Why business leaders should take an active role in preserving democrac

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Richard Edelman, CEO of PR giant Edelman, says trust in various institutions has changed over the past few years. NGOs have been the most trusted institutions for nearly two decades, but Edelman Trust Barometer Survey indicates that respondents currently place the greatest trust in businesses over NGOs, governments and the media.

“Business has actually done very well during the pandemic,” said Edelman, who shared the stage at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on Thursday. Leadership Now Project CEOs Daniella Ballou-Aares and Ashley Orgain said: Chief Impact Officer of the Seventh Generation.

Richard Edelman CEO of Edelman [Photo: Celine Grouard for Fast Company]

During the session, three panelists discussed the pressures CEOs face these days to confront a variety of relevant social issues. abortion, racial equalitysustainability, geopolitical tensions, etc. Russian invasion of UkraineIn some cases, there is a risk of ostracizing consumers, but there is also a risk of not speaking up on topics that are important to the consumer or employee base.

Trust is earned through actions, says Edelman. “Trust is four things: Competence, Reliability, Honesty and Purpose. You have to do something. You can’t talk about it.

Ashley Ogain Chief Impact Officer, Seven Generation [Photo: Celine Grouard for Fast Company]

Ogain says 7th Generation benefits from speaking out about sustainability and conservation. “When the consumer knows that the 7th Generation has a mission, that we will not only say what we care about but do it by putting it into action, the consumer will We know they are 20% more loyal than our business.”

During the session, panelists also emphasized the important role business leaders can play in strengthening democratic processes. I don’t think it’s sustainable in the long run because it’s expensive,” Edelman said. “It’s like his four-legged table tilts…the plate falls off the table.”

Daniela Baru Ares CEO of the Leadership Now project [Photo: Celine Grouard for Fast Company]

Baloo Ahles, CEO of The Leadership Now Project, a membership organization of leaders working to “protect and restore American democracy,” agreed. “All these elements of society need to work” she said. “The next two years are really dangerous. one-third of Americans Please don’t believe our election results. It can lead to violence. We can all play a part in lowering temperatures. “

Ballou-Aares says that on one level it’s important to manage risk. “If the 2024 Election Crisis Happens [and I’m a CEO], what does that mean for consumers, my company, etc.?” she said. “I don’t always please everyone, [must] See what creates system stability. “

she encouraged bipartisan support electoral law, that version was passed in the House yesterday. “Building a great and dynamic political system is actually a lot about innovation. I encourage you to think about how to

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