Erica Young an expert in the field of network science and founder of the Reliants Project, a blog and podcast that educates people about the invisible impact of networks on our lives and how they shape our wellbeing, relationships and community.
Erica has 5 years experience working with the Venture Capital firm Anthemis, where she's been applying network science principles to make useful connections and drive success for portfolio companies.
I've known Erica Young for almost 5 years and was always fascinated by her enthusiasm for network science. But when she'd bring it up in conversation, I'd find it interesting without ever really 'getting it'.
Over the last 6 weeks I've helped her produce The Reliants Project Podcast - a show about about how networks shape our wellbeing, relationships and community and now, I can safely say that I understand where her enthusiasm comes from.
There are few things in life more important than our relationships with other people, but we spend very little time consciously thinking about them. After being immersed in this material in the last month and a half, I have made some small but profound changes to the way I build and maintain relationships that are already having a positive impact.
In this episode we discuss:
- The networking myths that hold people back from proactively building relationships
- How understanding network science can help you progress in your career
- The habits of superconnectors, including running events and making introductions
We also talk about some of the core concepts in the field of network science, the science of success and much more.
- Introducing Erica [00:41]
- What personal events influenced Erica’s interest in network science? [03:04]
- What is the mindset behind having a mutually beneficial relationship with people we interact with? [04:36]
- Is compartmentalising people from different areas of our lives advantageous to how we network? What is the significance of multiplex ties to our relationships with other people? [07:16]
- What are the major impacts that COVID has on our networks? [09:22]
- How does interacting with our weak ties strengthen our network? What are the factors that make these weak ties relevant to how we interact with our strong ties? [12:43]
- What are practical steps that we can take to grow our network? [14:54]
- How does the concept of adjacent possible come into play when we look at our networks? [17:20]
- How does a super-connector make good introductions and cultivate relationships? What is Erica’s goal in building these relationships and expanding everyone’s networks? [19:39]
- What has Erica learned from designing an event prescriptively versus unpremeditated? [21:23]
- What is the right number of people to invite to a dinner party? [23:07]
- What are the three friendship networks according to Janice McCabe? How does each network impact our identity? [24:58]
- How do networks affect our individual health? [29:11]
- Why do we not prioritise networking in our daily life? What are the factors that hinder us from investing our time and efforts in other people? [30:03]
- How did Erica’s friendships help her name her podcast ‘The Reliance Project’? [31:23]
- What are the things that Erica has learned from producing a podcast that centered around network science? How does The Reliance Project reinforce the idea of adjacent possible? [32:40]
- How do our relationships change not just ourselves, but other people? [35:19]
- How networks bring about a sense of power and responsibility to people belonging in them [36:51]
- How do cultivated networks and mutually beneficial relationships inspire individual success? [38:00]
- Can networking science solve structural problems and inequalities? [39:13]
- How does COVID affect how people understand and perceive networks? [41:29]
- Closing remarks [43:27]