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Welcome to the Institute for Social Capital

Empowering people to realize the benefits and importance of social relationships

We are a global leader in social capital theory and practice. We believe in the importance of social capital and the transformative potential it can have when it is understood and valued.

How can we help

The concept of social capital provides a framework for understanding why and how people collaborate, interact positively, and work together. Understanding social capital allows us to be purposeful and deliberate about how we build and use social capital. Social capital allows people, teams, organisations, projects, and communities to be more effective, productive, and successful.

What is social capital?

The term “social capital” encompasses various interpretations, but fundamentally, it denotes the innate ability, capacity, and potential of individuals to engage in collaborative, positive interactions and collective efforts. At its essence, social capital is rooted in the understanding that social relationships are invaluable assets, capable of catalysing positive and productive actions while curbing counterproductive and negative behaviors. It serves as a guiding asset, directing individuals towards desired outcomes, encapsulating the fundamental proposition that ‘relationships matter’—an indispensable asset in the social fabric.



Research | Training | Consulting

We aim for positive change through education and insight on the use and understanding of Social Capital in every facet of life. We provide training, consulting, research and reporting, facilitation and presentation services in relation to social capital, particularly for organisations. 

We believe every organisation, every team, every project, and every community can benefit from an improved understanding and use of social capital.


We’ve been cited extensively over the past 15 years and are glad to be a respected resource on social capital. Subscribe to receive our free guide to social capital or browse our collection of social capital resources.

About Our Founder


Founder of the Institute for Social Capital​

President of the International Social Capital Association​

Tristan’s biggest passion is the concept of social capital, which he believes can draw attention to the importance of social and cultural processes and can be used to help transform organisations, teams, projects, and communities, making them more successful, effective, productive, and healthy. 

Tristan has over 20 years of professional experience researching and applying the concept to a wide range of contexts. He is a geographer and environmental scientist with a passion for sustainable development and poverty alleviation. He takes an interdisciplinary perspective by combining the lessons of economics, sociology, political science, psychology, urban planning and any other discipline that contributes understanding to the concept. Tristan has a Masters degree from the University of Queensland, Australia, which included social impact assessment, social planning for development, urban planning, and natural resource management.

Explore social capital

We are a trusted source of information about social capital. Explore our extensive resources for free.

Academic Resources

We have extensive resources on social capital theory including hundreds of our own open access articles, reports, and white papers. Our work brings together the extensive literature and extends and clarifies the theory.

Practical Resources

Social capital provides substantial opportunities to improve outcomes anywhere where people work together or where cooperation and positive social action is beneficial – which is just about everything we do.

Hear from our clients

Our clients love working with us, just read what they have to say!

“Tristan joined us to introduce Social Capital to our governance leaders. His detailed preparation was evident as he was able to break down the complexities of the topic into relatable language for our audience. With calm authority in the following panel discussion, he brought us to the nexus of the relevance of Social Capital to our networks in credit unions.”

Eoin McGeeney

Irish League of Credit Unions

“Tristan has been a pivotal figure in deepening our understanding of social capital, constantly encouraging innovative thinking in our mission to educate jobseekers and young adults. His insights into this often underestimated yet crucial asset have been enlightening.”

Edward DeJesus

Social Capital Builders

We are proud to work with companies, non-profit organisations, NGOs and governments all over the world

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