Venture capital is social capital

Happy New Year, blog readers! Soon I’ll do my usual look ahead to 2020 books.

Meanwhile, this is from Trick Mirror, essays by Jia Tolentino, which I just finished. It’s an excellent, thought-provoking series of extended reflections on what life online is doing to us, and particularly how it interacts with the social constraints on women. As she says here, venture capital is social capital. In fact, capital is social capital.

This is why our Wealth Economy project started with what some people thought was the quixotic aim of measurement of social capital. But if economists think it’s so important – and we do, we just call it ‘goodwill’ or ‘institutions’ or some other term – we’d better be able to give it empirical life. So far, so good, in our work – the UK’s Industrial Strategy Council has taken up the social capital metrics produced by my Bennett Institute colleagues Matthew Agarwala and Marco Felici. But much left to be understood.