A Pandemic, a Test as Dear World Scales

In March 2020, the emails  all came within days of each other, beginning with some version of “We hate to do this, but…” When one day became two, two became two months– we all woke up to a staggering quandary:  Do we wait this out? Do we go all in on digital events?

Dear World went all in.

Could we continue to have impact digitally?

Since our backs were/are/will be against the metaphorical wall, this idea became actionable. It started simply. We have several university partnerships to help their first year students connect during orientation. I thought they’d be cancelling too. 

To our surprise and delight, they dreamt with us.

Our team kicked around an idea: What if we trained the upperclassmen to lead the smaller group experiences live or online?

And when the world shut down in the spring of 2020, Dear World’s revenue went to 0 overnight. 

But that didn’t mean the stories didn’t continue. The pandemic gave Dear World a new opportunity to continue its mission and an opportunity to scale. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, dearworld.org delivered a heart wrenching and human series highlighting 40 critical care nurses in Louisiana working at the height of the first way over Covid 19. 

Chief People Officers who knew Dear World’s ability to connect were interested to hear whether the company could bring the magic of its live experience online. The Dear World team invested heavily in the design and development of a digital offering. Some participants who have participated in both the live and digital experience revealed that they “like the digital version more!” 

Dear World also trademarked its storytelling method in 2020 and now has developed a certified storytelling program. It’s on pace to have more than 200,000 participants in 2021 by certifying internal employees at companies and student leaders on college campuses to be official Dear World storytellers. 

Until the next update!

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