3rd August 2011: Social Capital; Fancy words for working together by Alex Dunedin
Name of speaker and subject:
Title of talk:
Social Capital – Fancy Words for Working Together
Bullet points of what you would like to cover:
- Social Capital – what is it
- Why is trust important for communities to function
- Economics and Social Capital
- Cooperation between competitors
- Why inclusive networks are important
Websites and/or texts where further information may be found:
- A Crash Course in Social Capital
- A Multilevel Model of Group Social Capital
- The Significance of Social Capital in the Multiple Goal and Resource Structure of Social Enterprises
- Cooperative Development Scotland
A few words about you and your passion:
I have been a research secretary for some years and have collaborated on various projects. Over the last two years I have been dedicated to starting and developing the Ragged project which gets people to sharing their knowledge in social environments such as pubs, cafes and libraries. When studying social issues I discovered that Social Capital is a hotly discussed topic vital for many aspects of happy, healthy and not hungry communities. I am keen to talk about what inclusive Social Capital means and what it’s practical benefits are in community, education, economic and arts terms.
A few lines about the history of your subject:
Social Capital is a simple complex issue. Brought into light in modern times, most famously by Robert Putnam of Harvard Political School of Sciences, it has been suggested as a vital ingredient for stable economies, efficient local government, effective education, healthy communities, and a happy society. Many of these issues are being explored in debates which try to analyse just what is Social Capital. The history of ‘the benefits of being a part of a network which acts as a free resource to those involved’ might be traced back to Alexis de Tocqueville, David Hume or even Aristotle; The Economist magazine discuss this issue in terms of how Social Capital equates to trust; John Field sums it up as ‘Relationships matter’. I am going to talk about the tangible realities which make up this old and new question of how we live together.
Anything else you may want to say:
Cooperative Development Scotland is an organisation which fosters and facilitates Social Capital in the modern business environment. They help bring businesses together to work in a cooperative fashion so that the benefits of good working relationships can be tapped into. I am going to cover in my talk how cooperation, even amongst competitors in the same marketplace, bring great rewards all round.