We curate brave and safe spaces where all people have the opportunity to feel comfortable bringing their whole authentic selves. We embrace, encourage, and elevate diversity, making space for all people’s experiences to help people feel seen and valued.
All people should have the opportunity to access the resources they need to thrive and experience sustainable well-being and happiness. From conception to action, we work to identify, acknowledge, and break down the barriers that prevent people from experiencing meaningful connections, trust, and belonging.
We are shifting how our culture functions, breaking down traditional systems of interacting, and building new ways for people to thrive together. We are committed to this complex and challenging adventure that requires patience, persistence, transparency, advocacy, and truth. We make mistakes and we recognize that those mistakes are part of the learning, engaging, and growing process. We commit to an active and reflective learning process, to acknowledgement and repair of any harm done, and to strive to do a little bit better every day.
We believe a thriving community is possible when every person is engaged and feeling welcome and supported to affect change. To achieve this, we commit to the multi-faceted work of trust-building with our partners and the communities we serve. We seek out meaningful relationships that draw upon the unique strengths and knowledge of individuals and organizations to empower connections and grow happiness.
Inclusion & Belonging
Justice & Equity
Honesty, Integrity, Authenticity & Grit
Collaboration and Exploration
Social Tinkering employs staff, hosts volunteers, and provides services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability.
It is very important to us that we offer spaces that are inclusive, encourage diversity of all kinds, and are equitable for all people. We also commit to regularly evaluating the barriers that prevent us from success in achieving this goal. One of the ways we can work to ensure these kinds of spaces, is by creating community agreements.
Our staff, Directors, Founder, and volunteers all commit to working hard to uphold these agreements for all people we serve. In exchange we expect those who join us to commit to the same.
Platinum Rule - Treat others how THEY want to be treated
Be present & listen with curiosity
This is a Brave space where vulnerability is celebrated
Acknowledge INTENT & focus on IMPACT
Speak from the “I”- from your own experience, not for others
Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Offer what you can, ask for what you need
"When we have the courage to walk into our story and own it, we get to write the ending." ~ Brené Brown
Why Social Tinkering?
Because we should write our community's story together.
At Social Tinkering we think a lot about how our culture and technology are both changing and how those changes affect individuals, communities and our world. We care about the social issues in our community and want to help where we can. We believe that a lot of social issues could be improved upon if more people felt less alone and more supported. In fact, many social scientists have found that as humans, our need to connect is as fundamental as our need for food and water. The ways people interact with each other now is different from in the past, but our human connections remain critical to our health and well-being. Social Tinkering is a new way to do things, a way of shifting our culture to build welcoming spaces where all people have the opportunity to feel valued and experience belonging.
REASON 1: You don't need an invitation - just show up! If you're new, revitalizing your social life, or entering a new phase of your life, or just want to freshen up your social life, you don't have to know someone to be invited along. We are creating a circle that anyone can come and join at any time - where you don't need to know someone to come hang out, where the whole point in going to the event is to meet other people and grow friendships.
REASON 2: Socializing can get expensive at times. What if you can't afford to go out but still would like to meet people and socialize? We are making getting together low-cost, because sometimes you need a friend the most when you're broke! Removing financial barriers to help you find your people is part of our purpose.
REASON 3: Traditionally, people have sought out churches as gathering places. But in today's changing culture, not everyone practices a religious belief. In Vermont, almost 40% of our population is religiously unaffiliated and that number is only growing. So if you're not part of a church community, where do you find community? There are lots of activities around town to participate in, but where can you go to simply hang out and meet people and have great conversation, especially when you don't know anyone already? Can you imagine how awkward it would be to interrupt random people at a coffee shop to introduce yourself?
REASON 4: Over the years our country has become more and more divided, causing us all great social discomfort. The more we isolate ourselves from the discomfort, the less we understand each other, and the less open-minded we are to working together to solve problems in our families and communities. The more we stay away from each other to avoid difficult conversations, the more our social anxiety increases. Social anxiety, often confused with introversion, frequently stops us from interacting with others and finding the friendship and support we need to lead healthy lives. At Social Tinkering, we curate our spaces with an awareness of social anxiety and the variety of social interaction comfort levels different people hold. We believe in holding the difficult conversations while working as much as possible to approach hard topics with compassion and empathy.
And that brings us to our final and possibly most important reason why we are doing this, the reason that ties it all together...
REASON 5: Chronic loneliness. According to a lot of researchers, scientists, the American Psychological Association, and even the World Health Organization, chronic loneliness is a huge issue we need to talk about. There is a ton of research being done showing that it leads to many physical and mental health problems. Chronic loneliness can lead to a range of health issues including depression and anxiety, addiction, stroke, heart problems, substance use, and even premature death. All of those mental and physical health problems affect our communities and the world. While social connection and belonging cannot fix all of our world's problems, it is known to be one of several solutions for combating chronic loneliness and isolation. At Social Tinkering, we believe social connection and belonging are key to a successful and thriving community. Why not help each other out and simply come together to support each other more? For more information on chronic loneliness and the current research check out our LEARN MORE page.