The Reliants Project #31

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.


Belonging is a fundamental human need that drives outcomes in professional contexts. What Does It Take to Build a Culture of Belonging? highlights findings from this Power of Belonging report (pdf), where “being connected to our coworkers” is a key criteria for feeling a sense of belonging. They have developed a quantitative approach to measuring belonging and show how different identities (gender, ethnic, life-stage, role) impact that sense of belonging. They go further to suggest how feeling connected shows up in a work context:

“The differentiators we see from colleagues of those who belong illustrate a supportive colleague culture, where individuals can feel seen and connected, regardless of their backgrounds. Gratitude is crucial, as are colleagues who support work-life balance for one another. Some of these behaviors build the base for inclusive leadership, too— peers can practice open communication and feedback as they ready themselves for the next big steps in their careers.”


Over the last year I’ve been watching Upstream evolve into a feature-rich platform for professional interactions. They provide ways to host events, plan office hours, and ask for support from other members of a community. Recently they launched a service that many of us could use: Upstream Reconnect. It helps you identify who you’ve lost touch with and makes it straightforward to start reconnecting with them. If you’re interested in joining the waitlist, you can use my personal referral link here.


The other day I was reminded of this handbook, The Rainforest Blueprint: How to Design Your Own Silicon Valley | Unleash an Ecosystem of Innovation in Your Company, Organization, or Hometown, which came out years ago. I had the pleasure of meeting the author and hearing him speak in Hong Kong after the book came out. While it uses the language of ecosystems rather than communities, I believe the ideas are almost interchangeable and incredibly valuable to anyone who is trying the cultivate connections between a group of people and organisations towards a shared goal.

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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.