Building Social Capital

Posted on 01st of February, 2012
mvmtguide social capital

This month’s question: ”How do you build your social capital?”

Thank you to all of the MVMT Makers who responded with stories and strategies. We aggregated all of your answers and share them in this video.

Social Capital is one of the 4 Capitals in the 2012 MVMT New Year’s Guide.We define it as who you know and who knows you.

Special thanks to MVMT Makers: Ron, Kendra, Nathan, Heather, Lara, Ricky, Morgan, Regine, Vailala, Osayi, The Freedwomen’s Bureau, Blitz The Ambassador and Natalia Linares for their significant contributions to our answer.

Attitudes: Who are you when you’re traveling?
Among the collective’s answers, we identified 3 core beliefs that one must hold to maximize their social capital:

  1. Seeking to contribute (first and receive second): Help in any way you can. Initiate reciprocity whether it comes back directly or indirectly. Know your gift and give it. Allow others to give to you as well.
  1. Value everyone: Everyone person is part of a network. You never know who is sitting next to you. Say hello. Know your values but don’t judge others. Diverse networks are better than homogenous ones.
  1. Go deeper: Everyone has needs. Start where you are with who you have. Ask more powerful questions. People want to connect and be known. Be vulnerable too.

Actions: Listen & Share

The only way to build social capital is to be social and socializing can be broken down into two simple actions—listening and sharing.

Listen: How can you listen better?

In Groups

  • Host a Gift Circle where a group of people comes over, brings food, and then each person shares a need or wish that the collective seeks to help with
  • Host a Potluck Dinner where a group of people comes over, brings food, and then each person puts an anonymous question about life or love into a jar and the group answers them collectively.
  • Start a 30 Day Do It group where a group of people comes over, everyone shares their goal for the month, and each month they hold each other accountable to their goals.
  • Create a think tank or group around a specific passion of yours. You can use the model or the free-for-all model.
  • Join existing groups and participate as a member until you identify the best way to serve.


  • Invite someone to breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or coffee
  • Invite a professional colleague to an event in your personal life
  • Call people just say “Hello” and sincerely ask them “How are you?”
  • Share your personal challenges and often others will share theirs too

Share: What gift do you have to share?

Your Intellectual Capital:

  • Share articles, books, websites you find valuable via email, Facebook, or Twitter. It’s helpful to write a summary for them explaining why you thought to share it with them.
  • Blog about a subject your are passionate about (see,, or or something you learned how to do
  • Write a short document or a full book based on subject or skill you’ve mastered (ie get into business school, run a marathon, become a vegetarian)
  • Offer to teach people on a subject or skill you’ve mastered (see
  • Volunteer to share your expertise with non-profits (see via on-the-ground volunteering or sitting on the board

Your Social Capital:

  • Connect people who have similar passions via Facebook, LinkedIn, or email
  • Create an affinity group around one of your passions (ie biking, chess, food, etc)
  • Host a themed party or event annually (ie holiday party, Halloween party, couples retreat, camping or ski trip, etc)
  • Send job opportunities from friends to friends and pass resumes along with formal introductions

Your Financial Capital:

  • Send someone a referral or potential client
  • Raise money for someone’s cause or donate to people’s KickStarter campaigns or non-profits




1 comment. Would you like to comment?

  • spacer by Andrew Kalakailo on February 2

    It’s great to see this, it gives me affirmation that I am on the right path. These are many of the actions I have been doing weekly in my career search and in working to build my business. There are too many days when the feedback is nil, or the earnings are even less. I know that success is out there to be had as long as I keep working smart. Thanks for the continued access to your methods, and the positive reinforcement you put out there.

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