The Power of Connection

The Power of Connection

I’ve been meditating on the potential of human connection lately, and the characteristics of an enlivening exchange.

Having just returned from a string of conferences, gatherings, and retreats–Burning Man (BRC); Toniic (SF, Park City, & London); Gratitude Railroad Network (Park City), I’ve been actively connecting with a wealth of interesting colleagues and keep noticing trends among these encounters.

It’s no surprise that in the world of socially-minded impact investors, deep and meaningful interactions have become standard fare. No longer are my conversations with new acquaintances lingering in the shallowness of thoughts across the surface. Instead, I’m finding myself delving into insightful and provocative considerations with the ease that formerly only came with close friends. Some of the most resonate connections I’ve made in the past few months are with Charly and Lisa Kleissner, Carl Palmer, Brent Kessel, Adam Bendell, & Eric Rassman.

This eagerness to share our deeper values is happening across the world, on digital platforms and everyday encounters. It’s simple: people understand that connection breeds inspiration and joy.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the “connection economy?” It’s the term best-selling author and marketing genius Seth Godin uses to refer to the new lay of the land for consumers and marketers alike.

His main point is that the new status quo of information-overload has resulted in a more sophisticated and selective audience. People no longer respond to traditional mass marketing ploys, but instead are attracted to meaningful endeavors with a unique blend of humanity and creativity.

This widespread cultural shift reflects a hunger for a deeper sense of fulfillment from marketplace exchanges, and as we well know, the financial sector is no exception.

Over the past month, I’ve made some remarkable connections with people doing all kinds of inspiring things, and I’ve come to recognize some key elements of a fulfilling and enriching exchange. I noticed that, no matter how briefly I’d known the person I was interacting with, these components made for a truly impactful conversation and connection.

  • Authenticity. When the veils of pretension are discarded and we get the opportunity to share our true passions, insights, and experiences with others abiding in a similar open-minded space, the magnetism and creativity generated is boundless.
  • Generosity. True connection is an exchange, and while listening is a crucial part of it, it’s only half the recipe. The more we’re willing to share, be it our own perspectives, experiences, or assistance, the more engagement we can expect in return. The law of the circle reigns.
  • Creativity. My favorite interactions involve some degree of conceptual evolution. These interactions usually begin with each of us sharing our unique perspectives and knowledge, and quickly progress into a merging of viewpoints and movement towards uncharted considerations. It requires an artistic penchant for the unusual and out-of-bounds.

The power of connection is built on the bedrock of trust, which rests on the shoulders of familiarity. When we’re able to put our own interests aside and share ourselves with simplicity with others, we naturally exude the relate-ability that invites connection and collaboration.

It’s impossible to deny the need for connection we all share. The complexity and value that relationships provide is the bread and butter of our lives.

It’s also the main principle driving our Urban Village program at our various OpenPath properties. While simple in concept, the effects of fostering greater connection in an otherwise disengaged complex of hundreds of people are rich, nourishing, and expanding over time.

As I organize all of the new connections I made through my travels this past month, I can’t help but smile in gratitude. Not just for the enjoyable interactions, but for the larger movement towards more meaningful living.

I got a small glimpse into the wave of people who are actively bringing the financial sector into alignment with initiatives for a brighter, cleaner, healthier, happier, and just future. People like you and I.

And so I have to agree with the brilliant Mr. Godin. There’s a welcome shift taking place on all levels of economic exchange, and I think it’s a wave that cannot be stopped.

I’ve been meditating on the potential of human connection lately, and the characteristics of an enlivening exchange.

Having just returned from a string of conferences, gatherings, and retreats–Burning Man (BRC); Toniic (SF, Park City, & London); Gratitude Railroad Network (Park City), I’ve been actively connecting with a wealth of interesting colleagues and keep noticing trends among these encounters.

It’s no surprise that in the world of socially-minded impact investors, deep and meaningful interactions have become standard fare. No longer are my conversations with new acquaintances lingering in the shallowness of thoughts across the surface. Instead, I’m finding myself delving into insightful and provocative considerations with the ease that formerly only came with close friends. Some of the most resonate connections I’ve made in the past few months are with Charly and Lisa Kleissner, Carl Palmer, Brent Kessel, Adam Bendell, & Eric Rassman.

This eagerness to share our deeper values is happening across the world, on digital platforms and everyday encounters. It’s simple: people understand that connection breeds inspiration and joy.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the “connection economy?” It’s the term best-selling author and marketing genius Seth Godin uses to refer to the new lay of the land for consumers and marketers alike.

His main point is that the new status quo of information-overload has resulted in a more sophisticated and selective audience. People no longer respond to traditional mass marketing ploys, but instead are attracted to meaningful endeavors with a unique blend of humanity and creativity.

This widespread cultural shift reflects a hunger for a deeper sense of fulfillment from marketplace exchanges, and as we well know, the financial sector is no exception.

Over the past month, I’ve made some remarkable connections with people doing all kinds of inspiring things, and I’ve come to recognize some key elements of a fulfilling and enriching exchange. I noticed that, no matter how briefly I’d known the person I was interacting with, these components made for a truly impactful conversation and connection.

  • Authenticity. When the veils of pretension are discarded and we get the opportunity to share our true passions, insights, and experiences with others abiding in a similar open-minded space, the magnetism and creativity generated is boundless.
  • Generosity. True connection is an exchange, and while listening is a crucial part of it, it’s only half the recipe. The more we’re willing to share, be it our own perspectives, experiences, or assistance, the more engagement we can expect in return. The law of the circle reigns.
  • Creativity. My favorite interactions involve some degree of conceptual evolution. These interactions usually begin with each of us sharing our unique perspectives and knowledge, and quickly progress into a merging of viewpoints and movement towards uncharted considerations. It requires an artistic penchant for the unusual and out-of-bounds.

The power of connection is built on the bedrock of trust, which rests on the shoulders of familiarity. When we’re able to put our own interests aside and share ourselves with simplicity with others, we naturally exude the relate-ability that invites connection and collaboration.

It’s impossible to deny the need for connection we all share. The complexity and value that relationships provide is the bread and butter of our lives.

It’s also the main principle driving our Urban Village program at our various OpenPath properties. While simple in concept, the effects of fostering greater connection in an otherwise disengaged complex of hundreds of people are rich, nourishing, and expanding over time.

As I organize all of the new connections I made through my travels this past month, I can’t help but smile in gratitude. Not just for the enjoyable interactions, but for the larger movement towards more meaningful living.

I got a small glimpse into the wave of people who are actively bringing the financial sector into alignment with initiatives for a brighter, cleaner, healthier, happier, and just future. People like you and I.

And so I have to agree with the brilliant Mr. Godin. There’s a welcome shift taking place on all levels of economic exchange, and I think it’s a wave that cannot be stopped.

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