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Social capital?

By 2nd July 2010No Comments

I’ve been thinking about the notion of social capital a great deal over the last year or two – and the thinking is gradually becoming less ‘inchoate’…

As a leader in a global network of nearly 200 NGOs, I have an opportunity to connect people, and to play my part in bringing about transformational results for the organisations we work with, and the communities they serve. And that’s what’s got me thinking about ‘social capital’… what is my [our] social capital, how do we invest it, and what is the return on investment (or return on relationship)?

Is our social capital the sum of our ‘connectedness’/ relationships, and our behaviours/attitudes?

I think that’s possibly a starting point…

We work collaboratively and we use our convening ‘power’ (or social capital?) to create and nurture community, and to facilitate virtual and face to face interaction and learning. Our aim is to improve the way in which the humanitarian and development community works to overcome poverty and and alleviate suffering around the world. In a way, we could describe what we do as  “investing our social ‘capital’ (that is the sum of our ‘connectedness’/ relationships, and our behaviours/attitudes), for social profit”.

Here’s hoping the inchoate thoughts coalesce into something coherent.

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Ben Emmens