A Book with Legs
Gray Issues in the Green Space

Are You Building Bridges?

At the Net Impact conference last week in New York, one of the speakers was Harriet Fulbright, widow of the Senator William Fulbright for whom the well-known Fulbright Fellowships are named.

Ms. Fulbright pointed out that social capital comes in two types: 1)  Bonding – the social capital arising from connected or like-minded people who share common history and interests, 2)  Bridging – the social capital arising when people make the effort to understand people who are unlike or separated from them by time and other differences.

Bonding requires much less effort and management than bridging, but the real possibility for advancing society is in the bridging. Bridging is, of course, what the Fulbright Fellowships attempt to achieve by sending U.S.scholars out to learn and teach at foreign institutions.

As we build our relationships, we may need to pay attention to when we’re bonding and when we’re bridging, recognizing the different challenges we may face and commit to do more bridging.