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Growth Through Purpose ™
Growth Through Purpose ™

In Times of Divide, Embrace Unifying Movements

Reflecting back on 2016, there’s no doubt that we’ve seen and experienced significant moments of division around the world, from Brexit to Trump’s Presidential victory. What these pivotal moments in history are showing us, however, is that times of divide can actually inspire us to unite with even greater passion around the values we share. Here are two such opportunities:

Million Women March: January 21, 2017

Shortly after the President-elect was decided, the Million Women March was announced. The March, planned for the day after Trump is sworn in as President, will bring together over a million women, feminists and anyone supporting women’s rights and equality to the nation’s capital to demonstrate strength, courage and power in the face of statements and behavior that diminish women. The organizing group has set up Facebook pages for further details, updates and schedules.

Low Carbon USA: 365-Company Plea for Paris Climate Deal

From a corporate perspective, over 365 major companies and investors, including such heavyweights as Nike, General Mills,, HP and IKEA, have come together in a plea to persuade the President-elect to maintain commitments to the Paris climate deal. With corporate leadership expressing genuine, unprompted desire for continued support of climate change measures, this bold gesture marks a significant moment in history for how companies, and even competitors, can collaborate towards a common effort.

So what does this mean for brands?

Brands must reaffirm purpose commitments.

Amidst environmental and social regulatory changes that have citizens and consumers rattled, brands will do well by confirming their commitments to causes and initiatives that create benefits beyond their business.

Brands must play a leadership role in pushing purpose forward.

Should a change in US presidential leadership downgrade global commitments to such efforts as the Paris Climate Deal, it will be ever more important for companies to take the lead in committing to initiatives that will enable both people and planet to thrive – regardless of any regulatory changes.

Brands must collaborate to create impact.

Whether coming together with competitors or inviting consumers to contribute, the iconic brands of the future will be those open to collaboration as a means to generating greater impact on environmental, social and governance issues. As outlined by Radley Yeldar’s 2016 Fit for Purpose Report, the key to topping the charts as one of the world’s most purposeful companies is collaboration. Rather than attempting to address or solve global crises in a vacuum, the private sector’s power will shine through most when change is co-created.

Amidst these divisive societal changes, how will your brand show up, unite around shared values together and drive change in 2017?


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Image via Flickr courtesy of user Dale Sundstrom at