How’s that for a cheery headline? (Not!) Nonetheless, that’s the click-baity title that Ipsos gave its survey, and it worked, because you’re reading this blog post.

In its latest poll of people in 28 countries, the pandemic has fallen to third place in a list of things that worry us, replaced by poverty and social inequality. Unfortunately, here in the U.S., COVID is still holding strong as our number-one worry.

That said, hopefully someday (soon?) COVID will be in the rearview mirror, and our attention will turn to other issues.

The survey also found that a broader sense of empathy – like social justice or environmental commitments, for instance – are strong considerations for purchase decisions, especially among Millennials and Gen Z. The Ipsos poll shows that nearly all Americans (86%) say showing empathy is critical to creating greater loyalty.

It seems, however, that there is some work to be done in cultivating empathy. The poll also found that many Americans have never heard of newer terms such as BIPOC (63%), AAPI (58%) and Latinx (34%).

So, where do we go from here? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I have a few thoughts:

  • A very smart client that I have the pleasure of working with said the other day that people are looking to businesses to address social issues. People are weary of partisan politics standing in the way of progress, and they are looking to leaders in the private sector to lead.
  • He also remarked that since most of us spend our waking hours doing our job, if you can make progress on these issues with your workforce, you can make a real impact on people’s lives. I would also argue that this could be a good recruitment and retention strategy in light of The Great Resignation.
  • Where to begin? Well, the answer to that question really depends on your organization and its values. Thanks to the internet, we have a wealth of resources at our fingertips. One Padilla client developed an anti-racism toolkit that can be used by businesses or individuals. It includes a series of brief animated videos that explains some of these terms that people are still learning about like structural racism, microaggressions and implicit bias. Beyond the videos there is additional content including discussion questions and other resources. This toolkit is a great example of Padilla’s belief that when pragmatism and altruism meet, these initiatives can really take hold. Why should a health insurance company concern itself with racism? Because they know that racism impacts people’s health. If they can dismantle structural racism, they will have healthier members, and the company will save money.

Many organizations reflect and plan for next year in the fourth quarter, so now is the time to add these issues to the discussion, if you haven’t already.

What are your goals for the new year? Where do you want to have an impact professionally or personally? Contact our Social Impact Consultancy to get started.

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