Are you building Social Capital? [WEDS 6/26 1pET]

Posted on June 24, 2013 by


Are you building social capital? (c) 2013 Amberwood Media Group

Are you building social capital? (c) 2013 Amberwood Media Group

Over on the sourcepov blog, I’ve just started a series on Social Capital. There I frame the concept a bit in the context of community engagement and leadership.

I’ll share the definition I used there; does it resonate in the Social Change context ..?

When we engage in a real way, we’re building social capital .. putting together the skills, resources and networks that can help us learn, in turn helping us to help others.

My thought process?  When we put conscious effort into the building blocks of our social networks, signicant and amazing things start to happen, things we don’t even expect.  I’ve experienced it personally.  We start raising the water level of what’s possible.  Ultimately, we can change the game.

And that’ s at the core of Social Change.

If you buy into the definition above, it begs the immediate question: how do we build it?  I’m so glad you asked, because that’s the topic for our 6/26 WEDS 1pET #SMCHAT.

As we break it down, if there are any Peter Block fans in the house (besides me!), let’s embrace his call to “ask the right questions” ..  or as my favorite chat-moderator-before-his-time and semantics guru Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) once said, “we need to put the question marks deeper down” ..

We’ve covered Engagement. Listening. Trust. The needs for Leaders who understand all that.  Let’s go deeper, and unpack it this way:

Q1. If Social Capital is “Building the skills, resources & networks to help us learn” why aren’t more people doing it?

Q2. Engagement is Social Capital skill number one. It requires listening & being present. So how do we find that skill in others?

Q3. Besides engaged people, what resources does Social Capital require? Money? Information? Time? Place? What’s the top priority?

Q4. We’re awash in social tools. Our networks? Proliferating. To build Social Capital, how can we focus across so many threads?

We’re joined now, of course, by our friends at #USGUYSCHAT, many of  whom share our energy on the evolution of the social spaces and what it all might mean.  To me, that’s exciting. Just last week we made the Top 10 in Social Chats by @SimplyMeasured (via @LisaLFlowers, props, Lisa, for the heads up!).  At #smchat we are gaining in number again, and, if we can stabilize our chat platforms (per Q4!) in momentum too.

Thanks as always for making #smchat the community it is continuing to become.

I look forward to the discussion, and I’ll see you online ..

Chris aka @sourcepov