Here at Salterbaxter, we talk a lot about the global ‘megatrends’ – a grand term for a whole range of huge economic, social and environmental issues facing the world. Many of these issues and trends have hit the mainstream of public consciousness over the last decade.
The fragility of our economic system, the rise of Asia and the impact of resource scarcity and inequality are all there to be seen on the nightly news. We hear climate change discussed by almost every major organisation, from the UN to BP, as a fact of life, not an abstract theory. We’ve seen the world’s population rocket past 6 and 7 billion on its way to its supposed 9-10 billion peak.
Yet, despite this, these issues can still feel distant; so big and so potentially frightening that they are difficult to relate to our daily lives and easy to disengage from entirely.
Companies that are seeking to adapt to this new reality often find it difficult to explain to employees, investors and consumers what change is needed, what they are doing to bring it about and how this can lead to better products and long term business success. Traditional CSR/Sustainability reports are too clunky and dull to serve as effective communication tools. PR campaigns can feel vacuous. Talking about it in advertising smacks of greenwash.
Digital communications can offer an alternative. Much of the best conversation on the megatrends is played out online, through news sites, blogs, discussion forums and social media channels. Producing content that can make an interesting contribution to this digital debate can offer companies the best chance to share their own insights and concerns and get their messages heard.
Sadly, whilst there are stirrings of change, this isn’t yet happening enough. To try to push things along a little bit, over the next few months, we are launching a series of digital communications about the megatrends.
Each will, in its own way, try to make complex issues more comprehensible and manageable for the user. Each will also showcase different functionality and communications mechanisms made possible by digital communications.
Our first focuses on the complex issue of food scarcity and waste. Food is something that we can all relate to. One of our most vital resources, it is the world’s biggest industry and at the heart of all our daily lives. The problems that we face with our food supply highlight very clearly the extent of the action needed on the part of individuals, communities, governments and corporations to build a more sustainable way of life.
We’re already working on the second megatrend piece, so watch this space!