Consider for a moment a sandbox. The sand box is big, larger and wider then you can imagine. Within that sandbox you are building a sand castle. You think it is the best and most amazing sand castle you have ever seen. When you take a step back and look around you see other people building sand castles as well, some big, some small, some connected with another as joint projects, some beautiful in splended isolation. In case you are wondering where we are going with this, it's Dev Diary time! And we want to use this metaphore to explain our thoughts on partnerships. Last time, we took a look at patrons, one of the two corner stones of Atlantic Forum's quest to build the Young Trans-Atlantic Leadership Network (Y-TLN). Today we dig (pun intended) into the other corner stone: partners.

As we mentioned last time, we believe partnerships are an easy way to make patronage more interesting. Through partners we are able to offer patrons a discount rate at events, or give them access to events that otherwise would not be within their reach. However this is but one way we envision to incorporate partners into the Atlantic Forum. Using the sandbox metaphore, we envision three levels of possible cooperation.

Low intensity: "Hey that is also a nice sand castle!"

The eastiest way to cooperate is by actively choosing to acknowledge one another's existence in the sandbox. The sandbox is large enough for everyone, and there is no need to actively seek competition (there is plenty to do in strenghtening the transatlantic bond; there is no need to fight over the same resources in terms of people joining or funding used a specfiic sand castle). We agree to not be in one another's way, not steal away sand or purposely nock over a tower, and on occasion we might so to our patrons: Did you check out that other sand castle building build over there? And would much appreciate it if you did the same for us :). Actively promoting one another's sand castle would be done through discounts and special access to events.

Medium intensity: "Let's build a tower together"

Intensifying our cooperation, we would do the same as above, but think of one another when building an addition to our sand castle. Say for example your sand castle is really good in maritime issues (sand castles tend to be build at the beach after all), and we would like to do something maritime as well. Rather then inventing our own thing from scratch, we set up an agreement with you to build a maritime tower (building from scratch would probably suck as we don't know that much about building maritime stuff to start with). In practice this could be a specific side event to your existing maritime event, or an active contribution (a panel, an activity, reporting on proceedings etc.). We would be preferential partners on youth engagement and you would be our preferential partner on a specific expertise.

High intensity: "Together we can build the Magnus Opus of Sand Castles!"

The Magnus Opus of Sand Castle building happens when you build a Sand Castle together - or even better, when you connect your sand castles through little aquaducts and bridges. We care for oneanother's project the same we do for our own - and co-organize and promote events together. Here we envision in particular a way to recruit more patrons (or members of Y-TLN) in the future by organizing the youth component of your event. In return the young people (students and young professionals aged 18-35) would automatically become part of Atlantic Forum. Not only are you our preferential partner, but also an exclusive one on a given expertise. 

Check back on May 20th as we look forward to a series of events taking place in Europe! In the meantime, check out Atlantic Forum on Facebook and Twitter, and join the Atlantic Forum as a patron here!

See all Dev Diaries here: