GInI Membership

GInI membership lets you become part of a very unique organization, a society dedicated to all the brilliant and innovative minds out there, a place that brings together people and ideas, and a lab to conceive, create, test, experiment, and succeed. Being a member gives you exclusive access to incredible networking opportunities and member-only roundtable events. You will constantly have access to all of GInI’s blogs, forums, articles, publications, and news relating to the field of innovation. You will also gain access to special pricing and discounts on GInI’s certifications, exams, events, renewals, publications, online assessment tools, and other resources. No other organization delivers the caliber of community and resources that GInI does.

GInI Communities

GInI Communities are open groups of GInI Professional Members who are interested in common topics and/or who live and work in the same geographic areas. Communities can therefore be either topical or geographic in nature.

Why We Need GInI Communities

GInI communities serve many important functions. Among these are the following:

  • Different teams are often focused on different parts of the innovation process. Communities promote cross-sharing of insights and skills across the whole process, from front to back.

  • Professionals in different industries often face very similar problems and challenges to one another. Communities help to promote cross-industry fertilization of innovative new ideas.

  • Many professionals find that their days are filled with only doing, and not with learning and growth. Communities provide a powerful venue for learning and growth outside of their daily jobs.

  • Many professionals feel as though they are going it alone in their struggle for new innovation… too often just a one-man battle. Communities create a place of encouragement where they can find the mentoring and support they need to win these battles and overcome the obstacles blocking their paths.

  • Many professionals find that their organizations are lacking in innovation maturity, and thus do not have adequate standards of innovation practice in place in the business. Communities help professionals and leaders to constantly raise the standard for Applied Business Innovation in their organizations and thereby improve the organization’s level of innovation maturity, capability, and prowess.

  • Professionals often find that they simply cannot locate the information or knowledge they need, especially if it needs to be of a certain caliber. Communities help to foster the broad dissemination of world-class knowledge and information.

  • Many professionals find that all too often they simply end up repeating the same mistakes of others who have come before them. Communities help to disseminate good practices broadly and thereby avoid many of these needless errors and mistakes.

  • Many professionals feel they do not have a strong voice within the broader innovation community. GInI Innovation Communities give them that voice, letting them come together and advocate loudly for their insights and needs.


Community Leaders

Within each GInI Community there are to be one or more Community Leaders, each of whom will have certain expertise in some area of innovation. These Leaders need not act as the tactical managers of the Community, though they can if they so desire. Otherwise Communities should nominate various Community Managers and Session Facilitators / Moderators to help run the Community and its different events, spreading the work of operating the Community as broadly as possible within the Community.

The primary objectives for Community Leaders are therefore:

  • To help establish and maintain a healthy self-sustaining community.

  • To help ensure transparency, objectivity, and honesty in the operation of the community.

  • To help grow the community by inviting new members to join it.

  • To help organize the life and activities of the community.

  • To help coordinate meetings and other events which the community is hosting.

  • To help facilitate and/or moderate certain community events wherever appropriate.

  • To help facilitate the sharing and dissemination of knowledge and expertise within the community.

  • To laisse with GInI and share the community’s status, successes, and challenges with GInI’s leadership.


Community leader doesn’t act as manager of the community. Group can also nominate facilitators for sessions, it is not just the Community leader who should be the moderator.

Defining Your Community

Each Community, if it is to grow into a healthy and self-sustaining Community, must establish what uniquely defines it as a Community… why it exists, who it is for, and what types of challenges and issues it wishes to address. If the Community is to ultimately attract new members and get them engaged in the life of the Community, then the answers to these questions must not only be interesting, they must be highly compelling. Otherwise the community will struggle to maintain ongoing support and participation and will ultimately die, either quickly or slowly.

As a Community Member, What Should I Expect?

In order for your Community to thrive and grow, it relies upon the engagement and energy of each and every member. What you should expect, therefore, is to be actively engaged in the Community and therefore actively participating in its life and events.

More specifically, as a Community Member you are expected to do the following:

  • Participate in each of the Community’s meetings and sessions.

  • Share your knowledge with the Community and help its members find innovative new ways to address the challenges they are facing.

  • Contribute to the pool of topics the Community can address.

  • Help select specific topics for the Community to address at different times.

  • Contribute expertise to the advancement of each topic, either your own or by helping to locate other experts who can best speak to them.

  • Help members of the Community apply and validate the new insights being learned around each topic that is addressed.

  • Ensure the Community’s knowledge is being shared far and wide within the broader GInI Community by helping to publish the Community’s emerging insights as new blog articles or share them as webinars where there is adequate interest.


GInI Community Formation

Starting and operating a viable and sustainable GInI Community requires the dedication of a group of committed volunteers, each of whom must be active GInI Council Members in good standing.

Following is a brief overview of the Community Start-Up Requirements, Commitment, and Process.

Start-up Requirements

  • A minimum of 6 GInI Council Members, active and in good standing, who are interested in forming the initial membership of the new Community.

  • A minimum of 3 GInI Council Members, active and in good standing, who will serve as the core group making up the Community’s initial Board of Directors.

  • A minimum of 2 GInI Council Members, active and in good standing, who will coordinate the necessary GInI Community Start-up Activities. These individuals are typically part the group making up the initial Board of Directors.


Time Commitment

  • An estimated 2 - 5 hours per week will be required once the start-up process has been completed and the Community is actively operating.

  • The time required to carry out the initial start-up process can be considerably greater however.


Community Start Up Process & Timeline

  1. Establish the necessity of, and level of interest in, this particular Community.

  2. Identify potential Community Leaders, then recruit a set of these Leaders to help launch the Community.

  3. Establish the objectives for the Community.

  4. Select a unique name for the Community.

  5. Establish the Community’s elevator pitch for attracting new Members as well as prospective Sponsors.

  6. Review GInI’s Community Start-Up Checklist and ensure this new Community is addressing each of its requirements.

  7. Complete the GInI Community Start-Up Application Form and submit to GInI for review and approval.

  8. Your organizing group will be notified within 1 - 2 weeks of its application date whether or not GInI has approved its Community Start-Up Application, or if additional information is needed to do so.

    1. If your Community Start-Up Application is approved by GInI, a member of GInI’s Community Team will be in touch with you to review your next steps in launching this new Community.

    2. In general, the time required to bring a new GInI Community up to active charter status can vary between one to two months from the date of Application approval, depending in part on how quickly or slowly the Community’s founding team wishes to proceed.


Community Active Launch Process

  1. Identify prospective charter members for the Community, then recruit as many of these as possible.

  2. Establish a Community web site, Community mailing list, and other marketing resources needed to help market the Community and its events.

  3. Establish a rhythm and sequence of meetings and events for the Community.

  4. Establish an initial set of programmatic themes around which the Community will host specific events.

  5. Organize and host the Community’s first official gathering or event. Try to make it as impactful and memorable as possible. Market it broadly and aggressively to prospective attendees.

  6. Thereafter organize and host a regular sequence of Community gatherings and events. Try to make each one relevant and useful. Continue to market them broadly.

  7. Seek out and secure an initial set of Community Sponsors to help underwrite the costs of operating the Community.

  8. Continuously invite new individuals and groups to attend the Community’s events, and to likewise join in the Community and get involved.


Community Maintenance Process

  1. Meet, meet, and meet yet again. People will find that, even when they are tired and lack the energy and will to attend, they will nevertheless find the meetings to be energizing and informative, making their time and efforts highly worthwhile. Inevitably this level of commitment is what will sustain the Community and allow it to thrive over the long run.

  2. Establish a Community collaboration platform to engage Community members virtually in the digital domain. Ensure this has a Moderator to help encourage and guide its productive use.

  3. As needed for each calendar period, update the set of programmatic themes around which the Community will continue to host specific events for the upcoming period.

  4. Maintain and update the Community web site regularly so that the Community’s calendar of events is always current and available for people to find and review.

  5. Seek out and secure additional Community Sponsors to continue underwriting the costs of operating the Community, and in due time to potentially host more expansive events.

  6. Over time, ensure the Community is grooming prospective new leaders and managers to succeed its current leaders and managers. This avoids burning out any given set of leaders or managers, and keeps the Community fresh and vibrant.
    Active volunteerism of fresh new cohorts of leaders and managers is absolutely vital to the long-term health of any Community.


For more information on GInI’s Communities, contact us a Community@gini.org.

GInI – 38 West Fulton, Suite 400, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503, United States – gini@gini.org – Ph: +1 877 276 7701