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Celebrating our “loose connections”

Loose connections. The people we see on an almost daily basis but perhaps don’t know a great deal about. The morning barista who laughs with you while making a coffee, the ticket inspector on your morning commute, a friend of a friend who sometimes comes for lunch, or a person who you sometimes say hello to in your post-work yoga class. Could these loose connections mean more to us than we realise?

Studies suggest that’s the case. And we plan to celebrate those connections here at IQL!

A paper called The Strength of Weak Ties published in 1973 by Mark Granovetter changed the narrative that an individual’s wellbeing depended entirely on their close friends and family. It professed that it was actually our wider networks of connections that bring us opportunities and joy. A further study from 2016, examined such relationships in subjects based in Italy and Scotland, and it showed that people who take part in group activities and therefore have more acquaintances and wider circles, enjoyed “an increased sense of meaning and security”.

We believe that our loose connections are so important to our everyday wellbeing. So we’ve interviewed people from across IQL - from our buildings, restaurants, outdoor spaces – about their own connections to Stratford. And don’t worry – we’ve not just asked the boring stuff!

Visit our stories page to read about some of the people who work here at IQL!