Dr. Nicholas Christakis is a professor at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School who has done groundbreaking research on social networks. He is the co-author of the bestselling book, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks. His startling findings present intriguing new evidence that our real-life social networks shape virtually every aspect of our lives. How we feel, whom we marry, whether we fall ill, how much money we make, and whether we vote—everything hinges on what others around us are doing, thinking, and feeling.
If people are fascinated by what he has found, then the business world is doubly fascinated. After all, the implications for organizations are astounding: By applying what Dr. Christakis has uncovered about the mechanics of social networks, organizations could gain useful—and profitable—insights into the behavior of their employees, customers and partners.
Named one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time Magazine, Dr. Christakis has also made Foreign Policy’s "Top 100 Global Thinkers." list. View his TED TALK!
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How they Shape Our Lives
It is customary to think about fashions in things like clothes or music as spreading in a social network. But all kinds of things, many of them quite unexpected, flow through social networks, and this process obeys certain rules. Dr. Christakis has become internationally renowned for his research on how our real-life, face-to-face social networks drive and shape aspects of our lives that we would never suspect.
In his book Connected, he describes the results of this groundbreaking research, unlocking a revolutionary new understanding of the sway that we have over one another through our connections. He outlines the fundamental rules governing the formation and operation of social networks and describes the myriad ways that they help to shape who we are and what we do.
Dr. Christakis specializes in the impact our social networks have on our attitudes, behaviors, and wellbeing, and has analyzed networks ranging in size from 30 to 3,000,000 people, over periods of time as long as 30 years.
The Power of Being Connected
Science magazine has dubbed co-authors Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler the "dynamic duo." Connected is the winner of a Books for a Better Life Award and has been translated into nearly twenty languages. It was named an Editor's Choice by The New York Times Book Review, and was featured in Wired, Oprah's Reading Guide, BusinessWeek's Best Books of the Year, GOOD's 15 Books You Must Read, and featured as a cover story in the New York Times Magazine.
Connected shows that our world is governed by the Three Degrees Rule -- we influence and are influenced by people up to three degrees removed from us, most of whom we do not even know. Your colleague's husband's sister can make you fat, even if you don't know her. Your genes affect your choice of friends. Social networks can be used to predict the future behavior of groups. These and other startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Drs. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide. In Connected, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, Connected overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives.
Groundbreaking Research on Social Media
Drs. Christakis and Fowler have also conducted novel research on the structure and function of online networks, such as facebook, and telecommunications networks, uncovering the deep rules that govern how such networks form, and how the affect our lives.
Dr. Christakis is an internist and social scientist who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity. He is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Professor of Medical Sociology in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; and Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is also the Master of Pforzheimer House in Harvard College.
For the past decade, Dr. Christakis has focused on how social networks form ("connection") and how they influence behavior ("contagion"). For this groundbreaking work, Dr. Christakis was named to the TIME 100 in 2009 and was named "most original thinker" of the year in 2008 on The McLaughlin Group. His research on social networks was featured in TIME's Year in Medicine in both 2007 and 2008, and in Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Ideas of the Year in 2009. Dr. Christakis' work has appeared on the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today.