MPI Webinar Review: Nicholas Christakis

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MPI's World Education Congress is in a couple of weeks but I'll be in Michigan for a family gathering just a six hour drive away! Since I've always considered myself a connector, this event is tough for me to miss.

After listening to Nicholas Christakis on the MPI Webinar yesterday, it motivated me to try to figure out how to attend at least some of the event. Unfortunately it's not possible this year, but thanks to MPI, I have been connected to this fascinating resource.

"Nicholas A. Christakis is an American physician and social scientist known for his research on social networks and on the socioeconomic and biosocial determinants of health, longevity, and behavior." Wikipedia

The concepts were thought provoking and the insights on social interaction were really interesting. The fact that our social circles haven't changed much despite all of the innovations in communication is very telling.

The research Christakis and his team have done show that the average person has 4-5 real social intimates, and has for some time. One example he used was if you asked his great grandmother about her social circles when she was a teenager, they would be very similar to those of his daughter's friendships in today's modern world.

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Ideas discussed from the Nicholas Christakis book, Connected, co-authored with James H. Fowler were:

  • Contagion vs Connection
  • Seeds that Magnifying your Networks
  • Social Horizons and Degrees of Influence

Since I can't miss the family reunion in Michigan, I'll have to settle for reading the book on the flight. I'm also going to check out his TED Talks where "Nicholas Christakis explores how the large-scale, face-to-face social networks in which we are embedded affect our lives, and what we can do to take advantage of this fact."

If you can make it to WEC, I'd love to talk about it after.

Maybe we could have an MPI virtual book club…

Karen Garrett

The Markit Team

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