Seven Values for the Social Capitalist
We're working hard this summer on our Social Capitalist Curriculum. This curriculum will codify our 7 years of experience in a resource that will allow us to spread our impact by training people to be effective Social Capitalists; that is, leaders who possess a unique set of skills and attitudes that enable them to collaborate effectively, make connections, bridge differences, and nurture social networks to make a difference. Early in the process, we identified 9 Social Capitalist Competencies, described in this document.
In working on the training for the first competency, "Wear Social Capitalist Lenses", it became clear that we needed to define the values and principles that underly a Social Capitalist perspective. Here's my initial working list of Social Capitalist Values, concepts that one most embrace and keep coming back to in order to effectively strengthen our social fabric. I'd love to hear your feedback or additions to the list.
- Relationships are central—to strengthening communities, to individual well-being.
- We can do more by working together. Straight-forward enough!
- Build on strengths--everyone has something to contribute, and individuals can make a greater contribution when we are connected.
- Bridging social capital is especially important—creating relationships across differences, finding and cultivating points of commonality.
- Communities are strengthened by many different acts of participation. Some problems are best solved informally amongst neighbors; others lend themselves to being addressed by volunteers; while others require political action.
- Place matters. This has two subpoints: i) relationships in place-based communities still matter-- I can get a great recipe for chicken soup from a Facebook friend in Australia, but that friend can't bring me soup when I'm sick; ii) the physical contours of a community—natural and people-created—play an important role in the social relationships of a community.
- Openness to discourse and the willingness to seek common ground, especially with those of different backgrounds and views.