social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

There’s always plenty to read about social capital and related topics! Here are some recent reads that might be of interest to others in the social capital network:

Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations That Expand Students’ Networks I’m currently reading this book by Julia Freeland Fisher that does a great job of summarizing how important social capital is for student success. Fisher starts with some gloomy news about how unequal access to social capital is currently a factor in expanding inequality. She moves on to some more hopeful news about some innovative schools are investing creatively in student relationship to level the social capital access playing field. The problem framed in the book relates directly to the needs our SCI AmeriCorps program addresses with our focus on increasing young people’s social capital.

Why Addressing Social Factors Could Improve U.S. Health Care This Knowledge @ Wharton article highlights the important link between social factors and health. “When you trace back to the causes of the causes of illness, in so many cases you see how our social fabric itself is in need of mending.” We are in the social fabric mending business here at SCI, so this article is very relevant for us! 

Give and You Shall Receive If you’re trying to teach a teen in your life some important habits or skills (this Dad of a teen raises hand), your best bet might be to have that teen work with a younger child on the issue. This concept fits well with our youth leadership programming! Angela Duckworth breaks down the research in a recent Character Lab article. By the way, not directly related to social capital, but her book Grit is definitely one of the favorite books I have read this year. 

Thanks to board member Jen Williams who sent along the first two items on this list! Please let me know if you have come across any social capital reading I should read.


David Crowley

David Crowley founded SCI in Woburn, his hometown, in 2002. Under his leadership, SCI has grown to serve 20 communities in the region while continuing to make a difference in Woburn. Prior to SCI, David was the Executive Director of Boston-based Generations Inc. (now Literations). He has been involved in AmeriCorps since the program began in 2003, and served as the founding Director of the Kentucky Community Service Commission, which oversees the program for the state. David currently serves as Steering Committee Chair for the CHNA 15 regional healthy communities network. David graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government. Unsure of his long term plans, and after many service activities in college, David set out to do a year of service in rural Kentucky, which began his career in service! In his free time, he enjoys cooking for his family, reading and walking nearby Horn Pond. He also shares his kitchen creations on his food & wine blog, Cooking Chat.