The Reliants Project #29

How networks shape our lives

Thanks for signing up to all the new readers! Here are some nuggets about how networks shape your wellbeing, relationships and community to help you actively cultivate yours.


Turns out that there’s some scientific underpinning to “warming up to someone” or giving someone the “cold shoulder”. There is a group of scientists that are studying social thermoregulation theory:

“We think that higher order social cognitions and behaviors—like attachment, social emotional functioning, and affect regulation—are scaffolded on top of these more basic functions. And some empirical support indeed reveals that social thermoregulation has broader consequences for social cognition, such as attachment (mental models of self and others), emotional functioning, and the degree to which people possess the capacity to self-regulate (consciously or not)”

One of the leading researchers in the field has also recently written Heartwarming: How Our Inner Thermostat Made Us Human. You can also read more about The Human Penguin Project here.


If I asked you to guess what family member a person is most likely to be estranged from, who would you guess? Turns out that in the United States, the relationship most commonly severed is between a parent and adult child. In How many American children have cut contact with their parents? they discuss how common this situation is and whether it’s on the rise.

“Raising awareness about the issue in this way is likely to be important, and not only because some broken bonds may be fixable. Parent-child estrangement has negative effects beyond the heartbreak it causes. Research suggests that the habit of cutting off relatives is likely to spread in families. But most immediately, it is likely to exacerbate loneliness in old age.”


We don’t often think about diaspora in the context of companies, but it’s incredibly important for recruiting. Capital One’s Digital Diaspora: How One Bank Became A Wellspring Of CIO Talent For Many Companies talks about the role that one organisation has played in training a wave of key hires at other companies across several industries.

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About The Reliants Project

Reliant is my word for a person that someone depends on, an essential component of our social networks. With each edition, I’ll share useful nuggets about how networks shape your wellbeingrelationships, and community to help you actively cultivate yours. Whether you want to make better introductions, build better social products and services, or activate networks to make an impact in the world, let me help you reach your goals.

You can find more about The Reliants Project here.