Social Capital

Report
APPLIED SUSTAINABILITY
CLASS 26: SOCIAL CAPITAL &
COLLABORATION
P. Brian Fisher
POLS 319
Spr 2013
Part I
PUTNAM, SOCIAL CAPITAL
SOCIAL CAPITAL
•
Social institutions and representative government are heavily influenced by norms and
networks of civic engagement.
•
“Social Capital”: features of social organization such as networks, norms, and social trust
that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit.
•
Social capital aids quality of community life because
• 1. civic engagement fosters norms of reciprocity and social trust
• 2. networks facilitate coordination and communication, amplify reputations
• 3. when econ & political negotiation is embedded in networks of social interaction,
incentives for opportunism are reduced
• 4. Networks of civic engagement embody past success  template for future
• 5. broaden the participant’s sense of self, developing ‘we’ into collective benefits
DECLINE IN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
•
From a relative high point in the early 1960s, voter turnout had by 1990 declined by nearly
a quarter
•
"in the past year" they have "attended a public meeting on town or school affairs" has
fallen by more than a third (from 22 percent in 1973 to 13 percent in 1993)
•
attending a political rally or speech, serving on a committee of some local organization,
and working for a political party
•
Every measure shows decline in American civic engagement, DESPITE sharp rises in
education (the best single indicator of pol participation)
•
Lack of Trust  The proportion of Americans who reply that they "trust the government in
Washington" only "some of the time" or "almost never" has risen steadily from 30 percent
in 1966 to 75 percent in 1992
BOWLING ALONE
•
Religious affiliation is by far the most common associational membership, but even that
has declined and stagnated recently – but people becoming more indep about religion
•
Sharp declines in union membership and PTA
•
See declines in other prominent associations: Boy Scouts, Red Cross, fraternal orgs:
Shriners, Elks, Masons, etc
•
Bowling Alone: more Americans are bowling today than ever before, but bowling in
organized leagues has plummeted in the last decade or so. Between 1980 and 1993 the
total number of bowlers in America increased by 10 percent, while league bowling
decreased by 40 percent
COUNTER TRENDS AND NEW ORGS
•
1st Trend: New organizations have been created during this same period, siphoning off some of
the participation in other groups?
• E.g. Sierra Club, AARP, NOW, Enviro Defense Fund
•
However, these “new” organizations are different. They lack social cohesion and
connectedness. Few attend meetings or contribute to membership other than paying dues.
• E.g. like being a sports fan – same interests, same team, but don’t know each other
•
2nd Trend: proliferation of non-profits (e.g. Oxfam, Metro of Art, Ford Foundation)  yet these
again are not socially connected memberships
•
3rd Trend: Support groups (e.g. alcoholics Anon and self-help groups)
• Definitely a form of social capital, but are diff from civic engagement membership
CONCLUSION
•
more Americans than ever before are in social circumstances that foster associational involvement
(higher education, middle age, and so on), but nevertheless aggregate associational membership
appears to be stagnant or declining.
•
the most fundamental form of social capital is the family, and the massive evidence of the loosening of
bonds within the family (both extended and nuclear) is well known. This trend, of course, is quite
consistent with--and may help to explain--our theme of social decapitalization.
•
Americans are also less trusting. The proportion of Americans saying that most people can be trusted
fell by more than a third between 1960, when 58 percent chose that alternative, and 1993, when only
37 percent did.
•
•
** There is a strong correlation between social trust and civic engagement  globally the greater
the density of the membership, the higher the trust
Trust and Engagement = social capital
WHY?
1. Women into the work force, less in orgs and less family time
2. Mobility  less vested in local neighborhood or community
3. Demographic transformations  more divorce, less marriage, fewer children, lower real
income
4. Technological transformation of leisure time  privatizing or “individualizing” our use of
leisure time  disrupts social capital formation  e.g TV, now mobile devices
WHAT HAS TO BE DONE?
•
In analyzing the structure of networks, "horizontal" ties represented more productive social
capital than vertical ties
•
How does social media and internet offset these trends, where social capital is formed
electronically? Social capital in workplace?
•
Shouldn’t overly romanticize the neighborhoods and civic mindedness of the ’50s because
some was based on bigotry and discrimination, and based on “rent seeking” behavior or
corruption
•
While new democracies spring forth from civic engagement, in the US the lack of civic
engagement calls into question the effectiveness of democracy.
•
** What does this say about sustainability? Sustainable Communities? What is the basis of
sustainability? Does sustainability rely more heavily on social capital than other paradigms?
Part II
NECESSARY REVOLUTION: COLLABORATION
SMALLER NETWORKS >> COLLABORATION
•
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed,
it is the only thing that ever has…” (Margaret Mead)
•
Add: “Depending on their ability to build larger networks”
•
“Bringing about significant changes in larger systems requires building similar networks
connecting many different organizations, and even different types of organizations” (p 225)
•
Among the most salient reasons we don’t look at problems SYSTEMATICALLY is that the
insights would forces us out of our intellectual and institutional comfort zones. Unfortunately, we
then also define away some of our greatest opportunities to address core sustainability
challenges.” (p. 225)
•
Collaboration is the “human face” of systems thinking…
Organizational
Change
Framing
Communication
Conveying information
in directed way about
issue(s)
Sharing
Jt use of space or
resource
* any can take credit
"information sharing
produces shared
awareness among the
participants, and
collaboration relies on
shared creation, but
collective action
creates shared
responsibility"
Cooperation
Process of working
together
Collaboration/
Network
Recursive Process of
working together to
achieve a goal
* no one takes credit
Systems
set of interacting
components that form an
integrated whole
Structure + Behavior
Collective
Action
Pursuit of a SET of
binding goals by group
CHAP 15: LESSONS & EXAMPLES
•
Randy Overby, Pres of Alcoa Primary Metals Development: “Collaboration is key for achieving
scale”
•
To do this, means:
• 1. need to build critical mass for change WITHIN an organization
• 2. importance of connecting different organizations so the sum is greater than parts
•
Examples: Coke and WWF; WBCSD, CEO-led coalition of 200 global companies that account
for 1/3 of world’s GDP  sustainability + health of environment; BMW and EU automakers
•
However, large-scale collaborations can also lead to lots of reports and no action  need to
build across boundaries  cross-organizationally and cross-sector collaboration
PROCESS OF COLLABORATION
•
** “Collaborating is ultimately about relationships, and relationships do not thrive based on
a rational calculus of costs and benefits, but rather because of genuine caring and mutual
vulnerability” (p233)
•
Building this capacity is difficult and requires 3 capabilities:
• 1.convening,
• 2. listening, and
• 3. nurturing shared commitment
CHAP 16: CONVENING >> GETTING THE SYSTEM
IN THE ROOM
•
Need a “critical mass”, not necessarily only people in Sr. Leadership positions…as often those at the
top of the institutional hierarchies have far too much invested in preserving the status quo…and they
are often far too removed from the day-to-day realities to appreciate the diverse forces that must be
understood to enable real change” (p. 234)
•
Most crucial aspect: convening a critical mass of people who are able to LEAD, or “getting the system
in the room.”
•
“Extraordinary change requires extraordinary relationships”  Diversity (p235)
•
Getting everyone in the room is a step-by-step iterative process – requiring great patience and
perseverance…and tremendous insight into “who needs to be engaged and when.” (p235)
•
Goal at CofC: 20% of population seeking change (Gladwell’s The Tipping Point)
Building Momentum
Developing
Focus
Engaging and
Learning from
Experience
Building
Possibilities
Reflecting to
Build a Shared
Vision
** Peter Senge, Necessary Revolution, p. 240
QUICK TIPS TO ENGAGE
1. Prepare
2. Opening: explain why you are there and what you’re interested in learning
3. Engaging: ask 2 simple Qs (open-ended) that give people time to reflect on their experience
4. Follow the flow: follow the flow of meaning in the conversation
5. Jumping off the bridge: Let go of what holds you back from connecting and move with the
emotional state of the other person or people
6. Expand the network: If conversation is positive, ask who else would be interested in our topic or
conversation build a network of like-minded people to “present themselves”
7. Closing: ask how to move forward
CHAP 17: SEEING REALITY THROUGH OTHER’S
EYES
•
The more daunting the change necessary, the more sophisticated the collaboration skills
must be of those leading the change.
•
Enviros fall into two camps: all issues are so self-evident that expect everyone to just
jump on board, OR the chasm is so wide that they become cynical or demonize those with
passion
•
Must operate in between and on collaborative networks around the “shared vision”
•
Three Primary Skills: Advocacy, Inquiry, and Disagreement
•
You need “protocols” for each approach
Part I:
Values to Political Action
Socio-Econ
Conditions
history/
culture
Community/
social
capital
Structural
Drivers
How Society is
setup
Perceived
Alternatives
Values
Prioritize
into
Preferences
behavior/
action
(based on
preferences)
Political
Process:
Authoratative
Allocation of
Values
Agency
Drivers
What we do as
indivs
Attitudes/
Perceptions
Identity
Perspective/
Worldview
** Values: enduring beliefs or ideals by an individual or culture.
They serve as a guide to "preferences" and behavior.
5 STEPS TO OPENING EYES
1. Bring together a diverse group of people, representative of group
2. Identify the different facets of the system you will explore
3. “go there together”; travel with the entire team on board
4. Set aside ample time to reflect and talk together about the experience
5. Pay careful attention to the intentions and commitments that arise from your reflection
CHAP 18: BUILDING A SHARED COMMITMENT
•
Can be very challenging  shared commitment “arises through focusing first on
engagement—connecting to what maters to you and the larger organizations involved—
and then on creating the opportunity for both focus and commitment to deepen naturally
over time”
•
Foster engagement, and let commitment develop
•
Connect with what matters to you and the organization
•
Create space for Intention and aspiration to grow  “all genuine commitment is to
something larger than ourselves”
CHAP 18: SEEING EACH OTHER
1. Innovation comes down to helping people recognize that seeing systems ultimately
means seeing one another.
2. “opening minds and hearts starts the process of moving beyond our own views and
agendas so that we can start to connect with one another and truly work together to
create new systems.”
3. Embrace systems thinking and collaboration across boundaries provides an “opening of
the will”

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