America's loneliness epidemic must be confronted. There's much to be gained by fostering social connectivity, from boosting our immune systems to potentially reducing extremism.
In the last few decades, the number of close friendships in America has dropped. Between 1985 and 2004, the General Social Survey reported that the average number of confidants Americans felt they could talk to about important matters in their lives fell from 2.94 to 2.08. Worse still, 25% of people surveyed responded with "zero". Andrew Horn, CEO and co-founder of Tribute, calls this the connection crisis: "This dearth of relationships is not just making us sad, it’s literally making us sick," he says. "There was a recent meta-analysis of 300,000 patients and it found that having weak social ties was as harmful to your health as being an alcoholic, and twice as harmful as having obesity." To turn this worrying trend around, Horn hopes we can become more intentional about communication. Social skills are foundational to our success, both personal and professional; why don't we teach it in schools at the same time as other core skills like math, science, and English? The benefits go beyond our personal wellbeing; Horn believes it could make society safer. "If you don’t have friends, that is what opens you up for extremism. It’s that when you don’t belong you will do anything to belong," Horn says. Andrew Horn is the CEO and co-founder of Tribute.
Andrew Horn is a serial social entrepreneur, speaker and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum, was selected for StartupBoost's 33 Under 33 list for 2017, received the Mayor’s Community Service award in Washington, D.C at the age of 23.
in 2014, Andrew launched Tribute.co, which The New Yorker has called “Hallmark 2.0.” Tribute makes it easy to create a collaborative video montage that you can give as a gift on any important occasion. He is on a deep mission to spread gratitude and meaningful connection in the world and is responsible for 50,000+ Tributes since launching.
Before launching Tribute, Andrew started an award-winning children’s non-profit called Dreams for Kids DC. In three years, he established the organization as one of the premier adaptive athletic providers in Washington, D.C. (where kids with disabilities played sports with professional teams like the Washington Capitals and Redskins). He was able to build a succession plan and stepped down in 2011 to start another non-profit venture called AbilityList, which FastCompany called a "Craigslist for people with disabilities.”
Once Dreams for Kids DC and Ability List were operationally sound, Andrew went to work with best-selling author Sam Horn to launch The Intrigue Agency in Washington D.C and NYC. The IA is a full-service branding firm with Fortune500 clients like Cisco, Boeing and HP.
Andrew began professional speaking at a young age, giving his first TEDx talk at 21. Andrew is now a frequent speak