The Reciprocity Ring
March 7, 2024

Last weekend, I attended the most effective and *enjoyable* networking event of my entire career! At the Reciprocity Ring event, hosted by Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto as part of its centenary year celebrations, students and alumni had the opportunity to engage in meaningful “give and receive” exchanges.

It’s the opposite of typical networking events where you just shake hands and connect on LinkedIn.

It was purposeful—you’re there to help and get help—with anything and everything. It was amazing to see the connections made just by asking. You never know what someone else might be able to help you with!

Here’s how it worked:

  • Each participant made one meaningful ask, either professional or personal, and presented it to the group of about 20 people. An example of an ask in my group was to connect with people in the mining industry for an AI start-up.
  • As each participant answered questions to clarify their ask, the rest of us started thinking about if and how we could offer to help fulfill that request.
  • After everyone presented, each person made four to six offers to help. Even if we couldn’t personally assist, we offered to connect the person with information, advice or someone in our network who might be able to help.

There’s no denying that giving back and helping others, whether with time or money, feels good. But according to research, it may also increase longevity. That’s why giving is one of the Five Pillars of Money in The Wisest Investment. And it’s something that can be taught at every age and stage.

At the Reciprocity Ring event, hosted by my alma mater, Rotman Commerce, in honour of its centenary year.