What is a Real Place?

A Real Place is: A physical place that works like the Internet but people go there and talk to each other in real-life. Ours is the first in a new generation of real social networking platforms. 

Our Mission: Connecting People in Real Life

Making our world more real
more human – and more fun.

Vision: A Real Place to meet and talk

Taking face-to-face conversation beyond the level of the Internet
and bringing people together in real life.

Our Expert Team

Daniel Norris

CEO and Founder
Creator of the first platform for face-to-face communication. Founder of the first Real Social Networking company: A Real Place LLC
On one level our business is about a technology that will bring face-to-face conversation up to and beyond the level of the Internet. On another level it’s about getting people talking to each other again – in real life. The need for social connection is one of the most powerful drivers of human activity in daily life and in business.
Meeting and talking is something we’ve done for thousands of years – since civilization began – since we first sat around fires – or gathered at the village well – and now we’ll meet again in a Real Place.

Bruce Potter

Chief Operating Officer and Cofounder
Bruce Potter is an entrepreneurial executive with successes leading small and medium-sized companies in the media space in competitive markets and experience working for digital startups.
After graduating from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, he began his career as a newspaper reporter in Richmond, where he covered a variety of different topics, including state and local government, police, politics, and local business. He also earned an MBA from University of Richmond.
Bruce later moved up into an editor’s role and eventually became a publisher of several small newspapers, where he helped build their community connections by improving both the print and digital versions of their products and creating local events. He also worked for a start-up designed to crowd-source news content.
He lives in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., where he is active in the community through several local organizations.
His vision for A Real Place: We spend far too much time in front of computer screens or hunched over our smartphones. When we do venture out, it’s usually with a “safe” group of close friends, colleagues or family. A Real Place has the potential to help people build real connections, in the real world, around shared interests, in a way that will help to grow and improve our communities, our lives and our world.

Michael Swensson

Chief Social Connection Officer and Director
Michael is a Consummate Entrepreneur and business leader with a strong track record for driving business expansion opportunities, managing and sustaining client relationships and effectively managing cross-functional business and investment operations at Fortune 500 companies. Excellent change agent with high degree of integrity and promotes company values while creating an environment of exceptional customer services for residents, prospects and vendors. Deep domain knowledge and ability to execute a “clear vision and voice” for the core business and underlying infrastructure.
For the past 6 years, Michael served as the Chief Operating Officer at Bridgewater Associates, responsible for the strategic financial management budget and annual procurement spend. He was also responsible for the development and of their internal risk governance framework, recommending its risk appetite and ensuring all risks generated by the business are measured, reviewed and monitored on an ongoing basis. Prior to joining BW, Michael held similar positions as Goldman Sachs and Alliance Bernstein and was appointed as co-chair of SIFMA’s continuity/risk committee with focus on implementing solutions to mitigate a systemic failure across the financial industry.
Michael has the unique title of Chief Social Connection Officer of a Real Place. He has a special remit to promote our Mission and its realization through our Business Operations.

Craig Johnson

Chief Financial Officer and Cofounder
Very few people have the high-level experience in all business functions and the specific expertise in finance, strategy and HR that I bring to the table. I’m the guy you want on your team to help you see what you’re not seeing.
I’ve been a part of several tech startups, as well as companies with nearly $1B in annual revenues. I started my career in the non-profit realm before moving to Technology. Starting as a full-charge bookkeeper and working my way up the ranks to Chief Financial Officer for several companies.
I’m a champion of change management and process improvements. My skill set gives a strong strategic resource to the company; not only do I create vision and strategy, I implement it – and I will make a Real Place a reality.
I see A Real Place as the bridge back to human contact. A place where people are more excited to interact with each other than they are to check-in on social media.

Business Activities:

  • Provide technology and systems that bring real-life face-to-face networking up to and beyond the level of the Internet.
  • License and franchise technology and systems for real-life face-to-face networking events.
  • License and franchise patents, trademarks and intellectual property associated with real-life face-to-face forums and networking events.
  • Host meetings, conferences, conventions, forums, public consultations and real-life social networking events.
  • Provide advanced networking for business, education, science, medicine, culture, entertainment, civic and community forums.
  • Deliver online services to support real-life face-to-face networking events.

The Real Place platform is based on a very well established technology – computer driven electronic display systems. Development will create an architecture where the user feels they are ‘physically inside the Internet’. It will be mass produced at low cost.

Cultural Objectives

A Real Place will: 

Be a place for free speech

Bring communities together

Reinvent the art of conversation

Empower individuals to solve problems

Build connections between people in real life

Serve as a cultural institution for self-expression

Give citizens access to their greatest resource – each other

Provide a new platform for real-life face-to-face communication