A Capital Idea: Community Resiliency in the Pandemic – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

A Capital Idea: Community Resiliency in the Pandemic

Professor Craig Talmage’s latest publication addresses community resiliency in the face of the pandemic.

COVID-19 has taken its toll on the well-being of communities, and while many scholars have considered political, financial and social remedies, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Craig Talmage contends that two other capital forms have been overlooked.

Talmage is the lead author of a new study, “Tethering Natural Capital and Cultural Capital for a More Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World,” published recently in the International Journal of Community Well-Being.

Natural capital refers to natural resources, while cultural capital comprises the social assets of a person — such as education and style of speech or dress — that reflect social mobility in a stratified society. Talmage and his coauthors argue that their research “enhances community development theory and practice by tethering together contemporary understandings of natural capital and cultural capital to inform practices to bolster community well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

The article examines cases from around the globe that “showcase the intersections of natural and cultural capital,” including the Navajo Nation, which experienced one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S.

Talmage and his colleagues note the ways that climate change, racism, cultural ethnocentrism and wealth inequality have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The authors point toward “the inextricable and important links between natural capital and cultural capital in community development and well-being work,” and contend that “the need for access to, and care of, natural and cultural capital could not be greater. Now is the time to reimagine our relationship with nature and culture.”

Learn more about the article.

Talmage, who joined the HWS faculty in 2016, teaches courses on economic principles, quantitative tools, social innovation and the history of entrepreneurship theory, as well as the senior capstone experience and courses in the Master of Science in Management program. He holds a Ph.D. in community resources and development from Arizona State University; a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato; and a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development from the University of Arizona.

The group of international coauthors includes: Beth Allgood (One Nature, Riverdale Park, N.J.); former HWS faculty member Brien Ashdown (Department of International Studies, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates); Sally Hill (Community Health International Ltd., Wellington, Somerset, U.K.); Eric Trevan (Evergreen State College, Olympia, Wash.); John Waugh (independent advisor, Delaplane, Va.) and Ava Brennan ’22.

In the photo above, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Craig Talmage works with students on a marketing proposal as part of their senior capstone project in the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship.