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What is networking and why is it so important?

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Networking usually involves meeting new people who share a profession, industry, or interests. But how do you network, and why is networking so important? 

Building connections with the right people at the right time could be the key to taking your career to the next level.

That said, if walking into a room full of strangers feels like your worst fear, you’re not alone. Many people do their best to avoid networking altogether, but this attitude can impact or slow their success. 

Read on to learn what networking is, why it’s crucial for your career success, and how to network well (even if you’re shy).

What is networking?

Networking is a mutually beneficial interaction that involves exchanging ideas and information between individuals who are connected by a common career, industry, or interest.

Unrelated to computer networking, professional networking refers to the act of building and maintaining relationships with other professionals in your industry or related fields. It is an important aspect of career development and can help individuals to expand their knowledge, opportunities, and connections.

Professional networking can take many forms, including attending industry events, participating in online communities, joining professional associations, and seeking out mentorship or coaching . You might network by connecting with specific individuals that you want to meet via email, LinkedIn, or other methods.

Networking can also involve informal interactions, such as chatting with colleagues during breaks, sharing ideas and resources, and collaborating on projects.

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Why is networking important?

Using your network is one of the best ways to find a new job or even a new role at your current company. Why is networking so important? It often comes down to one keyword: referrals. Thirty-one percent of job seekers find listings through professional connections, especially referrals. Networking can open doors to new opportunities that might be out of reach otherwise. Plus, a strong professional relationship can inspire someone to hand-deliver your resume to the hiring manager’s desk. This can make you stand out from the crowd and even help you land your dream job one day.

Many people assume that networking is only useful during a job search. But, the purpose of networking goes far beyond finding your next job opportunity.

5 reasons networking is important for career development

Professional networking is not just about meeting new people; it's also about maintaining existing relationships. This involves staying in touch with contacts, sharing updates on your work, and offering support and assistance when needed. This all supports your career growth and development. Here are five reasons why networking is important to your career development:

  • Networking contributes to your social well-being
  • Networking leads to the exchange of ideas 
  • Networking helps you meet people at all professional levels
  • Networking boosts your professional confidence
  • Networking expands your visibility

1. Networking contributes to your social well-being

Networking can increase your social well-being and help you develop lifelong friends. You might be focused on the professional aspect of networking. However, many friendships have started in the workplace or at professional functions. 

Networking isn’t just about taking — it’s also about giving, which makes it fertile ground for friendship. Having more people in your life can help you meet your new best friend and increase your overall happiness. 

Why is networking important? Besides the social benefits, building relationships can be the key to making huge strides in your career path .

Even if you aren’t looking for a job right now, networking can bring interesting and relevant opportunities your way, especially for women.

A personal or LinkedIn connection may reach out about a role that’s perfect for you. They could also ask for your help to pursue a passion project. When people know what you’re interested in, they can help you find opportunities that you may have otherwise missed. You might even find your next mentor or business partner through networking. 

According to Jobvite, 23% of people submit resumes through friends or former colleagues . This makes it clear why staying connected is so important. Building your network not only helps you find new opportunities, but it can help you secure a new role, too. The importance of referrals can’t be denied.

three women laughing at a networking event in a cafe

2. Networking leads to the exchange of ideas

New ideas can keep you growing professionally and trying new things. Hearing what other people are doing at their companies can also inspire you to bring new techniques or skills to your job . Whether you work for a small business or a large corporation, your fresh ideas can help you stand out and succeed in your current role. 

Discussing your work with new connections offers a unique perspective. It also enhances motivation and creative thinking . Having an industry mentor or connection outside your company is a valuable asset. 

If you’re feeling stuck on a project, a brainstorming session with someone in your network can help get the gears turning. For example, if you’re a small business owner, sharing your struggle with fellow business owners can help you problem-solve faster. This exchange of information is at the heart of networking.

3. Networking helps you meet people at various professional levels

Accessing higher-ups can be difficult in some organizations. This is where networking can introduce you to more experienced professionals. The opportunity to access their wisdom and career advice is key to your future growth.

These connections present new opportunities for mentorship and career development . This is why networking is so important. It also empowers you to share your skills. Professional networking with a co-worker who you admire can lead you to find a new mentor. It just takes a quick coffee or small talk at industry and networking events. 

Knowing people of various professional levels can also expose you to a wider variety of job opportunities. Once you develop a relationship with someone, you may be able to leverage their connections to get a foot in the door for a new role. This is why networking is so important.

4. Networking can make you more confident

Professional networking is an exercise in confidence, especially for people who are shy or introverted. That’s part of why so many people avoid it. However, once you find yourself discussing your shared interests with a new friend, you’ll see that networking isn’t so bad. 

Networking events are actually a great place to practice your confidence, even if you’re an introvert. Put yourself out there and speak about what matters to you. Developing new relationships helps you foster newfound confidence in your professional capabilities.

It can also help you gain confidence when it comes to social networking. Learning to face your fears in order to further your career can make meeting new friends less intimidating.

5. Networking expands your visibility

The more you discuss your ideas and point of view with your peers and listen to their input, the greater visibility you develop in that area. Successful thought leaders are often excellent networkers. They understand how to connect with other individuals in their arenas, how to communicate with them, and how to listen attentively. So putting yourself out there can help you gain traction as a thought leader.

5 ways to network professionally

  • Attending industry events: This can include conferences, workshops, and other gatherings where professionals in your field come together to share ideas, learn from each other, and make connections.
  • Participating in online communities: Online communities, such as LinkedIn groups or forums, provide a platform for professionals to connect and share information, advice, and resources.
  • Joining professional associations: Professional associations are organizations that represent a specific industry or profession, and they often offer networking opportunities, as well as educational and career development resources.
  • Seeking out mentorship or coaching: Building relationships with more experienced professionals can be a valuable way to learn new skills, gain insights into your industry, and make connections that can lead to new opportunities.
  • Leveraging social media: Social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, can be used to build your professional network by sharing your work and engaging with others in your industry.

two women networking over a white table

How to become great at networking

While the fundamentals of business networking are simple, it does take practice to be a good networker . Networking is personal, after all. Forming a new relationship involves dedicating time to making connections. Finding ways that you feel comfortable getting to know someone will set you up for success.

Some people thrive at a large event, while others prefer to meet through networking apps like Shapr or LinkedIn. For some, virtual networking events can take some pressure off your first networking experience. 

Even when people were quarantined at home in 2020, 6.3 million people attended virtual events on LinkedIn . This shows how powerful the drive to connect can be.

But why is networking so important? The stronger your network is, the better you’re likely to feel about your career prospects. With 76% of people saying you need to know the right people to get ahead , the connection between your network and your net worth shows.

However, you can’t just show up to a networking event and expect to magically build a strong professional network. As your network grows, your techniques for supporting your network should, too. For the most beneficial experience, it’s good to have a networking plan .

Whether you’re building a network from scratch or already have some acquaintances, networking skills can always be developed. Here are some powerful ways you can improve your networking habits and prepare for your next event.

1. Consider what you have to offer

Effective networking is always a two-way street. Some people may avoid networking because they’re not sure what they have to offer. 

Before you go to a networking event, consider what you can give to someone else and what you’re willing to offer. You may be eager to connect people with others in your network. But recognize ahead of time if you don't feel comfortable recommending someone you just met for a job.

Defining what you can give and your boundaries can help you feel less unsure about networking. When you feel more comfortable, it’s easier to build trust with other people , too.

2. Let curiosity lead the way

Forget collecting a ton of business cards. Instead of aiming to meet as many people as possible, make a goal to have a few deep and engaging conversations with a handful of people. Focus on shared interests and let curiosity be your guide.

Getting people talking about what they care about can help you build a stronger connection. Ask a lot of questions and listen. Be open about your passions, goals, and interests, too. 

Most importantly, don’t forget to follow up afterward. When you connect on LinkedIn or reach out by email, share something interesting you learned from the person.

3. Set bigger goals

If you’re looking for a job, there’s no need to ask everyone if they’re hiring.

Networking can feel sleazy if you’re only out for your own benefit. Instead, create networking goals bigger than yourself to avoid becoming intimidated or demanding. Remember that connections you make today can help you two, three, or ten years from now. Keep that in mind – almost every new connection you make will have value now or in the future.

Your higher goal can be learning, contributing to your industry, or something else completely. Either way, having a higher purpose can take the focus off you. Keep that higher goal top of mind to maintain your confidence and drive.

4. Find common ground

Remember, everyone at a business networking event is a person, too. 

Treating everyone like their professional title can make a conversation awkward. While it may seem like that person is miles away from where you are, you might discover that you have more in common than you thought . 

Have general questions prepared to ask about people’s interests beyond their work life. Connecting over hobbies can help you create a deeper bond.

5. Choose who you want to develop a relationship with

Networking is all about forming relationships, but most relationships don’t become close after one meeting. Choosing who to follow up with can help you create warmer connections.

But, don’t just choose the people with the best titles. Remember who you shared common interests with and invite them for a coffee or video chat to build the connection.

6. Offer opportunities to your network

When you see a job listing or an article that someone you networked with would find interesting, share it. Be proactive about sharing information and opportunities with your network, even before they ask. They may even start to reciprocate.

According to Jobvite, 66% of satisfied employees are eager to refer people in their network to work at their company. If that’s you, then sharing opportunities in your company can ensure you get to work with people you already know and like.

7. Network everywhere

Find new places to meet people with intention. Attending events and striking up conversations with confidence can help build your network wherever you go. 

Whether you’re at a coffee shop, in an elevator, or in line at the grocery store, you can find a networking opportunity. Aim to discover something new and be open to connecting with new people no matter where you are.

8. Work on your body language

Body language plays a significant role in how we communicate and network. Shifting your body language to be more inclusive and welcoming can help make you a master networker. 

For example, instead of crossing your arms, keep your body open and your arms at your sides. This unspoken signal helps build trust and shows people you’re open to connection.

group of your men and women networking at a cafe

How to network if you’re shy

The purpose of networking is to make new relationships and foster existing ones. These can be via friendships, industry acquaintances, and even business partners. Through these new relationships, you can make progress on your career path quickly. When you look at it that way, it’s clear why networking is such an important tool — for introverts, too.

Here are a few ways to network if you’re shy:

  • Start small: sometimes, just showing up to a networking event can be an accomplishment. Challenge yourself to attend the event and grab a drink, even if you don’t talk to anyone at first. Chances are, someone will approach you, and you’ll find yourself networking in no time!
  • Bring a friend: a friend who understands your shyness can be the bridge you need to make your first new professional connection. Your friend can help start the conversation and give you the confidence to venture out on your own next time.
  • Focus on shared interests: try finding a smaller networking event that allows you to focus on a specific interest you love talking about. You will likely find it easier to talk to new friends about something you’re truly passionate about.

Once you start, you’ll quickly see why networking is so important. You might even find it’s fun, too!

Become an expert networker

Networking may have seemed like a necessary evil in the past. With these tools, though, you can now create meaningful and impactful relationships everywhere you go. Practicing your networking skills can help you become more confident and help you meet new, interesting people.

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Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

20+ tips for how to get better at networking even if you are shy

6 networking tips to help you make a lasting impression, find out how to build a network from scratch, create a networking plan in 7 easy steps, 8 linkedin networking message templates to help you connect with anyone, heat up your networking with a better cold connect (try these examples), interpersonal relationships: their importance and how to maintain them, weak ties vs strong ties: why they both matter, relationship-building skills examples to practice at work, similar articles, how to get people to like you even if you're shy, discover how to get noticed by upper management at work, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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A Better Approach to Networking

  • Christie Hunter Arscott

essay on networking

Move from “small talk” to “deep talk.”

Meeting strangers — especially in the context of work — is uncomfortable for most people. Just the thought of networking can provoke discomfort and anxiety. As humans, we have an innate need to be liked. Research shows we even have a tendency to connect our self-worth to the number of people who like us.

  • Because of this, many struggle with performance anxiety when it comes to networking. You’re afraid you might say the wrong thing, forget what you were going to say, or stumble over your words. The result would be the other person not liking you. But there’s a better way to network.
  • Focus on what you’re going to ask, not what going to say. Instead of preparing what you’d say when meeting someone new or how you’d respond to questions from a stranger, focus on what you’d ask in those same scenarios.
  • Then, practice moving from small talk to deep talk. We tend to underestimate how much other people, and especially first-time contacts, might enjoy and find satisfaction in meaningful conversation. Instead of asking “Where are you from?” ask, “What places have you lived in and traveled to during your educational and career journey that have shaped who you are?”

Do you shy away from talking to new people at networking events? Have you ever walked into the room and felt a tightness in your chest as you stood there, sweating, wondering what to say? Most of us can relate to some version of this experience. Meeting strangers — especially in the context of work — is uncomfortable. Just the thought of networking can provoke discomfort and anxiety.

essay on networking

  • Christie Hunter Arscott is an award-winning advisor, speaker, and author of the book Begin Boldly: How Women Can Reimagine Risk, Embrace Uncertainty, and Launch A Brilliant Career . A Rhodes Scholar, Christie has been named by Thinkers50 as one of the top management thinkers likely to shape the future of business.

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By Michelle Maiese

September 2005  

What is Networking?

Networking is a matter of creating useful linkages, both within and among communities, organizations, and societies, in order to mobilize resources and achieve various goals. [1] One author describes it as the "art of building alliances." [2]

Networking occurs at a variety of levels. At the level of neighborhoods and communities, it is a matter of creating reciprocal relationships with other members of society. In many instances, parties meet informally to share a meal or hold a casual meeting. They often share resources, contacts, and information with one another. As a result of these conversations and newly found connections, individuals often find jobs and freelance work, locate apartments, trade services, and develop cooperative strategies.

Some common examples of networking activities include attending trade or professional association meetings, volunteering for community work, visiting with other members of one's social clubs or religious groups, posting messages on mailing lists, and talking to other people in one's community. [3] Networking contacts are often found through friends, extended family, alumni associations, former bosses, and members of the various clubs, religious groups, or other organizations to which one belongs. [4]

Many professionals have increasingly relied on Internet chat rooms, networking websites, and online forums to discuss recent developments in their occupation or field and ask questions of each other. Those looking for employment typically find that networking is one of the most effective ways to find a job. In many villages in less developed parts of the world, establishing social contacts is important for individuals who need to locate money and resources or seek information about where seasonal workers are needed. [5] Networking also allows individuals in many countries to form groups so that they may qualify for loans from banks. Networking is also an important component of community organizing . This requires that diverse members of the population build relationships , share resources, and work together in an organized way for social change. Networking can occur among members of a single organization or social group, among people from many different communities and identity groups, and among organizations. [6] It is a matter of forging connections with other individuals or groups who face similar problems and issues and want to work together toward solutions. These social connections allow individuals, groups, and organizations to find allies, access tools, share practical wisdom, and build collaborative strategies. Networking thus helps those working for social change to share resources and information, devise an agenda, and engage in collective action within their society. [7] For example, local activists and those working in the field of peacemaking will find it useful to make contact with other grassroots organizers to coordinate efforts, learn what has already been done on the issue, and discuss what has and has not worked. Likewise, it is important for organizations to make contacts with other agencies, groups, and individuals that might support their work in direct or indirect ways.

Like coalition building , networking is grounded in the notion that people who pool their resources have a greater ability to advance their interests . Connections formed through networking can be useful in broadening the research and knowledge base of social campaigns and generating new resources and backing for their efforts. Establishing alliances also makes it easier for organizations to gain help from support groups and allies who support their goals. Insofar as those who coordinate their activities and share resources have a greater chance of success, networking often empowers groups and helps to give people a real voice in decisions that affect them. Through networking, individuals also may develop relationships with third party neutrals as well as adversaries, which ultimately may make it easier for them to come to some sort of agreement in current or future disputes.

Networking at the National and International Levels

In addition to the networking that takes place among individuals at the local level, there are national networks that bring together local organizations, religious groups, community groups, trade unions, and hospitals. The types of networking that commonly take place at the national level are civic engagement and multi-stakeholder participation. Civic engagement is a matter of interaction between civil society organizations and governments so that they can build constructive relationships and bring about social, economic, and political change. Likewise, rapid advances in media, telecommunications, and computer technology have facilitated wide sharing of information among multiple civil society stakeholders. Partnerships among these diverse individuals, groups, and organizations have proven to be an effective way to advance development projects and reduce poverty within communities. [8]

For example, the Nicaraguan Community Movement (MCN) is a national network of community-based organizations that provides training, accompaniment , and legal advice to community groups. Local and national authorities recognize the MCN as a representative voice of civil society. [9] Such civil society networks offer opportunities for increased communication among diverse groups and often give weight to community demands. Often this generates broad public participation and further networking among citizens in local communities. [10]

Networking also plays a key role in peacebuilding efforts and has great potential to strengthen the capacity of the peacebuilding field as a whole. Because a diverse group of people and organizations work in the fields of conflict resolution and peacebuilding, there are often heavy needs for coordination . Involved actors include local governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations , development organizations, conflict resolution groups, local peacemakers, and citizens. All of these actors have different backgrounds, cultures, and interests, and in some cases some of them are not even aware of each other's existence. [11]

To remedy this, several European countries have established national platforms on peacebuilding. These networks help to create an infrastructure for an effective system of collaboration and coordination. Their activities include the organization of national meetings and regional consultations in order to allow for information sharing and communication among a wide number of actors. In addition, these networks enable collective lobbying and advocacy activities that can encourage the allocation of public resources to the task of building peace. For example, they can participate in educational and media activities that increase awareness about the importance of conflict prevention . [12]

At the international level, the European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation is a network of organizations working in the field of conflict prevention and resolution. It aims to include a wide range of participant organizations throughout Europe and to support the establishment of national networks. One of the useful aspects of these national and international platforms is their clearinghouse mandate, which allows for a wide exchange of information. The European Platform has published an international directory that lists 500 conflict management organizations and information about their activities as well. This enables people to know what other actors are doing in which regions so that human rights , peace , development , and humanitarian NGOs can coordinate their efforts. Likewise, the Great Lakes Policy Forum is an international network that involves collaboration among government and nongovernmental officials to discuss sensitive issues and collect early warning signals. [13]

The Horn of Africa NGO Network for Development (HANND) is a network of indigenous civil society actors and NGOs in the Horn of Africa, which began networking among themselves in 1997. In March 2000, at a regional meeting in Djibouti, the participants in HANND decided to establish themselves as a legal and formal regional network. This network allows for communication among civil society leaders and allows participants to share useful information about conflict prevention, food security, and capacity development. [From: http://www.hannd.net/ ]

Increased international networking might allow actors to exchange information about the evaluation of initiatives, lessons learned, and surveys done. As a result, the field as a whole may become stronger, more structured, and less scattered. These networks also have the potential to raise awareness, both among the general public as well as those working in the field, about the scope of conflict resolution activities and infrastructure that is already in place. [14]

In addition, international networking can help to build a global constituency that supports violence prevention , coordinates advocacy and lobbying efforts, and initiates educational and media projects. It is important for peacebuilders to develop partnerships with local people who can provide guidance, feedback, and support. [15] These networks bring together actors who live in specific conflict areas with those who operate from abroad. Local parties can assist with training, help external actors to solve problems, and generate new ideas as fresh challenges emerge. Networking also helps to develop trusting relationships among multiple actors and gives local groups a chance to talk to members of foreign governments and NGOs. For example, through the training of trainers program in Burundi, external trainers networked with local actors to evaluate ideas about training and peacebuilding.

Networking has also played an important role in the realm of research, education, and scholarship. Partnerships and linkages among scholars and institutions allow those in postgraduate and professional communities to share existing knowledge about development and enhance conflict resolution education and research. These initiatives, many of which rely on online learning, seek to bridge some of the knowledge gaps between developed and developing countries. The Internet increasingly offers a powerful and low cost means of international networking so that organizations can share observations and knowledge to profit from each other's wisdom.

For example, the United Nations University's Food and Nutrition Programme for Human and Social Development links up scientists and food and nutrition institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The goal is to disseminate knowledge and support capacity building activities across the globe. Similarly, the aim of the World Forests, Society, and Environment Research Program is to conduct research on world forests and environment in order to support sustainable forest development and ensure the well-being of local populations. [16] This global research program involves networking among international and national forest research institutes and individual researchers throughout the world. Forums are held to allow for discussion and increase the dissemination of information. This increased collaboration links researchers from developed and developing countries, strengthens the overall research capacity of the field, and allows for more widespread access to research findings.

Why is Networking Important?

Networking is important for a variety of reasons, many of which already have been mentioned above. At both the individual and collective level, networking is a strategy of empowerment . As a result of networking, organizations and individuals are able to apply political pressure at the local and global level in support of their goals. Networking aids in organizing and mobilization, empowers civil society groups, and enables poor and powerless individuals to have a stronger voice in the processes of decision-making. [17] This is because having a strong set of social connections helps parties to organize lobbying and advocacy activities at the national, regional, and international level in order to bring about needed social changes. This typically involves challenging adverse laws, restructuring power relations, and bringing about policy changes. Through such joint efforts, parties are often more capable of influencing the future of their communities.

At the international level, networking can also help to unite actors who live in a specific conflict area with those who operate from abroad. Two examples of this type of international coalition are the Horn of Africa Program and the Great Lakes Policy Forum. The Forum involves informal collaboration among government and nongovernmental officials to discuss sensitive issues. It helps to collect early warning signals, develop relationships built on mutual trust among multiple actors, and give local groups a chance to talk to members of foreign governments and NGOs. [18]

Networks also help to unite people at the local level with people at the global level as they work toward their shared goals. For example, Diverse Women for Diversity (DWD) is a network that partners indigenous women with professional lobbyists to "work towards crucial issues that are being decided upon at UN-Conferences on world trade, sustainable agriculture, biotechnology, and biodiversity." [19] The network is increasingly engaged in international negotiations surrounding peacemaking and economic globalization .

In addition, people from diverse backgrounds who have faced a variety of struggles come together to advance their common objectives. This facilitates interaction between people in different parts of the world and allows them to recognize both their differences and their commonality. As a result of networking with others both inside and outside their social groups, disenfranchised members of society can realize and extend their power .

Women Living Under Muslim Law (WLUML), for example, is a network that brings together women from throughout the Muslim world to challenge adverse laws. While these women may live in very different contexts, Muslim laws affect all of them. The joint support of women from a variety of contexts helps to facilitate initiatives against discriminatory laws and policies. [20] Forming such connections with people both inside and outside their immediate social group thus allows less powerful individuals to gain influence within their society.

Because networks offer opportunities for increased communication , they have the potential to become a sort of international civil society out of which can emerge different kinds of strategies and projects. Development Alternatives with Women for New Era (DAWN), for example, is a network of activists, NGO workers, and academics committed to addressing the important issues that face the majority of women in Third World countries. Major aims of this international network are social transformation and empowerment . In many Asian countries, networks among civil society organizations, citizens, and community groups, play an important role in development projects . Networking among multiple stakeholders allows for the sharing of information and knowledge that is important for poverty reduction and economic development. As a result of new advances in media, telecommunications, and computing, there is potential to share this information with a broader audience of development stakeholders. [21] Good networking also helps to build trusting relationships among parties and allows for the sharing of resources so that groups can bring about important social, economic, and political changes. Networking is also an important part of human rights monitoring. Guarding against human rights abuses requires the active sharing of information and cooperation among human rights partners and local actors. To accomplish this task, networks of civil society groups that include NGOs, church groups, women's groups, and youth organizations need to be nurtured. Linkages among human rights monitors and local organizations help to build relationships of trust so that that a greater amount of high-quality information is shared among human rights groups, religious groups, church organizations, trade unions, and hospitals. [22] Regular meetings can be held to allow all of these actors to share information and advice, which can lead to constructive thinking and new solutions.

Networking Abilities

The preceding discussion suggests that networking is an important part of collective action at the local, national, and international levels. It serves to empower individuals, communities, and organizations so that they may achieve their goals. It seems clear, then, that the ability to network effectively is an important skill for people to possess. What sorts of capacities are needed for effective networking?

Strong networkers need to be able to develop rapport with a wide variety of people. Typically they have the respect and trust of their fellow citizens so that others listen to them. They demonstrate sincere concern and curiosity and actively seek out information and knowledge. [23] In addition, they have developed an understanding of how groups and institutions relate to each other and are aware of how different sectors of the community function within the social system. They are outgoing and friendly and stay in contact with other people in the network on an ongoing basis. A good networker should be skilled at calling people "to assembly," have strong listening skills, and be adept at organizing activities. [24]

In addition, they will be proficient at some of the activities that are central to networking. These include collective lobbying, information sharing, coordinated advocacy, and the initiation of innovative educational and media projects. Good communication skills and knowledge about mass media are also helpful.  

[1] Phil Bartle, "Elements of Community Strength," Seattle Community Network, available at: http://www.scn.org/cmp/modules/mea-ele.htm#S Networking

[1] Phil Bartle, "Elements of Community Strength," Seattle Community Network, available at: Networking

[2] "Networking and Your Job Search," The Riley Guide, March, 2005, available at: http://www.rileyguide.com/network.html

[3] ibid. [4] Barbara Reihnhod, "Why Networking?" Monster.com, available at: http://content.monster.com/career/networking/bigdeal/

[5] Judit Katona-Apte, "Coping Strategies of Destitute Women in Bangladesh," United Nations University, available at: http://www.unu.edu/unupress/food/8F103e/8F103E06.htm

[6] "Community Organizer's Guide," Ability Maine, available at: http://www.abilitymaine.org/rosc/cog.html [

[8] "Project Concept: Knowledge Networking for Empowerment and Development," knownetasia.org, The Foundation for Media Alternatives, available at: http://www.fma.ph/knownetasia/project-concept.html

[9] "Bringing Citizen Voice and Client Focus Into Service Delivery: Nicaraguan Community Movement," Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, available at: http://www.ids.ac.uk/ids/govern/citizenvoice/pdfs/nicaraguacm.pdf

[10] http://www.fma.ph/knownetasia/project-concept.html

[11] Paul J.M van Tongeren, "The Challenge of Coordination and Networking," in Peacebuilding: A Field Guide , (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2001), 510.

[12] ibid., 512. [

13] ibid., 511. The European Platform has now expanded to become global in scope, forming the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict. (See http://www.gppac.org/ for information.)

[14] ibid., 515.

[15] Kent Arnold, "The Challenge of Building Training Capacity: The Center for Conflict Resolution Approach in Burundi," in Peacebuilding: A Field Guide , (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2001), 284.

[16] "How Can Global Research by WFSE Sustain Forest Development?" The World Forests, Society, and Environment Research Program, United Nations University, available at: http://www.unu.edu/env/forests/forum-satmeet.htm

[17] "Community Building Through Convening," Island County Public Health and Human Services, available at: http://www.islandcounty.net/health/convene.htm#Networking

[18] van tongeren, 517.

[19] Vathsala Aithal, "Empowerment and Global Action of Women: Theory and Practice," Working Papers, Kvinnforsk, University of Tromso, available at: http://www.skk.uit.no/WW99/papers/Aithal-Vathsala.pdf

[20] ibid. [21] http://www.fma.ph/knownetasia/project-concept.html

[22] Karen Kenny, "Human Rights Monitoring: How to Do It and Lessons Learned," in Peacebuilding: A Field Guide , (Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2001),205.

[23] http://www.islandcounty.net/health/convene.htm#Networking

Use the following to cite this article: Maiese, Michelle. "Networking." Beyond Intractability . Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: September 2005 < http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/networking >.

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Essay on Effects and Impact of Social Networking Sites

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Essay on Effects and Impact of Social Networking Sites

One of the persuasive parts of human interactions, social networking sites are extensively used nowadays and we humans can’t even think of one day without their use. These advent use of social networking sites sometimes can affect the physical, mental and spiritual health of human beings. The effects and impact of social networking sites are also a common essay topic in the school curriculum and various academic and competitive exams like IELTS , TOEFL , SAT , UPSC , etc. This blog brings you samples of essays on the effects and impacts of social networking sites with tips & tricks on how to write an essay.

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As the coin has two faces head and tail, everything has its pros and cons. Social networking sites have made our lives much easier than before. These sites are helpful in many ways such as some of the sites are informative, some are for entertainment, some are a source of income for people and much more.

Almost 98% of people across the globe use the internet and social networking sites. Most of the users are adolescents , and it is evident that these social networking sites are penetrating steadily the lives of people globally. These are one of the main reasons for depression and anxiety. Further, these are also one of the prominent ways to crimes such as cyberbullying. As the majority of social networking site users are adolescents and teenagers, who feel sudden pressure to grow up fast in this online world. Some of the very prominent impacts include poor sleep, negative body image, eye fatigue, anxiety, depression and many more. Thus, all of us need to schedule the time and energy we use on it. Further, we require to be careful while using these sites so that we do not fall prey to cyberbullying.  

Internet usage has been altered by the popularity of social networking over the past few years. These sites had enabled us to share concepts, information and sensations at the fastest possible speed. It has also helped us in interacting faster with our lecturers and professors . We can now post, share notes, and attend lectures online using these social networking sites. According to the data, a large portion of the population that uses is teenagers, mostly students. Most include Facebook, Youtube, Skype and MySpace are known for attracting millions of users daily. For some, these social networking sites are a path to enrich their social lives for the separated family member that brings them together in virtual places despite being physically separated.

Students consume a lot of time while uploading and downloading information related to their careers or academics. While researching for their projects and studies students often use, however, most of them cannot log out of these sites. Further, due to the continuous growth in the popularity of such sites, students feel a sudden urge to use these networking sites because of peer group pressure. To some extent, these sites are one of the strongest tools for communication due to continuous growth in technology.

Sites like Facebook, Instagram, MySpace, etc. are also known as virtual places where people keep in touch with their family members, friends and relatives, however, this is also a place where most people fall victim to cyberbullying. Thus, there are both positive and negative impacts of social networking sites, it depends upon how you are using these networking sites for what purpose. To stay physically, mentally healthy and peaceful you must limit yourself from spending more time on social networking sites.

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Essay on Networking in Business Organizations


The article is intended as an educational opportunity for leaders and future managers to learn about networking benefits. It aims to make leaders more supportive and inspiring by informing them of the pinnacles of success they can achieve through networking skills and their consequences. The article clearly illustrates the importance of networking by showing examples from real life situations in which leaders fail to promote and prevent acquisition or merger because they do not spend enough time on networking or socialization. This article explains clearly how important networking is (Ibarra & Hunter 2007).

Important of Networking in Business

According to the article one can learn that interacting with employees maintains an impulse in the job market, keeps up to date with existing trends and meets future customers, mentors and partners. In addition to developing and refining one’s skills, networking provides one with access to the required resources needed to further our career.

The article has taught me that communication within an organization is effective when there is appropriate network among all the concerned parties. As people communicate, they are able to create strong networks and this is of great benefit to the business. As competition intensify in the modern business, there is need to come up with strategy that captures all intended participant, and this can be achieved through communication and establishing good networks within the concerned cultural groups.

Negative consequences if Networking is not integrated into business

The implementation of strategies in an organization is impossible without adequate communication channels. Poor networking channels might result in poor of understanding of an organization’s goals. Strategies for achieving the vision are executed through networking with all people concerned. When a company fails to develop a system of interaction, cultural conflict arises.

Experience gained from the project

The experience gained from working on this project has taught me that connections in business are extremely important, and that efficient communication is critical in any firm. As a company grows, it has to exchange ideas with people from various cultural backgrounds in order to be successful in its operations. Interacting with many individuals, especially customers and stakeholders, is accomplished through communication, and a company manager should develop suitable communication channels. When effective communication is improved inside a company, trust is built.

In today’s business environment, business networking is a critical tool. Business opportunities can be found through proper networks that should be formed on the basis of mutual benefit among all ethnic groups. One of the obvious networking advantages is the ability to accelerate one’s professional growth and improve one’s communication abilities. Business managers should trust communication with all ethnic groups since operating in a culturally diverse workplace necessitates knowledge and integration of each group’s needs.


I recommend that a decent reputation from an extensive range of individuals enhances one chance of receiving referrals and employment possibilities, so they should not confine themselves to traditional networking circles. one never knows with whom or what they could discover while networking.

Networking is not just about asking or receiving; the best way to connect is to give. If someone comes for help, you may not have a solution, but you can refer them to someone who can.

The article, “How Leaders Create and Use Networks” by Ibarra and Hunter

Ibarra, H., & Hunter, M. (2007). How leaders create and use networks.  Growth ,  35 (1), 101-103.

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Sample Essay On Networking

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Business , Sociology , Media , Customers , People , Marketing , Company , Networking

Words: 1250

Published: 02/20/2023



Modern technology has brought tremendous changes in the way business firms operate. Processing information and arriving at optimum choices have become easy for customers as new virtual tools are taking their space every day. The development of mobile internet technology along with the expansion of the existing models of computer application has opened new opportunities and challenges in the current day business environment. The concept of virtual socializing is the basis for the operation of almost every kind of business irrespective of their size and location.

In Person Cold Calling

Today communication facilities like email, voicemail, and social media marketing have become the essential part of everyday life and business operation. Earlier, many salespeople used to visit prospects in person instead of calling them on the phone or sending them email. Meeting prospects door to door is not a common approach today in the context of B2B model. However, in person cold calling can actually be more practical than what people think today. For instance, a sales person who is the first one to approach a particular office or individual is likely to get higher business. I would choose this type of prospecting only if the prospect is of high potential.

Networking refers to a specific style of business activity by which a group of one-minded businesspeople make out and work on potential business opportunities. It is a sort of social network that intends to promote business networking activity. It helps people connect with other business people forming mutually favorable business associations. Several famous business networking organizations today take part in business networking activity. Networking, when followed, let the business people make new business relationships and create new business opportunities simultaneously. This is advisable when joined effort is essential to tap an emerging opportunity or if associating with a number of groups seems advantageous.

Social Media

Social media is the most potential platform for business promotion and marketing today. It offers excellent platform for promoting brands online. Social media like Facebook, twitter, instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest etc. offer wide exposure to millions of people across the globe, and therefore they are incredible resources for businesses of all sizes. Using the features like Geo-targeting, an organization can send messages to a specific audience or demographic. Facebook and Twitter have tools that let firms communicate the right sort of content to the viewers. Most of these sites allow users to target prospects by location, language, age and gender. For example, if one wants to send out a post to people who speak French, geo-targeting feature will make this possible. I will give high emphasis to social media for the promotion of my business in the future.

Referrals are good business policy for the promotion of a business online. Many companies have implemented this method to reach new potential prospects. It allows them to expand their customer base effortlessly. The existing customers who refer the service/product to their acquaintances are benefited in the form of commission, discounts, promotion or gifts. This strategy encourages the customers to do business for the firm further looking forward to their perks. At the same time it improves the company’s income too. This method will ease the companies’ marketing struggles. Also, product/service referred by an existing customer is more trustworthy to a new client. I will use this method in my web-based business activities through online referral programs. All the above prospecting styles have their own merits and demerits depending the size and nature of business. However, social media seems to have an upper hand in the context of changing business scenario.

Working as a social media marketing expert seems an interesting and promising career. Since the business world is highly associated with the modern technology, web-based activities have great scopes in the future. People today tend to rely on the internet for gathering information on any product/service before they decide to purchase it. Hence, a web version is vital for any business regardless of its size or nature. However, mere presence on the internet will not meet the requirements. Networking activity involves numerous tasks ranging from SEO, Social Media Marketing, link sharing etc. Although opening an account on social media like facebook and twitter is a simple task, from a marketing perspective, this involves thoughtful actions and regular actions. According to a suggestion by Cunha and Manuela (2013, p.243), a social network is a collection of individuals and groups of persons engaged in socialized activities with definite roles and purposes. In my opinion, social media outweighs other types of prospecting like in person cold calling, networking, and referrals. The main reason is that a business post on social media can reach millions of people in no time. And, an expert in social media can make use the full potential of this facility. It is easy for a marketer to target his right audience easily. The social media platforms offer location-based targeting for free. The facility enables easy and direct communication possible across the globe. Other types of prospecting are time consuming and they involve risks. For instance, in person cold calling, or telephone cold calling can irritate prospects and their response is unpredictable. Although social media also is vulnerable to abuses and bullying, one can easily tackle the situation. When compared to other types, social media allows one to interact with multiple prospects at the same time. One who is well conversant with the product/service can easily resolve customer complaints or clarify their doubts. This form of prospecting requires no commutation. A marketer can stay at his own office or residence while interacting with his clients. Business conversation is possible even when travelling. The client can be easily convinced of the benefits of the product/service once the system enables easy sharing of files, images, referral links, etc. Good communication can make the client feel the physical presence of the marketer. The most important thing in this aspect is the authenticity the company expresses on its web-based activities. Only a company that allots time and manpower to social media marketing can meet this requirement. Regular updation of the page is important. There should be a good volume of interesting posts every day. The posts should evoke viewers’ response so that they would engage in active discussion. Since each social media site has its own unique features, maintain pages on a number of such sites require great effort and knowledge. According to a report, wise utilization of social media acts as a powerful business tool which provides benefits like popularity, revenue, market research options, easy recruitment and network communication etc (Benefits of social media). In total, the potential of internet caters to the growth of commercial enterprises in every field with the help of social media today. Social media saves a lot of money and time in processing information and communicating ideas, and it can act as an angel of gains for the business organizations today.

Benefits of social media. (n.d.) Business.gov. Australian Government. [online] available at: http://www.business.gov.au/business-topics/business-planning/social-media/Pages/benefits-of-social-media.aspx Cunha, C & Manuela, M. (2013). Handbook of Research on Enterprise 2.0: Technological, Social, and Organizational Dimensions: Technological, Social, and Organizational Dimensions. US: IGI Global.


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Social Networking Sites Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on social networking sites.

Social networking sites are a great platform for people to connect with their loved ones. It helps in increasing communication and making connections with people all over the world. Although people believe that social networking sites are harmful, they are also very beneficial.

Social Networking Sites Essay

Furthermore, we can classify social networking sites as per blogging, vlogging, podcasting and more. We use social networking sites for various uses. It helps us greatly; however, it also is very dangerous. We must monitor the use of social networking sites and limit their usage so it does not take over our lives.

Advantage and Disadvantages of Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites are everywhere now. In other words, they have taken over almost every sphere of life. They come with both, advantages as well as disadvantages. If we talk about the educational field, these sites enhance education by having an influence on the learners. They can explore various topics for their projects.

Furthermore, the business field benefits a lot from social networking sites. The companies use social networking sites to connect better with their potential clients and business partners. Moreover, people in search of jobs use the sites to connect better with employers and firms. This gives them a great opportunity to seek better jobs.

Read 500+ Words Essay on Social Media here.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of social networking sites are also very high. They give birth to cybercrimes like cyberbullying , sexual exploitation, money scams and more. It is very harmful to kids as people make them victims of pornography and more. It also gives easy access to the pedophiles of children’s information.

Most importantly, social networking sites are very addictive. They drop the productivity levels of people. Students waste their time using it and get distracted easily from their studies. Moreover, it makes them inactive and limits their physical activities.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Famous Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites have created a massive presence in today’s world. While there are many types of these sites, some are more famous than the others.

For instance, Facebook is the largest social networking site. It has more than 1 billion users which keep increasing every day. Moreover, it also helps you promote your business or brand through ads.

Secondly, there is Instagram. It is owned by Facebook only. Similarly, this app allows you to share photos and videos with your followers. It gives users a lot of filters to beautify your photos.

Furthermore, Twitter is also a great social networking site. It is mostly used by celebrities. This site allows you to post short messages called tweets to share your thoughts. Twitter is a great platform to convey your message in limited words.

Moreover, we have LinkedIn. This is one of the most sought after sites which allow professionals to locate and hire employees. Subsequently, it is available in more than twenty languages to give a user-friendly interface.

Finally, we have WhatsApp. Though it entered the game quite late, this instant messaging app made a place for itself instantaneously. Facebook acquired this app as well. It allows you to share text messages, images, videos, audios, documents and more.

In short, social networking sites are a bane and a boon. It depends on us how we use to. Anything in excess is harmful; likewise, social networking sites are too. Use them for your benefit and do not let them control your life.

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Essay on Computer Network

Students are often asked to write an essay on Computer Network in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Computer Network

Introduction to computer network.

A computer network is a group of computers linked together. It enables sharing of information and resources. They can be connected through cables, infrared, satellite, or wireless links.

Types of Computer Networks

There are several types of networks. Local Area Network (LAN) connects computers in a small area. Wide Area Network (WAN) covers a large area, like cities or countries. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) serves a city or suburb.

Benefits of Computer Networks

Networks make communication faster and easier. They allow sharing files, software, and hardware. They also improve data security by allowing backups and recovery.

Also check:

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Network

250 Words Essay on Computer Network


A computer network is a digital telecommunications network that allows computers to exchange data. In computer networks, networked computing devices exchange data with each other using a data link. The interconnections between nodes are formed from a broad spectrum of telecommunication network technologies.

Types of Networks

Based on their scale and scope, computer networks can be categorized into Local Area Networks (LANs), Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs), and Wide Area Networks (WANs). LANs are often used in small geographical areas, while MANs cover larger city-wide areas, and WANs can span countries or even the globe.

Network Architecture

The architecture of a computer network includes the design principles, physical configuration, functional organization, operational procedures, and data formats used. The two primary types are client-server, where one or more computers act as servers, and peer-to-peer, where each computer has equal responsibilities.

Protocols and Standards

Networks operate based on protocols, which are agreed-upon rules determining how computers communicate. These protocols exist for various levels of network communication, forming a protocol stack. The most common stack, TCP/IP, forms the basis of the internet.

Significance of Computer Networks

Computer networks have revolutionized computing by enabling distributed systems, where multiple computers collaborate on a task. They also facilitate resource sharing, increase reliability via redundancy, and allow for scalable computing power.

In conclusion, computer networks are a pivotal aspect of information technology, enabling data exchange and collaboration across various scales and distances.

500 Words Essay on Computer Network

Introduction to computer networks.

A computer network is a set of interconnected computers that share resources and data. It is a fundamental pillar in the field of Information Technology, enabling the exchange of information across geographical boundaries and different platforms. The inception of computer networks revolutionized the way we communicate, work, learn, and entertain ourselves.

There are several types of computer networks, each designed to serve specific purposes. Local Area Networks (LAN) connect devices within a geographically limited area, such as a home or office. Wide Area Networks (WAN) span larger geographical areas, often encompassing multiple LANs. Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) typically cover a city or town. Personal Area Networks (PAN) are designed for individual use, usually within a range of ten meters.

Components of a Computer Network

A computer network comprises several components. The primary ones are the servers, which store and provide data; clients, which request and receive data; network interface cards (NICs), which connect each computer to the network; switches, which direct data traffic; and routers, which connect different networks together.

Protocols are sets of rules that govern data transmission in a network. They ensure that data is sent and received in a consistent, reliable manner. The Internet Protocol (IP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) are fundamental to the functioning of the internet. Standards, such as those set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), ensure interoperability between different devices and networks.

Network Topologies

Network topology refers to the arrangement of elements in a network. Common topologies include the bus, star, ring, mesh, and tree. Each has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, complexity, reliability, and performance.

Security in Computer Networks

As computer networks become more pervasive, security concerns grow. Network security encompasses measures to protect data from unauthorized access, misuse, malfunction, destruction, or improper disclosure. Techniques include firewalls, encryption, intrusion detection systems, and secure protocols like HTTPS.

Future of Computer Networks

The future of computer networks is promising, with advancements like the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and quantum computing set to redefine networking. IoT will see an exponential increase in connected devices, while 5G will provide unprecedented data speeds. Quantum computing, although in its infancy, could revolutionize data encryption and processing speeds.

Computer networks have profoundly impacted our lives, transforming how we communicate and access information. As technology continues to evolve, so too will computer networks, promising even greater connectivity, speed, and functionality. Understanding the intricacies of computer networks is essential for anyone venturing into the field of Information Technology or related disciplines.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

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Concepts of Networking Essay

The word ‘networking’ is obtained from the word ‘network’, which, is formed by joining two English words namely; ‘net’ and ‘work’. According to Computing-Dictionary.com (2011), networking can be defined as either “the working or organization of a network or the process of interconnecting more than or two computers for exchanging information.”

The computers do not necessarily need to be in the same room; thus, networking cannot be limited by distance. In computing, networking forms the foundation of data sharing and communication between computers but the term has also received extended meanings.

In computing, networking involves application of both computer hardware and computer software. SearchNetworking.com (2011) defines networking as “the construction, design, and use of a network that include physical devices, telecommunication protocol and computer software.” The definition further extends to management of the network and establishment of operation policies concerning the network. The physical devices involved in a “computer network include cables, router, bridge, hub, and switch” (SearchNetworking.com, 2011).

As aforementioned, the word network is uniquely a juxtaposition of two English words, ‘net’ and ‘work’. Although the “two component words originate from Germanic stock, the juxtaposition was first made in English and later imitated by the Germans as ‘Netzwerk’… The Latin term ‘opus reticulatum’ literally means ‘net work’ and therefore it may have formed the prototype of the English word” (Briggs, 2004).

‘Opus Reticulatum’ is a type of brickwork ordered so that the mortar lines appear like a net. According to Briggs (2004), the earliest occurrence in English is in the Geneva bible of 1560 although the spelling appears differently in subsequent editions. The word is used in different situations throughout history from reticulate structures in animals and plants, rivers and canals, railways, distribution of electrical cables and later wireless broadcasting network in 1914.

Today the word networking means different things beyond just computing. The common thing about all the definitions is that all of them originate from the literal meaning of joining. Networking means, “covering an item with an openwork fabric or structure” (Thefreedictionary.com, 2011).

This implies that the covering of the item is termed networking. As noted earlier one of the latest use of the term network referred to wireless broadcasting, thus networking is used to mean broadcasting over a radio or television network and this broadcasting is mainly done without use of cables hence termed as wireless broadcasting.

The latest invention of the use of the word networking is in the business and social settings. Here the basic meaning of the term has been applied in an intransitive state to mean interaction or engagement in informal communication with others for mutual assistance or support (Thefreedictionary.com, 2011). Further, it means forming business links and contacts through informal social confluences.

This meaning has led to emergence of social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, whose foundation is to provide a platform for connecting people. The meaning of the term networking has expanded to include communication, make contact, exchange information, mingle or meet.

When friends locate each other on social networking sites, they term it as networking. The business community has also formed forums for sharing information and knowledge both formal and informal to improve their profitability, which is also termed as networking.

Therefore, the term networking though a computing term, is applied to mean different things in different situations. The origin of the term and the literal meaning, follow the aspect of connection between several items where these items are either devices or people.

Briggs, K. (2004). Etymology of the words network, net, and work . Web.

Computing-Dictionary. (2011). Networking . Web.

Search Networking. (2011). N etworking . Web.

Thefree dictionary. (2011). Networking . Web.

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Alton Brown to Publish Debut Essay Collection (Exclusive)

The former 'Good Eats' host says that he's been 'dreaming for years' of writing the book, due out next year

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Alton Brown is returning to his role as an author. The former Good Eats host announced exclusively with PEOPLE that he will release his debut essay collection next year. Food for Thought: Essays and Ruminations will be published in February 2025 by Gallery Books. "I’ve been dreaming for years of creating an essay collection, and I’m grateful to everyone at Gallery Books for working to make Food For Thought a reality," Brown, 61, says in a statement.

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Brown, who previously hosted other Food Network favorite shows like Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen , is the New York Times bestselling author of a plethora of cookbooks, including Alton Brown: EveryDayCook and Good Eats: The Final Years . The latter was based on Good Eats , which examined the science behind recipes.

Food For Thought takes things in a new direction for Brown and his fans. While still focusing on food, the essay collection will also explore curiosity and comedy, and how the topics have made their way into Brown’s own life. He will discuss his childhood and family, as well as the trajectory of his long and storied career within culinary television. Brown opened up to PEOPLE in 2019 about his show Good Eats: The Return and his marriage to wife Elizabeth Ingram .  “Before, I was only worth whatever I was working on at any given moment in time,” he said at the time. “Now I think I like me better.”

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Food For Thought is set to share more of Alton’s story than he ever has before. Never miss a story — sign up for  PEOPLE's free daily newsletter  to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

“Each essay in this collection offers new and candid insights into this beloved author around the ideas that matter most to him,” says Jennifer Bergstrom, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Gallery Books. “This book will offer fans and readers of culinary narrative an entirely new Alton Brown experience.” Food for Thought: Essays and Ruminations will be published next year.

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Call for Papers (EuroSEAS 2024) Sounding Power and Dissent in Southeast Asia

EuroSEAS 2024

Date:  July 22 - July 26, 2024

Location:  University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Panel: Sounding Power and Dissent in Southeast Asia

This panel explores the relationship between state power and sound, with an emphasis on the significance of sonic dissent in contesting authority and imagining alternative ways of being in, listening to, and sensing the world. Recent years have seen a surge of interest in sound as a heuristic tool to analyze the acoustic dimensions of governance and the exercise of authority. This approach has challenged ocularcentrism by arguing that disciplinary power involves not only the all-seeing gaze of the state but also acts of sounding that aim to assert sonic dominance over bodies and space. At the same time, sound and sound-making practices have been shown to disrupt attempts to establish order through sensory discipline. People harness the affective power of collectively producing and listening to sound, often with the intent to subvert authority. In the process they create alternative acoustic environments that reconfigure subjectivities and forms of intimacy, also between citizens and the state.

The panel analyzes the significance of sound—and its entanglements with other sensory experiences—in understanding changes to power dynamics and soundscapes in Southeast Asia and its diasporas. It asks: How might an attention to sound allow us to think differently about the operations of power in historical and contemporary Southeast Asia? What might an acoustics of power—and opposition—look like? In what ways are sounds and sonic technologies employed as instruments for social and political struggle to produce particular sonic sensibilities? What role has sound played in de/colonization, particularly within contemporary state making projects? And how has sound figured in processes of migration and the creation of alternative sonic narratives?

This session aims to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue on sound(s) across various temporal and spatial contexts of governance and resilience in Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on transnational interconnections. We invite paper abstracts that engage with the sonic aspects of power and dissent in Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian diasporas. We welcome sound practitioners and scholars, particularly those involved in working with or establishing sound archives, to consider how the legacies of colonialism and imperialism have been mediated and contested through sound. To enhance diversity and inclusion on the panel, we are particularly interested in proposals from scholars based in Southeast Asia, especially early career scholars, including graduate students. We hope to leverage the location to collaborate with the Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives ( DeCoSEAS ) team at the University of Amsterdam and, if possible, organize a collective field trip to the  Jaap Kunst Sound Collection . 

Deadline for proposals: 30 March 2024

Conveners and contract information:

Christina Schwenkel, University of California, Riverside        [email protected]

Sophea Seng, California State University at Long Beach       [email protected]

Christina Schwenkel

Professor of Anthropology

University of California, Riverside

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“AI, Finance, Movies, and the Law” Prepared Remarks before the Yale Law School

Chair Gary Gensler

Chair Gary Gensler

New Haven, CT

Feb. 13, 2024

Good afternoon. Thank you, Roberta and Sarath. As is customary, I’d like to note that my views are my own as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and I am not speaking on behalf of my fellow Commissioners or the staff.

Scarlett Johansson played a virtual assistant, Samantha, in the 2013 movie Her . The movie follows the love affair between Samantha and Theodore, a human played by Joaquin Phoenix. [1]

Late in the movie, Theodore is shaken when he gets an error message— “Operating System Not Found.” Upon Samantha’s return, he asks if she’s interacting with others. Yes, she responds, with 8,316 others. Plaintively, Theodore asks: You only love me, right? Samantha says she’s in love with 641 others.

Shortly thereafter, she goes offline for good. I’ll leave it to you if you’ll be watching Her tomorrow with your Valentine.

There has been much recent buzz about AI, including in several Super Bowl ads on Sunday. [2] The bulk has been about generative AI models, particularly large language models. Artificial intelligence, though, is much broader and isn’t new. You might remember Alan Turing from The Imitation Game movie and the cracking of the Enigma code. In 1950, he wrote a seminal paper, opening with, “I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’” [3]

We’ve already seen a lot of adoption of AI. Text prediction in our phones and emails has been commonplace for years. The Postal Service has been using it to predict addresses. It’s being used for natural language processing, translation software, recommender systems, radiology, robotics, and your virtual assistant.

It’s being used in the law, and right here at YLS. By a show of hands, how many of you have been using AI to summarize your readings or research? To draft a cover letter for a job application? To write something to a professor? To the faculty in the room, how do you feel about this show of hands?

SEC and Finance

I’d like to wish you all at Yale Law School a happy bicentennial. The SEC was established 110 years later in 1934. That year also saw YLS faculty member William O. Douglas come to the SEC. He later became our third Chair in 1937. Speaking to an audience of lawyers in 1934, he said: “Service to the client has been the slogan of our profession. And it has been observed so religiously that service to the public has been sadly neglected.” [4] When Douglas left for the Supreme Court in 1939, another YLS faculty member, Jerome Frank, for whom your legal services clinic is named, became our fourth Chair. [5]

The SEC oversees the $110 trillion capital markets. The essence of this is captured in our three-part mission to protect investors, facilitate capital formation, and maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets.

Finance is about the pricing and allocation of money and risk throughout the economy. This happens through banks and nonbanks alike. In essence, finance sits in the middle like the neck of an hourglass whose grains of sands are money and risk.

AI: Opportunities and Challenges

AI is about using math, data, and computational power to find patterns and make predictions.

It opens up tremendous opportunities for humanity. As machines take on pattern recognition, particularly when done at scale, this can create great efficiencies across the economy. 

In finance, there are potential benefits of greater financial inclusion and enhanced user experience.

It is already being used for call centers, account openings, compliance programs, trading algorithms, sentiment analysis, and more. It has fueled a rapid change in the field of robo-advisers and brokerage apps.

AI also raises a host of issues that aren’t new but are accentuated by it. First, AI models’ decisions and outcomes are often unexplainable. Second, AI also may make biased decisions because the outcomes of its algorithms may be based on data reflecting historical biases. Third, the ability of these predictive models to predict doesn’t mean they are always accurate. If you’ve used it to draft a paper or find citations, beware, because it can hallucinate.

Beyond these general challenges, I’ll turn to issues about AI, finance, and the law.

Macro: System-wide risk

That brings me back to Her . Imagine it wasn’t Scarlett Johansson, but it was some base model or data source on which 8,316 financial institutions were relying. That’s what we may face in finance.  

We’ve seen in our economy how one or a small number of tech platforms can come to dominate a field. There’s one leading search engine, one leading retail platform, and three leading cloud providers.

I think due to the economies of scale and network effects at play we’re bound to see the same develop with AI. [6]

In fact, we’ve already seen affiliations between the three largest cloud providers and the leading generative AI companies. [7]

Thousands of financial entities are looking to build downstream applications relying on what is likely to be but a handful of base models upstream.

Such a development would promote both herding and network interconnectedness.  Individual actors may make similar decisions as they get a similar signal from a base model or rely on a data aggregator. Such network interconnectedness and monocultures are the classic problems that lead to systemic risk. [8] I know Roberta has written about monocultures.  

Thus, AI may play a central role in the after-action reports of a future financial crisis— and we won’t have Tom Cruise in Minority Report [9] to prevent it from happening.

While current model risk management guidance—generally written prior to this new wave of data analytics—will need to be updated, it won’t be sufficient.

The challenges to financial stability that AI may pose in the future will require new thinking on system-wide or macro-prudential policy interventions.

Regulators and market participants will need to think about the dependencies and interconnectedness of potentially 8,316 brokenhearted financial institutions to an AI model or data aggregator.

Micro: Deception, AI Washing, Hallucinations, and Conflicts

Deception and manipulation.

Two years before the 1984 movie, Beverly Hills Cop , the actual Beverly Hills cops arrested a robot in what may have been the first robot arrest ever. [10]

This brings us back to Turing’s question, “Can machines think?” What does that mean for securities law, particularly the laws related to fraud and manipulation?

Though parts of our securities laws have standards of strict liability, [11] such as conducting an unregistered offering, many of the key anti-fraud sections of the 1933, 1934, and 1940 acts require some form of intent or at least negligence. Did somebody knowingly or recklessly do something? Were they negligent?

Fraud is fraud, and bad actors have a new tool, AI, to exploit the public. [12] So what happens when you combine AI, finance, and the law of fraud?

Kara Stein, YLS class of ‘91 and former SEC commissioner, cowrote a paper about this. [13] Her coauthor and she spoke to programmable harm, predictable harm, and unpredictable harm.

The first, programmable harm, is straightforward—if you use an algorithm and are optimizing it to manipulate or defraud the public, that is fraud.

The second category, predictable harm, is also reasonably straightforward. Have you had a reckless or knowing disregard of the foreseeable risks of your actions, in this case, deploying a particular AI model? Did you act reasonably?

Under the securities laws, there are many things you can’t do. This includes front-running, meaning if you get a customer order, you aren’t supposed to trade in front of your customers. You aren’t supposed to spoof, in other words place a fake order. You aren’t supposed to lie to the public. Investment advisers and broker-dealers aren’t supposed to place your interests ahead of your customers’ interest or give unsuitable or conflicted investment advice or recommendations.

That means you need to make sure your robot, I mean AI model, doesn’t do these things.

Investor protection requires the humans who deploy a model to put in place appropriate guardrails. Did those guardrails take into account current law and regulation, such as those pertaining to front-running, spoofing, fraud, and providing advice or recommendations? Did they test it before deployment and how? Did they continue to test and monitor? What is their governance plan—did they update the various guardrails for changing regulations, market conditions, and disclosures?

Do the guardrails take into account that AI models are hard to explain, from time-to-time hallucinate, and may strategically deceive users? [14]  

Now, some might ask what happens if the algorithm is learning and changing on its own. What if you were deploying HAL from 2001: Space Odyssey [15] or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator ? [16] You are knowingly deploying something that is self-learning, changing, and adapting. Thus, you still have important responsibilities to put guardrails on this scenario as well.

This now brings us to Kara’s third category. In essence, how does one hold liable the persons who deploy AI models that create truly unpredictable harm?

Some of that will play out in the courts. Right now, though, the opportunities for deception or manipulation most likely fall in the programmable and predictable harm categories rather than being truly unpredictable.

A famous early movie executive, Joseph Kennedy, [17] who later became the first SEC Chair, may have said it best. In his first speech, he said: “The Commission will make war without quarter on any who sell securities by fraud or misrepresentation.” [18]

Turning to AI washing, one might think about Everything Everywhere All at Once , in which the starring family owned a laundromat. While there has been online debate about whether AI was used to make the movie, the writer-director denies it. [19] When I think of AI washing, I think more about the Music Man in which traveling salesman “Professor” Harold Hill goes to River City, Iowa, and cons the town into purchasing musical instruments for their children. [20]

President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress established the SEC as a merit neutral agency. Investors get to decide what to invest in as long as there is full, fair, and truthful disclosure. Later, those two former YLS faculty, Douglas and Frank, advised Congress on laws related to investment management, which also included disclosure. [21]

We’ve seen time and again that when new technologies come along, they can create buzz from investors as well as false claims from the Professor Hills of the day. If a company is raising money from the public, though, it needs to be truthful about its use of AI and associated risk. [22]

In the movie M3GAN , a robotics company has an AI-powered toy robot and presents it to investors and executives as bonding with a little girl. The company does NOT tell them that the scientist behind the robot is aware that the AI isn’t complete. [23]

As AI disclosures by SEC registrants increase, [24] the basics of good securities lawyering still apply. Claims about prospects should have a reasonable basis, [25] and investors should be told that basis. When disclosing material risks about AI—and a company may face multiple risks, including operational, legal, and competitive—investors benefit from disclosures particularized to the company, not from boilerplate language.

Companies should ask themselves some basic questions, such as: “If we are discussing AI in earnings calls or having extensive discussions with the board, is it potentially material?” [26]

These disclosure considerations may require companies to define for investors what they mean when referring to AI. For instance, how and where is it being used in the company? Is it being developed by the issuer or supplied by others?

Investment advisers or broker-dealers also should not mislead the public by saying they are using an AI model when they are not, nor say they are using an AI model in a particular way but not do so. Such AI washing, whether it’s by companies raising money or financial intermediaries, such as investment advisers and broker-dealers, may violate the securities laws.

So, if you are AI washing, as “Professor” Hill sang, “Ya Got Trouble.”


Now let me turn to Keanu Reeves as Neo in The Matrix . [27] You may recall he was living in an AI-induced hallucination.

In the real world, AI models themselves also can hallucinate but don’t necessarily have Morpheus there to save them. Some lawyers using AI to write briefs have discovered that AI hallucinated case citations that looked real but were not. [28]

If an AI model can hallucinate a bad case citation, couldn’t an AI model used by a broker or investment adviser hallucinate an unsuitable or conflicted investment recommendation?

Investment advisers and broker-dealers are required not to place their interests ahead of investors interests. [29] Thus, investment advisers and brokers aren’t supposed to give investment advice or recommendations based on inaccurate or incomplete information.

You don’t want your broker or adviser recommending investments they hallucinated while on mushrooms. So, when the broker or adviser uses an AI model, they must ensure that any recommendations or advice provided by the model is not based on a hallucination or inaccurate information.

The streaming apps long ago figured out I’m a rom-com guy.

Today’s AI-based models provide an increasing ability to make predictions about each of us as individuals. Already, we receive messages from AI recommender systems that are considering how we might as individuals respond to their prompts, products, and pricing.

We all know some forms of these predictive data analytics well: the flashing button on your screen, the push notification, the colors, the sounds, the well-engineered subtleties of modern digital life.

But what if finance platforms figured out something else as subtle as some of our color preferences? My mom used to dress my identical twin brother, Rob, in red, and me, Gary, in green. Today, I might not react as favorably to green prompts.

You get to research whether Rob and I are more like Lindsay Lohan as Hallie and Annie in the Parent Trap [30] or James and Oliver Phelps who played the Weasley twins in Harry Potter . [31]

If the optimization function in the AI system is taking the interest of the platform into consideration as well as the interest of the customer, this can lead to conflicts of interest. In finance, when brokers or advisers act on those conflicts and optimize to place their interests ahead of their investors’ interests, investors may suffer financial harm.

As to the Rob-red, Gary-green example, are firms communicating with me in a color other than green because it’ll be good for my investment decisions, or because it might benefit the firm’s revenues, profits, or other interests?

That’s why the SEC proposed a rule last year regarding how best to address such potential conflicts across the range of investor interactions. [32] The SEC’s Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management Sarah ten Siethoff, YLS class of ’00, is one of the key leads on this rule.

I had some fun with movies in this speech, but also quoted Kennedy and Douglas, individuals critical to creating, shaping, and interpreting the securities laws—laws that Congress established to protect the investing and issuing public.

I hope you all in this audience, whether advising your clients in the future or in leadership roles, take these leaders’ words to heart.

When I asked the SEC’s Deputy Chief of the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit Jorge Tenreiro, YLS class of ’06, about this speech, he suggested I start with a reference to the 2014 movie Ex Machina . [33] The CEO of a search engine company administers a Turing Test between his robot played by Alicia Vikander and an unsuspecting programmer. The robot passes the test but … well, it’s a bit dark.

I chose to start, rather, with Scarlett Johansson and Her . In part that’s because I’m a bit of a rom-com guy, but there’s more to it. It’s that the story of Samantha and Theodore showed both the great potential of AI for humanity as well some of its inherent risk. It also had a happy ending when Theodore reconnects with Amy—a real human—played by Amy Adams.  

Similarly, our role at the SEC is both allowing for issuers and investors to benefit from the great potential of AI while also ensuring that we guard against the inherent risks I’ve discussed today.

[1] See Freya Keeping, GameRant, “Her, Ending Explained” (Oct. 22, 2023), available at https://gamerant.com/her-ending-explained/ .

[2] See Gael Cooper, CNET, “AI Scores in Super Bowl Commercials: You Can Watch Them Here” (Feb. 12, 2024), available at https://www.cnet.com/tech/ai-scores-in-super-bowl-commercials-you-can-watch-them-here/ .

[3] See  A.M. Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” (Oct. 1950), available at  https://phil415.pbworks.com/f/TuringComputing.pdf .  

[4] See  William O. Douglas, “Address delivered to Duke Bar Association” (April 22, 1934),  available at   https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/1934/042234douglas.pdf .

[5] See “Historical Profile: Jerome N. Frank” (Feb. 8, 2024), available a t https://law.yale.edu/yls-today/news/historical-profile-jerome-n-frank .

[6] See Gary Gensler “’Issac Newton to AI’: Remarks before the National Press Club” (July 17, 2023), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/gensler-isaac-newton-ai-remarks-07-17-2023 .

[7] Microsoft has partnered with OpenAI; Alphabet’s Google has its own Bard, now rebranded as Gemini; and Amazon has partnered with Anthropic. Also see Leah Nylen, Bloomberg, “Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft Face FTC Inquiry on AI Partners” (January 25, 2024), available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-25/alphabet-amazon-anthropic-microsoft-openai-get-ftc-inquiry-lrthp0es .

[8] See  Gary Gensler and Lily Bailey, “Deep Leaning and Financial Stability” (Nov. 13, 2020),  available at   https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3723132 .

[9] See IMDb “Minority Report Plot,” available at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181689/plotsummary/ .

[10] See Matt Novak, Gizmodo, “Was This The First Robot Every Arrested?” (Feb. 18, 2014), available at https://gizmodo.com/was-this-the-first-robot-ever-arrested-1524686968 . More recent robot arrests have happened as well. For instance, see Arjun Kharpal, CNBC, “Robot with $100 bitcoin buys drugs, gets arrested” (April 22, 2015), available at https://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/21/robot-with-100-bitcoin-buys-drugs-gets-arrested.html ; see also “A Robot Was Just ‘Arrested’ by Russian Police” (Sept. 20, 2016), available at https://www.sciencealert.com/a-robot-was-just-arrested-by-russian-police .

[11] Some in Congress have proposed imposing strict liability on the use of AI models. See proposed legislation Financial Artificial Intelligence Risk Reduction Act (FAIRR Act), S. 3554 118 th Cong. (2023). Among other things, Section 7 of the FAIRR Act would amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq , to add a new Section 42 essentially imposing strict liability on “[a]ny person who, directly or indirectly, deploys or causes to be deployed, an artificial intelligence model” for “all acts, practices or conduct engaged in by such model, and any outcome resulting from the use of such model” unless the person took reasonable steps to prevent such acts.

[12] See SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, North American Securities Administrators Association, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Investment Fraud” (January 25, 2024), available at Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Investment Fraud | FINRA.org .  

[13] See Robin Feldman and Kara Stein, “AI Governance in the Financial Industry,” 27 Stan. J.L. Bus. & Fin. 94 (2022), available at https://repository.uchastings.edu/faculty_scholarship/1867 . Also see Gina-Gail Fletcher, “The future of AI Accountability in the Financial Markets,” 24  Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law  289 (2022) available at   https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/jetlaw/vol24/iss2/3/ .  

[14] See Jeremy Scheurer, Mikita Balesni, and Marius Hobbhahn, “Technical Report: Large Language Models can Strategically Deceive their Users when Put Under Pressure” (November 27, 2023), available at https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2311.07590 .

[15] See New York Times, “The Story of a Voice: HAL in ‘2001’ Wasn’t So Eerily Calm” (March 30, 2018), available at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/30/movies/hal-2001-a-space-odyssey-voice-douglas-rain.html .

[16] See IMDb “The Terminator,” available at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088247/ .

[17] See IMDb, “Joseph P. Kennedy,” available at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0448132/ .

[18] See  “Address of Hon. Joseph P. Kennedy, Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission, at National Press Club” (July 25, 1934),  available at   https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/1934/072534kennedy.pdf .

[19] See Margeaux Sippell, “Daniel Scheinert Wants to Set the Record Straight About AI and Everything Everywhere All At Once” (Aug. 22, 2023), available at https://www.moviemaker.com/daniel-scheinert-everything-everywhere-ai/ .  

[20] See IMDb “The Music Man” available at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056262/ .  

[21] See Securities and Exchange Commission, “Report on Investment Counsel, Investment Management, Investment Supervisory, and investment Advisory Services” (1939), available at https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.35112101732404&seq=5 .

[22] See Compl. in SEC v. Tadrus , No. 23 Civ. 5708 (FB) (Dkt. No. 1); see also Mina Tadrus; Tadrus Capital, SEC Litigation Rel. No. 25798 (Aug. 2, 2023), available at https://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr-25798 .

[23] See Owen Gleiberman, Variety, “’M3GAN’ Review: A Robot-Doll Sci-Fi Horror Movie That’s Creepy, Preposterous and Diverting,” (January 4, 2023), available at 'M3GAN' Review: Creepy, Preposterous and Diverting (variety.com) .   

[24] See Matthew Bultman, “AI Disclosures to SEC Jump as Agency Warns of Misleading Claims,” Bloomberg Law (February 8,2024), available at AI Disclosures to SEC Jump as Agency Warns of Misleading Claims (bloomberglaw.com) .

[25] See 17 CFR 229.10 of Regulation S-K.

[26] See Holly Gregory, “AI and the Role of the Board of Directors,” Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (October 7, 2023), available at AI and the Role of the Board of Directors (harvard.edu) .  

[27] See IMDb, “The Matrix” available at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/ .

[28] See Sara Merken, “New York lawyers sanctions for using fake ChatCGT cases in legal brief,” Reuters (June 26, 2023), available at https://www.reuters.com/legal/new-york-lawyers-sanctioned-using-fake-chatgpt-cases-legal-brief-2023-06-22/ .

[29] This is the same standard that the SEC applies under Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) to brokers when they make recommendations to retail investors or to advisers—under the SEC’s interpretation of fiduciary duty under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940—when they provide investment advice.

[30] See IMDb, “The Parent Trap,” available at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120783/ .

[31] See Carola Dager, GameRant, “Harry Potter: What Are the Differences Between Fred and George Weasley?” (Nov. 11, 2023), available at https://gamerant.com/harry-potter-fred-george-weasley-differences/ .

[32] Conflicts of Interest Associated With the Use of Predictive Data Analytics by Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers, 88 Fed. Reg. 53,960 (Aug. 9, 2023) (to be codified at 17 C.F.R. pt. 240 and 275).

[33] See IMDb “Ex Machina,” available at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470752/ .


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