The Seven Degrees of Social Capital

20190511_170212.jpgFrom the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I heard a great speaker last week talking about social capital. The name of his session was, “I know a guy.” I loved the premise of the session, which was the idea that everyone’s network is built on gifts and interests. So, if I declare to the world that I am a big fan of pie, I can seek out other pie lovers so that I can explore and discuss the thing that I love.

Now this sort of connection happens naturally for many of us as we navigate around our neighbourhoods. A big part of that naturalness happens through conversation. It starts with a chat with someone you know and that person mentions a budding new interest in
geocaching … and then it happens, the inevitable response: “I know a guy who loves geocaching! In fact, he plans his vacations around geocaching hot spots … he can tell you all of the great destinations. I will get him to connect with you.”

That’s the magic – an instant connection and, at the very least, a sharing of knowledge and interest and – at the best – a new friendship that leads to more friendships and the strong network that some people call “social capital.”

I love the simplicity and the magnificent multiplying effect of, “I know a guy.” I think that sometimes we fear asking a favour, but that is not this, because this is fueled by passion and shared interests … this is the kind of thing people love to share. We are social creatures, made for relying on one another, to face the sabre-toothed tiger to live another day. Let’s connect, even without the threat of large fangs, and get social … “I know a guy.”

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