‘We the People’ for Social and Economic Sustainability

By Samantha Taylor, Founder, Reputation Dynamics

‘We the People’ for Social and Economic Sustainability

The United States, United Kingdom and the European Union are undergoing dramatic social, economic and cultural change in a volatile political environment. Donald Trump’s victory was the outcome of years of disturbing world events, a turbulent financial system, and economic stagnation in the U.S.

In the wake of the election, the political system being scrutinized, lack of trust and transparency, ‘We the People’ have to live with it and has forced us to take poise.

Preamble to The Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights:

‘We the People’ of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What is certain is that progress must be made to ensure a healthy planet for our future generations.

As we reflect on the complex global challenges, notably the widening gap between the rich and the poor, government(s) and hierarchical systems alone cannot address the multiple social, environmental and economic problems.

‘The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles.’ Anton Chekhov

A recap of the realities we face:

  • Poverty: 700 million people worldwide are living on less than $1.90 a day. The world will need to feed nine billion people by 2050 and a 70% increase in global agricultural production will be essential to ensure an adequate food supply.
  • People displacement: Wars, conflict, and persecution have forced more people than at any other time to flee their homes, seek refuge and safety elsewhere. There were 65.3 million people forcibly displaced in 2015 with children and families being forced to flee to neighboring countries.
  • Destruction of forests: Half of the earth’s forest cover is gone with only 40 billion hectares remaining today. Every year, an average of 13 million hectares of forest disappear, often with devastating impacts on communities and indigenous peoples.
  • Threatened wildlife species: In the 1970s, Africa was home to more than 1.3 million elephants. Today, as few as 415,000 may remain and 35,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year to feed the ivory black market. Most recently, China announced a plan to phase out all ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017, a move that conservationists hope will stymie the mass killings — and threat of extinction — of African elephants.
  • Chronic diseases: Deaths from chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, have risen by more than 50 percent and are rising fast in low and middle-income countries, striking far younger populations than in rich countries.
  • Lack of education in Africa: Today, there are 30 million children who are not receiving education and a shortage of quality teachers is a major problem.

Reputation Dynamics Predictions for 2017: Destructive Transformation:

In the face of a disruptive economy and new technologies emerging every day, institutions are tasked to make progress with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) which cites no poverty, zero hunger and partnerships for the goals among top priorities. Key considerations for 2017 include:

  • Nonprofit/Citizenship Program Development and Innovation: Under the new administration, it is anticipated that government funds for charities will decrease over the years. Growth of nonprofits, social enterprises and community development programs will depend on new approaches for fundraising and long-term development. Technology, marketing and creating an effective user-driven experience will be essential for authentic donor cultivation and support.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: The role of inclusive partnerships (to include corporations, academia, civil society/NGOs) will become even more critical to address gaps mitigating poverty, improving the lives of displaced children and families, while preparing for future leaders in the workplace.
  • Diversifying with Foundations: The growth and emergence of mission-critical organizations willing to give larger funds for innovative institutions with well defined cases for support addressing challenges for the longer term.
  • Tapping the Next Generation: The millennial generation will outspend baby boomers for the first time in 2016. Gen Xers are set to inherit $40 trillion. For and nonprofit institutions must improve how they advocate, market and align with their philanthropic commitments via experiential digital and mobile network communications.
  • Aid for Refugee(s) Displacement: Resettlement efforts are complex and must support children and families with immediate basic needs and education for future survival.
  • Protecting Forests and Greening of Cities: The growth of urbanization, greening of cities, including conserving and sustainably managing forests are vital for addressing climate change, protecting ecosystems and wildlife habitats.
  • Role of Academia: Raising the bar on preparing business and social enterprise leaders for the needs of tomorrow’s workforce. Engaging students in experiential learning and community programs to gain greater knowledge about human rights and social justice issues.

Conclusion: The co-creation of programs at the local and global level with businesses, academia, civil society/nonprofits will continue to be essential for restoring and building resilient communities. However, what is fundamental to success is to convene more alliances, break down silos, enforce dialogue and action on a united front.

Since 2005, Reputation Dynamics (RD) has been committed to addressing social, environmental and human justice issues. RD will continue to mobilize corporations, NGOs/civil society and academia to devise share-valued approaches based on longer-term community needs and improvement of livelihoods.

‘We the People’ deserve our dignity, freedom, potential, human and social justice.

We welcome a dialogue with colleagues who are committed to making the world a better place and exploring opportunities for collaboration in 2017.

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One Response

  1. Enjoy my blog predictions for 2017 and look forward to raising the bar on collaborative partnerships on the front lines of social, environmental change and improving livelihoods for the long term.

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