8 FOR 16 TREND #7: POWER TO THE PEOPLE

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People will continue to make the shift from consumer to citizens as they work together to demand transparency, mobilise support and affect change.

Democracy in Motion

New and established civic engagement platforms will connect people and governments, enabling effective participation and driving new levels of transparency and accountability.

Perhaps the best known of these kinds of platforms, change.org, has had nearly 130m people support one or more petitions with almost 15,000 victories across 200 countries.

2015 saw the biggest change.org victory to date in France – more than 200,000 people sign a petition that helped to create a new law requiring all supermarkets to donate their unsold food. This one victory in France has inspired other people all over the world to start petitions asking their own governments to create similar legislation.

We’ll see an increase in both the availability and use of such platforms, as people begin to see them as a utility to hold institutions and governments to account.

POPVOX is an example of the new breed of civic engagement platforms – it meshes real-time legislative data with users’ personal stories and sentiment, delivering public input to government in a format tailored to actionable policy decisions.

In a similar vein, almost 10m people globally have voted on the UN’s ‘Have Your Say’ ballot – with honest and responsive government in the top four for all adult groups, after education, healthcare and jobs.

We are the 99%

Facebook’s rainbow filter to support Pride Week was used over 26m times whilst millions more used avatars and hashtags to show support for Paris, after a slew of terrorist acts.

People everywhere will be using these digital platforms to start campaigns and mobilize supporters across borders around causes they care about.

We’ll see an increase in global activism around common issues, such as terrorism, refugees, women’s rights and climate change, with coordinated action by groups and individuals.

This sense of civic duty and connection to the wider world will create new audience segments and needs. The idea of Corporate Social Responsibility will be replaced with a demand for “Brand Compassion” and we’ll see brands and organizations shift their comms and actions to keep pace with this.

An expansion of this behavior and expectation will create a new power dynamic; with the citizen-consumer becoming the main power broker in an interconnected system of consumer-led demands, that will either destroy or develop brands, products and organizations.

Meet Your New Boss

Public campaigns will scrutinise corporations and demand targeted changes in how they do business – from resource management to fair working practices.

Oxfam’s Behind the Brands program was a key stakeholder in getting Kellogg’s to commit to reduce emissions across its supply chain and operations.

The combination of these seemingly disparate demands mean that we are entering into an era of organisational Darwinism, where successful brands, corporations, governments and institutions will be those who are best able to adapt.

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