Ep292: Building an International Community with Panion Founder Melanie Aronson
October 18, 2021
It’s often said that curiosity leads us down new paths, but for film director Melanie Aronson, curiosity made her take a hard left from a career in film and into the world of entrepreneurship.
Living an international life and hopping from place to place, the newness of it all was a familiar feeling to Melanie as she was an enthusiast of the world’s uncertainties. The challenge of immersing herself in the unknown, combined with her natural fascination for new experiences different communities had to offer, became the life-blood of her work as a documentarian.
“My mom used to tell me my whole life ‘nothing’s ever simple with you’” she said, jokingly, “For me, it’s exciting when there’s something new to solve.”
It was this same passion for the community that lead her to pivot from film-making to app making, as she is now the founder of Panion, a platform for finding and building groups of like-minded people even in the most unruly places.
Panion is a community management platform that provides an empathy-driven framework for creating safe and inclusive spaces of connection both online and offline.
“I was really interested in understanding people’s experiences to people migrating was, coming from very different backgrounds and cultures, I wanted to understand what that process was like.”
The effort and compassion that was put into her simple project have come a long way from its original purpose. Initially a tool for organization and meetups, it has become a full-fledged community-building platform. Despite the hardship and developments caused by the pandemic, Panion and Melanie’s goal still remains the same; making a safe space for people to find each other.
“I think the hardest part of my journey was realizing that in order for this to be successful I had to recognize myself as a leader,” she says, “I have to do something, and then be able to actually look at myself and identify with that.”
Concluding her story, she leaves us with one last message. Melanie reminds us that living an unconventional life could just happen out of nowhere and that the journey to growth is better when shared.