Before the jump: please consider voting for my session proposal, “Meeting 1 New Person Everyday: Using Everyday Inclusion to Build a Stellar Village Around You” at SOCAP’s 2016 conference in San Francisco this September! Read more about why you should below :) …
Social capital. A noun. Definition: the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.
The 1 thing I am most passionate about is meeting 1 new person every single day of my life. It’s a mission that I’ve accomplished for years, save for just a handful of days. The stories and knowledge you can gain from someone, through their stories and perspectives, through their identity, and through what they believe “makes them awesome” are legitimately limitless. That is why I meet 1 new person everyday. It’s not about networking in the traditional business sense. It’s about connecting.
When you connect with people, they immediately feel included. Asking “what makes you awesome?” is a 1 way street to connection, really. And when you meet 1 new person each day, you may develop a lot of social capital. Which is why I shared that definition with you to start. Meeting and connecting with folks not only “enable that society to function effectively” but it can also create a stellar village of folks around you and enable society to function extremely well, not just effectively. These are going to be people who care about the same things you do, share your values, see the meaning in your mission, and maybe even do the same great work that you do (in a social context). The goal of meeting 1 new person everyday is not social capital, but it’s a very, very nice side effect in my opinion.
Now that we’ve set the ground rules, here’s the story. Years ago I was doing some research on this idea of social capital and it adding meaning to the world around you. I discovered a conference named “SOCAP.” Their call was for social entrepreneurs around the world to mobilize, connect, and accelerate the economy. While my vision of social capital has more to do with people and less to do with money, I was still intrigued. That’s why I’m working toward getting to that conference this year.
SOCAP is an organization that is dedicated to increasing the flow of all kinds of capital toward social good. This includes my passion of social capital. I’m intrigued by their unique approach that focuses on cross-sector convening and gathers voices across many fields to form impactful connections. That’s exactly what I practiced in my graduate school days, for example. You were more likely to find me at a conference for entrepreneurs working in unique ways to disrupt higher education than you would at a traditional student affairs conference. And I found great value in that – connecting with others outside of my field to work toward our seemingly uncommon goals. But our goals were common. Cross-convening can find goals that are common.
SOCAP ’16 hopes to provide three full days of information, inspiration and connection with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, collaborators and thought-leaders. I hope to add my session proposal to those days. The title of my session is Meeting 1 New Person Everyday: Using Everyday Inclusion to Build a Stellar Village Around You and you can find more information about it here. I’ve already written half the presentation and all of the learning outcomes – I hope I’m not jinxing it! But it’s a prezo that I’ve been meaning to develop for a long time, because it’s one of the most impactful I’ve ever conceived. I think. :)
I hope you’ll take some time to check out the description and maybe even “vote up” for my presentation proposal. We’ll all find out later this month which ones are accepted – fingers crossed!