With that in mind, how has this impacted the role of purpose in business for the coming year? What will be the areas of focus and where are we set to see the most change?
THE SIX BIG PURPOSE TRENDS THAT WILL IMPACT 2021
Post-pandemic paradigm shift
When it comes to business, the pandemic has challenged everything. Even for those fortunate businesses not in a fight for survival, the last year has forced adaptation to the extreme. The traditional corporate structure has been well and truly dismantled and 2021 will mark the beginning of a reset where the private sector will be expected to step up and play a crucial role in creating a better system for all.
The activist CEO
Cancel culture isn’t a temporary internet phenomenon, it is reflective of citizens’ rising expectations around the world and the increased scrutiny that brands and businesses will face this year. The events of 2020 mark a critical shift in people’s understanding of the role businesses play in society and consumers expect them to lead by example. But as some brands rush to join the conversation before they’ve put real plans and concrete actions in place - we’ll continue to see more backlash against anything that suggests ‘purpose-washing’.
Sustainability sitting firmly on the board
If the 2000s saw the emergence of the CTO and the 2010’s the creation of the CCO (Chief Customer Officer) – then the 20’s will be marked by the arrival of the CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) as the new most important voice at the executive table. We’ve seen the rising influence and importance of the CSO at board level in recent years, and in 2021 we’ll continue to see their efforts at a management level, bringing social and environmental issues into business decisions and strategy.
Business alliance over the common good
In 2021, we expect to see more businesses partnering on purpose-related issues, sharing agendas and working together to create positive change. 2020 fostered a spirit of collaboration for common goals and we will see more of this in 2021. At the end of last year, many businesses pledged their commitment to the new campaign Make My Money Matter, which calls for the trillions that are invested in our pensions to help build a better world. BT recently announced its £55bn pension fund – the UK’s biggest private company pension scheme managing the savings of over 300,000 people – is committing to Net Zero by 2035.
Sustainability becoming accessible
2020 was a tipping point for sustainability going mainstream. But still too many barriers stand in the way for those wanting to make better, more ethical consumer choices. At Walmart, research showed that although customers desired more sustainable products, many did not have the means to pay extra. This led Walmart to focus less on consumers and more on suppliers - working with them to make products more sustainable without a meaningful increase in price.
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Why I feel so proud to come second
Last week, Given was one of eight agencies to reach the final of this year’s Creative Shootout. A bonkers day where we all had four hours to respond to a brief set by Carers UK.
Hello world, our new website is here
When it comes to internal projects – sometimes things need that little bit more of a push. After all, when there’s client work on the way, well, internal work just needs to stay (temporarily) at bay.
Bringing out the big guns for Creative Shootout
We’re through! Given has made the final to compete in the year’s most intense creative competition, Creative Shootout. On 25th January at BAFTA we’ll be put to the test with a sprint brief from Carers UK in the hopes of winning a prize fund, media partnerships and the opportunity to stage our campaign.
Our perspective on purpose
What’s the purpose of purpose? At Given, we see purpose as a management approach. One that creates business value by profitably solving the problems of people and the planet. It’s a company’s core reason for being, and is how it can have a unique, positive impact on the world.
In 2022, we took the airwaves for the first time with our podcast Purposing. Two seasons and 16 episodes later, we’re still lifting the lid on how to run a truly purposeful business. ‘Purposing’ is a podcast for CEOs, senior leaders and wanting to understand how to put purpose into practice.
Insiders’ Guide to Purpose
S2/Ep8 of the Purposing podcast with Steve Waygood
If we don’t fix the market, we won’t fix climate change
S2/Ep7 of the Purposing podcast with Char Love
Moving faster, aiming higher, and digging deeper - the role of advocacy in purpose-driven businesses
S2/Ep6 of the Purposing podcast with Dr Sally Uren
Why systems thinking is essential for purpose-driven businesses
Insiders’ Guide to Purpose #3 – Bringing purpose to your culture
Just like purpose, organisational culture has never been higher up the boardroom agenda. The Insiders' Guide to Purpose 3 will help you unlock the benefits of a purpose-driven culture
S2/Ep5 of the Purposing podcast with Jessie Macneil-Brown
How Ben & Jerry’s put fearless activism at the core of their social mission, with Jessie Macneil-Brown, Head of Social Mission Europe at Ben & Jerry’s
S2/Ep4 of the Purposing podcast with Hayley Still
How to disrupt an industry through purpose, with Hayley Still, CEO at Hydrogen Group