The Reliants Project #33

How networks shape our lives

Hope you had a lovely August! I took the month off to spend some long-awaited time with my mom. Now I’m back in the saddle to share some nuggets about how networks shape your wellbeing, relationships and community to help you actively cultivate yours.


You might not think of “smart luck” as an aspect of your wellbeing, but being able to connect the dots and take advantage of opportunities has a huge impact on our lives. Christian Busch studies serendipity and shares his insights in How to be lucky.

“You might think of serendipity as passive luck that just happens to you, when actually it’s an active process of spotting and connecting the dots. It is about seeing bridges where others see gaps, and then taking initiative and action(s) to create smart luck. Serendipity is a guiding force in great scientific discoveries but it’s also present in our everyday lives, in the smallest of moments as well as the greatest life-changing events. It’s how we often ‘unexpectedly’ find love, a co-founder, a new job, or a business partner – and it’s how inventions such as Post-it Notes, X-rays, penicillin, microwaves and many other innovations came about.”


The results of the “May 2021 American Perspectives Survey” are out and they are not pretty. They paint a picture of how friendship has changed over the last 3 decades. I’ve pulled out a few of the stats that I thought were particularly interesting:

  • 12% of Americans report having no close friends, up from 3% in 1990

  • 22% of Americans haven’t made a new friend in at least 5 years, among seniors this number jumps to 31%

  • 36% of young men rely on their parents for personal support, which has more than doubled since 1990

  • 39% of people have friends they only interact with online


Apparently there are more than 150 projects worldwide where teams are attempting to build a city from scratch. This article does a good job of providing an overview, even though the focus is on the city of Telosa. If any of these come to fruition, it would be fascinating to map who chooses to move to the city and how communities form from a standing start.

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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.