Companies play an important role in our society. Increasingly, this goes beyond being engines for a healthy economy. There is a growing public expectation for companies to step forward and play an active role in societal issues, complementing the role of governments and NGOs.
But being a “Force for Good” is not philanthropy. If done well, it can be an important force for growth for companies and brands as well. Taking a stand recognizes that companies and brands are made by people. Purpose drives relevancy. But being a force for good is meaningless if it doesn’t translate into action.
In this issue of Signal360 we highlight several stories of people and organizations who lead by doing. They bring together a coalition of people to create a movement to support their causes. They also actively partner with businesses to drive action together.
One of the most remarkable Signal 2020 speakers was Clover Hogan, who at 20 years old is one of the world’s standout climate change activists. While she speaks her mind to companies, she also courts them to join and take action. And she is making a difference, driven by a hopeful approach to the problems: “The thing that gives me hope is that for all the ways we’ve messed up, there are so many ways to fix it.”
Sustainability is an important part of P&G’s social responsibility efforts. Recently, the company declared that it wants to be carbon neutral within the next decade. This is impossible to do without expert partners, such as Conservation International. As a global organization, it has a long history protecting and preserving natural resources around the world. We interviewed the CEO of Conservation International to learn how they partner with businesses to move from declarations to action.
As a young boy with a comfortable life in Melbourne, Australia, Hugh Evans visited the slums of Manila in the Philippines. It forever changed his life, planting the seed for starting Global Citizen. Its mission is to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 by bringing together 100 million people to take action. The Global Citizen platform makes it easy and fun. By taking action, people earn points and get rewards, including tickets to Global Citizen events.
Sometimes brands have a very clear connection to a community that needs support. Breann Davis, who runs P&G’s My Black Is Beautiful program, didn’t hesitate when her online community pointed out the hardship of Black women salon owners during the Covid-19 crisis. With a strong sense of entrepreneurial urgency, she started a financial relief fund that provided grants to Black salon owners to help their businesses survive the current crisis.
Being a force for good requires a force for action. While many of the social challenges seem too daunting for us to take on individually, together we can make a difference. Taking action starts with each of us. When we do this in partnership, individual actions add up to big accomplishments.
We hope this Signal360 issue will provide inspiration to be a force for action for the challenges that are important to you.
Stan Joosten & John Battelle,
Editors-In-Chief, Signal360 / Co-founders, Signal P&G