Are you a social capitalist? I’m not asking you if you are a socialist or a capitalist. I’m asking, “Are you a social capitalist?”

Social Capital is the value of social networks and norms of reciprocity for individuals and communities.  It is important to the health of communities just like financial capital is. Like physical assets, social capital enhances or reduces the health of communities.

Social capital comes in two forms. The first is bonding social capital. These are the networks and reciprocal relationships with people who are like me.  My social capital would include my church, my neighborhood, and my friends.

The second form of social capital is bridging social capital. These are the links to people who are not like me. They may be different based on race, ethnicity, education, socioeconomics, and a host of other categories.  I daresay that most of us are rather lacking in our bridging social capital.

So…are you a social capitalist?  If you’re not, do you want to be?

(NOTE: I first learned about this from Terry Saunders Lane of the Boston Foundation.)

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