Pete Bombaci on Guidelines for Human Connection

Episode 15: Pete Bombaci on Guidelines for Human Connection

“In 20 years, we’re going to be much more conscious about the importance of social connection to our health and wellbeing.”

Pete Bombaci

How much human connection do we need? Pete Bombaci is the Founder and Executive Director of the GenWell Project. He joins Valery to talk about why connection guidelines similar to those that exist for food could be one key to happier, healthier lives.

A photo of the GenWell Project's Pete Bombaci is centred on the turquoise episode artwork for Life Without Us podcast episode fifteen. The episode title appears in a yellow box with turquoise writing: Pete Bombaci on Guidelines for Human Connection.
Photo provided by Pete Bombaci

In Pete Bombaci on Guidelines for Human Connection:

  • Why people come together in a crisis — like in the early days of the pandemic, or during the 2003 Black Out — and why it’s a problem that many of us eventually fall back into disconnection
  • The more empathetic and compassionate society we can expect to live in 20 years from now if the GenWell Project’s human connection movement is wildly successful 
  • The difference that guidelines around how much, and what types of, human connection we need (similar to the guidelines that tell us how to make healthy food choices) could make
  • What to expect from GenWell and its partners’ (Institute for Social Connection, the Public Health Agency of Canada, etc.) $760K Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant 
  • Lessons from global research on human connection: from Dunbar’s number, to the supposed 200 hours it takes to build a deep, meaningful relationship, to the well-researched fact that loneliness shortens your lifespan
  • Why increasing people’s human connection consciousness is about both our own health and the health of others
  • The simple things folks who are not struggling with loneliness can do to help those at risk.

Find GenWell Project: 







Find Other Episode References:

Canadian Social Connection Guidelines

Dunbar’s Number

200 Hours to Build a Close Friendship

Loneliness and Lifespan

No One Should Have to Live a Life Without Us

On the Life Without Us podcast, Valery Navarrete shared two seasons of stories about community and connection to inspire more of us to have more “us” in our lives.

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