Going Global from Coffs Harbour – Linkedin Local goes from Coffs Harbour to 650 cities worldwide Coffs Coast Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - January 7, 2021 Anna McAfee has started a global movement. ANNA McAfee has been a Linkedin user since 2009. She originally worked in recruitment and used Linkedin as a recruiting tool. However, being at home with two young children led Anna to consider the power of Linkedin’s networking possibilities. There are 660 million users around the world and more than 10 million users in Australia and Anna discovered that 23,000 Linkedin users lived within 50km radius of Coffs Harbour. However, only 289 (12.5%) were active, half of the global Linkedin average. A friend suggested that, if the number of local users was so small, why not simply meet up? In May 2017, Anna posted details of a Coffs Harbour meeting on Linkedin, with the hashtag #LinkedInLocal. She said, “I wanted to get to know local people behind the Linkedin profiles.” Fifteen people attended, and appreciated meeting face-to-face and learning about each other, and also learning a bit more about their community. The hashtag attracted growing interest, and, by the end of June, 2017, Linkedin Local meetings had been held in London, New York and Brussels. Anna, and her other three co-conveyors collaborated to establish some basic core values. Linkedin Local was to be about collaboration and not competition, being authentic, diverse, inclusive and respectful. Within two years Linkedin Local was happening in 650 cities in 92 countries, with direct impact on between 300,000 to 500,000 people. Anna has also amassed more than 14,000 Linkedin followers from around the world as a result. She has co-written a book with Nicole Johnston called ‘How a Hashtag Changed the World’ about her experience in initiating Linkedin Local. The book contains many personal stories from participants in Linkedin Local, which demonstrate that it is not simply about having a chat over a cup of coffee. Linkedin Local groups provide opportunities for professional people to connect with others near them for mutual benefit. Many groups have also raised funds for causes such as orphanages, breast cancer treatment, mental health and recovery from the Christchurch mosque attacks. Anna is a major influencer on Linkedin and has now turned to working on Linkedin Live, which helps people who want to develop online and offline communities. She said, “It has been incredible to watch Linkedin Local spread globally.” “It’s even in Madagascar now!” she added. By Andrew VIVIAN Coffs Harbour Linkedin members connect.