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Social Capital in Theory and Practice. ENVIRONMENT. SOCIETY. ECONOMY. What will I tell?. Background – Me Why Social Capital What is Social Capital How to develop Social Capital Future trends in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Who am I?. Born in the north Sports

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what will i tell
What will I tell?
  • Background – Me
  • Why Social Capital
  • What is Social Capital
  • How to develop Social Capital
  • Future trends in social innovation and social entrepreneurship
who am i
Who am I?
  • Born in the north
  • Sports
  • Mountains
  • Business
  • Culture
  • Work

Externa relationer


What is social capital about?

“Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. This is profitable for us both, that I should labour with you today, and that you should aid me tomorrow”

(David Hume, A Treatsie of Human Nature, 1740)

but also
but also..

Social capital is the glue that holds societies together and without which there can be no economic growth or human wellbeing.

Christiaan Grootaert Social Capital, The missing link, 1998, World Bank


Herbert Simon (1916-2001)

“It is hard not to conclude that social capital produces about 90 percent of income in wealthy societies like those of the United States or Northwestern Europe.”

(Herbert Simon Nobel Prize Winner for Economics ‘UBI and Tax Rates’ 2000.)


A common definition of social capital

Networks together with shared norms, values and understanding that facilitate co-operation within or among groups of people

(Office for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

trust the fabric of social capital
Trust – The fabric of social capital

Trust between individuals becomes trust between strangers and trust of a broad fabric of social institutions; ultimately, it becomes a shared set of values, virtues, and expectations within society as a whole. Without this interaction trust decays; this decay begins to manifest itself in serious social problems…

(‘The Necessity of Politics’ Beem 1999: 20)

elements of networks
Elements of Networks
  • Bonding – within groups or communities, characterised by strong connections (families, ethnic groups, clubs, etc.)
  • Bridging – horizontally across boundaries, characterised by weak links (interreligious, interracial, intergenerational, across wider social networks)
  • Linking – weak links made vertically between relationships of power (e.g. class structure)
strengths of social capital
Strengths of Social Capital
  • Compensate for low levels of other capital (human, physical, financial)
  • Reduce conflict between different communities (excess bonding social capital will achieve the opposite increasing the cost of regulation and control across community boundaries)
  • Reduce crime
  • Increase educational achievement
  • Higher economic performance
  • Higher levels of happiness
  • Better health
The more social capital people have access to the better they perceive their health.
    • Those who take part in social activities consider their health better than non-participants do.
    • Those that have great trust in people perceived their health as good.
  • (Social Capital in Finland, 2000)
social capital thrives on
Social Capital Thrives on
  • Ownership, equality & collective identity
  • Transparency & information exchange
  • Collaboration on common goals & participation
  • Mutual trust and reciprocity
  • Informal interaction
  • Openness to new ideas
  • Access to positions of power and influence
v stra g talandsregionen region west sweden facts
Västra Götalandsregionen –(Region West Sweden) Facts
  • Largest region in Sweden
  • 4 subregions – Responsible for Economic growth programs
  • App 1 500 000 people live in West Sweden
  • Gothenburg main town – App 500 000 people
  • 49 Municpalities, out of 290 in Sweden (local governance)
Organised work devoted to the social economy started in 2001
  • According to the regional guidelines the significance of the social economy and its protagonists must be brought out clearly in all strategic development work and in the implementation of Vision VästraGötaland
  • 14) Joint action with universities and schools ..”The concept of social capital and the knowledge around its significance for development and growth should continue to be highlighted by means of concrete studies and development projects in the collaboration between, for example, municipalities and the higher education sector.”

Dynamic Growth Capital

In the beginning there was an idea about people as the main resource…

Now it develops into an interactive knowledge and learning platform – It took some time…

dynamic growth capital
Dynamic Growth Capital


  • To increase the knowledge about social capital

2) Create a modell to be used in the rest of west Sweden for work with related issues and in similar organisation form (From analysis to implementation)

structure of project
Structure of project
  • Participants:
  • Västra Götalandsregionen (Region of West Sweden)
  • School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University
  • Four municipalities in Region West Sweden participated
  • Swedish ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications
  • Swedish Association of LocalAuthorities and Regions
work process in the platform
Work process in the platform
  • The project group meets every other month (7-10 people) – Discussion and issues are adressed
  • University makes a study of a choosen issue by the municipality
  • Meanwhile a seminar is arranged in a local arena (municipality, region) for spread of information when the study is finished.
  • The local arena has the responsibility of inviting people from its surroundings – Businesses, Associations and Locals are invited
  • Marketing of results – Reports are spread through media, webs and through printed material.
Micro projekt as method

Center of Innovation – Business network

Civic Sector as resource – 12 workshops

Social Sustainability in School

Development of Tourism network

Public Health Project

Ethnic minorities as resource

our defintion of social capital it took some time to come to agreement among many actors
Our defintion of social capital – It took some time to come to agreement among many actors!!
  • Social capital exists between people and develops with time – It`a about relations
  • Social capital is expressed through trust that is created in relations among people – Makes it agile
  • Social capital is a resource which is built in action

a future model municipality of v rg rda based on diagnosis
A future model Municipality of Vårgårda – Based on diagnosis

Local Authorities

Resources are build

and enhanced



Civic sector Business

bridging silos a means of transfer of ideas and knowledge between and within groups
”Bridging silos” – a means of transfer of ideas and knowledge between and within groups
  • Example: ”Microproject Business climate in Vårgårda”, seminar on Business climate
  • Next microproject ” Social Entreprenuership and Tourism” Seminar on Social Entreprenuership and Tourism, earlier participants are invited to a new seminar

”Microproject ” ”Microproject” ”Microproject”

- Participants and knowledge is transfered to next seminar-

Se. Business Cl.

Se. Social Entre.

Se. Outside power stru.

Challenges in building social capital
  • We have to act?
  • It`s about eating ice-cream
  • You must be concrete?
  • I do not feel comfortable with this concept?
  • Language - Norms are hard to challange – Icehotel!!
  • They are to negative on the list!



Business Value - Income

Value of:



Different roles, different language, goals and expectations –Building social capital in a local environments is about canalizing expectations into mutual benefits


guidance in working with sc
Guidance in working with SC
  • What makes SC concrete! (Easier to invest in a house!)
  • Storybuilding (Roskilde, Langenegg, Here We are, Trangsviken)
  • What values do you have?
  • From resources to capital – awarness is the answer

To measure and to make social capital concrete

‘What a community chooses to measure has a tremendous impact on the quality of life of its members”

(North West Policy Center, Seattle, USA)

measuring social capital to
‘Measuring’ Social Capital to …
  • Make visible what is currently invisible
  • Highlight the value human relationships
  • Explore the quantity and quality of relationships
  • Put numbers to soft outcomes in order to benchmark
  • Move from anecdotal to strategic and replicable
  • Develop Action Plans to begin investing strategically in social capital
changing community landscapes
Changing Community Landscapes…
  • Matrix showing social capital (3 elements) against ACTIVITIES…
  • Stakeholder map - RELATIONSHIPS…
  • Social capital questionnaires before and after CCL…completed by community
  • Post-CCL project look at changes in norms/values; trust/reciprocity; networks…
  • Report…
  • Case study…
trends in society supporting sc development
Trends in society supporting SC development
  • Tällberg Foundation
  • World Economic Forum – Klaus Schwab
  • SKOLL – Foundation – Jeff SKOLL
  • TRUST network USA
  • NEXT Generation (Howard Buffet, Michael Young)
  • World Business Council of Sustainabledevelopment
  • Clinton Global Initiative
  • Social Capital Markets (Impact Investments)
definitions social innovation social entrepreneurship
Definitions social innovation – Social entrepreneurship...

Profit + Social / or, and social aims

  • Muhammad Yunus = Social Entrepreneur
  • Mikrofinance= Social Innovation
  • Grameen Bank= Social Business

Future business areas

  • Ageing populations - which require new ways of organizing pensions, care, mutual support, housing, urban design, mobility and new methodsfor countering isolation.
  • Growing diversity of countries and cities – which demands innovative ways of organizing schooling, language training and housing
  • Rising incidence of chronic diseases such as arthritis, depression, diabetes, cancers and heart diseases (which are now chronic as well as acute). These demand novel social solutions as well as new models of medical support.
the issues facing cairndow in 1998
The Issues Facing Cairndow in 1998
  • Lack of housing
  • Insufficient workers to fill jobs
  • No opportunities for further education
  • Lack of centre to encourage tourists to stop and learn about Cairndow
  • Lack of knowledge of local history
  • No awareness to alternatives (e.g. renewable energy sources)
here we are
Here We Are
  • Set up in 1998 to CONNECT Cairndow’s past, present and future and share it with the community and the incomers
  • Inter connected activities, for and by community, land, homes, history, local resources
  • Built a community centre beside the famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar to act as a focal point of activity.
  • Launched Scotland’s first community owned biomass plant, opened by Minister for Energy Jim Mather
  • Created 14 jobs and sustained a further
biosf rsomr det v nerkulle
Biosfärsområdet Vänerkulle

final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Social Capital brings a new way of looking at the challenges that communities face and provides a lens which values human relationships and makes currently invisible resources visible
  • It provides a common language to explain why we are doing what we are doing
  • Helps put numbers to soft outcomes
  • Can provide a framework to help replicate successes
    • Look to introduce activities which help make community boundaries porous and allow access to new resources (bridging & linking)
    • Indirect and informal activities are excellent ways to build reciprocal interaction and trust

“The real challenge is not to construct buildings, nor putting a man on the moon, but to deal with human nature “

- Björn Grinde, Chief scientist Public Health Norway