If 2015 was the year of promise and the creation of an optimistic vision for the future, 2016 was a year of turmoil and events that no one saw coming. Does your company have the communications in place to handle an unpredictable world?
Here in Europe, the referendum that resulted in the UK’s decision to go through with Brexit was something that even public opinion figures did not indicate would happen. In the US, the election of Donald Trump as president has created uncertainty around the world.
"In turbulent times it is even more important for companies to think about how and what they communicate."
Simultaneously, we are trying to handle the conflict in Syria, terrorist attacks, potential climate-caused disasters in parts of Africa, Russia’s incursion in eastern Ukraine, and not to forget the rise of the extreme right in parts of Europe. All these are examples of events that have created more instability.
It is not only political turmoil that made us decide on the theme “A world in rapid change” for this year’s spotlight report. As society becomes increasingly digitalized, technical innovation within the coming years will
have a profound effect on people’s everyday life and the way our societies function. The digital era will also be of major importance for our ability to mitigate climate change. Green innovation has the potential to help our
societies adapt to our planetary boundaries.
A rapidly changing society of course has implications for companies. It not only affects how companies do business, it also puts companies in the spotlight. The last year has given us several examples. One recent example is media pressure on the Silicon Valley giants to respond to President Donald Trump’s immigration policy due to their dependence on a global workforce. This resulted in companies such as Google, Airbnb and Apple condemning the order publicly. The example demonstrates that in turbulent times it is even more important for companies to think about how and what they communicate.
This year’s spotlight report will provide your company with insights into how companies can respond to different macro trends. Combined with the latest data from Webranking by Comprend, it can help your company better navigate and communicate in a rapidly changing world.
The CSR team
Hallvarsson & Halvarsson
The business community is not immune to global changes and trends. 2016 was full of events that have altered our world. But what trends from 2016 will continue to shape the future?
THE PARIS AGREEMENT
All governments that rati fi ed the Paris Agreement now carry an obligation to limit global warming to no more than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. But what has happened since the climate deal was signed? Read more on page 4–5.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF GLOBAL POLITICS
Only time will tell how a post-Brexit EU will look. As the dust settles in the coming years, we will see how the vision of a united Europe has been affected. Read more on page 6–7.
HUMANS VS. ROBOTS
The digital revolution is here and will profoundly alter the way our societies function. Issues such as the automation of jobs, the Internet of Things, and cyber security are the tip of the iceberg. Read more on page 8–9.
THE HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGE
Recent developments threaten the human rights agenda. It is time is to defend our universal rights. Read more on page 10–11.
WHAT´S HAPPENING WITH THE SDGS?
Never before have so many people been involved in a process for a global common agenda for sustainable development. Since its adoption in 2015, Agenda 2030 and the SDGs have been firmly on the agenda. Read more on page 12–13.
In a rapidly changing world it is important to keep your stakeholders close. A few points to keep in mind when it comes to stakeholder relations:
• Maintaining your integrity builds trust among stakeholders.
• Don’t be afraid to show your personal side – stakeholders are interested in your company’s values.
• When listening to your stakeholders, don’t forget social media channels. It will allow your company to better engage with external stakeholders and provide valuable insights.
• By being proactive with your communications, you can affect what is publicly written about you and shape it to your own agenda.
• Consistent messaging will strengthen your brand and can even turn your stakeholders into your fan base.