies to support your Boma Circle activities
  • Identify partners/sponsors who will support your Boma Circle with in-kind investment or participation
  • If possible, sponsors and individuals should pay vendors directly or find a fiscal sponsor to manage the accounting
  • If needed, you may identify an existing nonprofit or start a nonprofit organization to run Boma Circle activity funding through. The nonprofit may not use the Boma brand or include the word “Boma”.
  • Unacceptable Sponsors: Weapon manufacturers, tobacco companies, alcohol companies, companies that promote products or practices that run contrary to established scientific facts, and political or religious organizations are not allowed to act as sponsors for Boma events or in association with the Boma brand.
  • Your sponsors may not drive the agenda of your Boma Circle activities or content

Posting to YouTube & Live Streaming:

All Boma Salon talks or Boma expert videos must be uploaded to your Boma Circle playlist on YouTube. We are excited about experimenting with new video formats — short form content “Boma Bytes” and more.

The Boma Video Manual and Guidelines can be found here.

Posting to Medium:

Boma is an emergent network and platform. Collaboration, learning and sharing is at the core of our Boma principles. Storytelling is key to learning. If you don’t tell your Boma Circle story, the Boma community and the rest of the world will not know what you are up to and will not learn from your community's ideas and successes. Boma Global will amplify your stories by reposting to our Boma Global Medium publications. Our Boma Medium Guidelines can be found here.

Posting to Social Media:

We encourage you to post to all social media channels. The name you use on your social media channels should mirror your Boma Circle name. Here are some basic social media, PR and communication guidelines.

As part of Boma’s DNA please support, collaborate and promote other Boma initiatives in your local ecosystem. The more you promote other Boma Circle actives the more they will promote you.

Boma Community Commons:

Boma is a learning & sharing network. Your success is everybody's success. We ask that you share your ideas, resources, collateral, and success stories with the rest of the community by:

  1. Posting to the community slack channel
  2. Uploading resources to the community commons
  3. Telling your impact story by posting on your local Country Partner Medium account.

We Want Your Feedback:

Your feedback is critical to the ongoing evolution, innovation, and collaboration of our Boma global community.

Please provide feedback after your Boma Circle and let us know what did or did not work.

Please also send out a survey to your attendees, ideally through Net Promoter and share with feedback with [email protected]


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