Giving Compass' Take:

An online platform called CommunityShare helps students make connections to local businesses, networks, and universities to create opportunities for beneficial interaction.

Why is it important to have a cloud of social capital readily available for students to access?

Read about why students need social capital to advance their careers.

For the past few months, I’ve been writing a lot about the power of online connections to expand and diversify students’ networks. But as I’ve researched this topic I’ve been equally excited by efforts to ease the logistical barriers of creating new local networks by connecting schools to the latent social assets right in their backyard. I owe a lot of my thinking on this topic to Josh Schachter, a social entrepreneur based in Tucson, Arizona who has built a platform called CommunityShare.

The platform allows teachers to find individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions who are excited to share their skills, experiences, and passions with teachers and students in schools and in out-of-school settings. In other words, it aims to unlock new face-to-face interactions in communities and schools. I sat down with him to learn more about the origin of CommunityShare and where he thinks this market of networking tools for school is headed.

Julia: What led you to build CommunityShare?  

Josh: The idea for CommunityShare arose out of my own experiences as both a student and an educator. As an educator, I searched for ways to bring “real-world” relevance to my students.

In 2014 I decided to leave my position at the high school. What I had not fully realized was that when I left the school, so did my relationships with dozens of our community partners. My “social capital” travelled with me, which meant it was no longer easily accessible to teachers and students at the school. My role as community liaison was not a sustainable solution. I began to wonder if there would be a way to reveal, connect, and share the social, intellectual, creative, and cultural capital in a community that was not dependent on a single coordinator.

Read the full article about CommunityShare by Julia Freeland Fisher at Christensen Institute