Charity is Contagious: How Corporate Philanthropy Spreads

Charity is Contagious: How Corporate Philanthropy Spreads

By Ryan Scott
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Charity is Contagious: How Corporate Philanthropy Spreads: by @Causecast #CWSummit15 @CharitiesAtWork

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - 11:00am

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Several years ago, we were all hearing a rumor about how social networks can lead to weight gain. The “logic” went that your friend’s husband’s co-worker can make you fat.

Huh? Seems crazy, but this tantalizing argument wasn’t just bait-click for the blogosphere.   

Indeed, the findings were based on research from social scientists Nicholas Christakis and James H. Fowler, whose book about the incredible power of social networks sparked a wildfire of new thought.  Connected: How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do led to Christakis being recognized on Time magazine’s 2009 list of 100 “people who affect the world,” and on Foreign Policy’s 2009 and 2010 lists of top global thinkers. The book has since been translated into 20 languages.

The two researchers demonstrated that the characteristics of our social networks ripple outward and affect us in extraordinary and unlikely ways.  It turns out that we’re not just creatures of nature and nurture, but of networks. While we’re all indeed individuals, we’re also intimately connected parts of what Christakis and Fowler describe as a superorganism. That means that each of us “lives in the sea of genes of others, others with whom we have chosen to connect. Our friends’ genes, for diverse traits, may help determine how our own genes are expressed and thus who we are.” Read more...


Angela Murray
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