Social capital theory – the idea that social networks built from relationships regulated by love, trust, knowledge etc can be converted into economic capital.
As the digital scape creeps more into prominence, social capital has expanded to include both online and offline networks.
Some people get this idea, others still lag behind.
There are people who can fund entire campaigns from their social networks. People who win awards and prizes from the power of their social network. People who have set up not for profit causes where they essentially serve as channels for crowdsourced funds to specific humanitarian objectives. There are people who secure clients through referrals from social networks. In fact at the very core of referrals is social network.
I like how people often make fun of social media influencers. I like the arrogance with which people call them jobless people with phones. Lol. In my work, I have had to engage social media influencers for awareness a few times. I see the figures they send in their proposals. They do NOT come cheap. You think they are jobless but they earn more from one tweet than you do working away at a desk for 24 hours. Social networks are a valid and quantifiable asset.
This arrogance is not new.
Once people settle into a way of work, it is assumed that that is the ONLY way to work.
Many people are still not taking digital jobs seriously. For them, the future of work is still 9-5 when the reality of work today is that a young man or woman in a small community in Jos can be employed by a large multinational in New York or Beijing or Joburg.
The future of work today rests in flexible work options. The debate we can have now is whether these new work choices should hold the old benefits such as insurance, pension (which they mostly do not currently).
Mostly though, people should change the way they view work. The digital space is a game changer for work and the sooner you get on board with that, the better for you.