Sustainable Development Goals

Conscious Commerce Trends for 2019: Ecosystem Resilience: ‘Ground Control to Major Tom’


Our turbulent political climate, daunting outcomes of climate change and world disasters continues to mobilize businesses, individuals to collaborate on saving lives and tackle environmental issues.

Yet, billions remain in poverty, increasing numbers of people displaced by unprecedented natural disasters causing them to lose their homes, and complex patterns of people migration seeking a better life for their families.

While progress has been made in support of the Sustainability Development (SDG’s) goals, gaps ensue mitigating climate change, gender equality, and devising concrete solutions for people displaced by wars and natural disasters. 

 ‘All in all it’s just another brick in the wall’ 

Building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico is not the sole answer to our problems and merely filters what you don’t want to see, emphasizing the spotlight on the realities of life, similarities with other international borders, peoples pain and suffering.

The nearly 2000 miles of U.S./Mexican border traversing desert, river, mountain and sea, is a place of heritage, ethnic diversity, diverse terrain, a legacy of land ownership and agriculture, hope and survival of mankind in pursuit of a better way of life. 

The political views represented among the 7.5 million residents in U.S. border counties span supporters of Trump’s wall, those who see their future - and the future of America - as being inextricably linked to that of their neighbors to the South, North, East and West. 

To be sure, Indigenous populations were there long before us and before their land was divided. 

 It is a global problem that is not unique to the U.S. and no one-size ‘brick’ or ‘wall’ to fit all.

 A recap of the top realities we face:

Women in Poverty: More than one in eight women in the U.S., 16.9 million lived in poverty last year. Poverty rates were particularly high for families headed by single mothers - 1 in 3 (36.5 percent) lived in poverty.  14.5 million poor children, more than half, live in families headed by women.  

Forced People Displacement: Wars, violence and persecution uprooted record numbers of men, women and children worldwide, making a new global deal on refugees more critical than ever.  The UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study found 68.5 million people had been driven from their homes across the world at the end of 2017.

Climate Change:  A recent IPCC report has underscored we only have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe and urgent need to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty. The world is currently 1C warmer than preindustrial levels. Following devastating hurricanes in the US, record droughts in Cape Town and forest fires in the Arctic, the IPCC makes clear that climate change is already happening, upgraded its risk warning from previous reports, and warned that every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact.

Threatened Wildlife Species: African elephants remain under severe threat from poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict.  In the 1970s, Africa was home to more than 1.3 million elephants. Today, 415,000 remain. 

Lack of Education in Africa: In sub-Saharan Africa, 9 million girls between the ages of about 6 and 11 will never go to school at all, compared to 6 million boys, according to UIS data. Their disadvantage starts early: 23% of girls are out of primary school compared to 19% of boys. 

Reputation Dynamics Predictions for 2019: 

What will be key to success for building resilience communities for the long-term will be ‘inclusiveness’ towards devising holistic approaches and solutions for restoring ecosystems that include multiple stakeholders including indigenous populations, women and refugees.   Specifically for:

Empowerment of Women and Girls:  Empowering women to participate fully in economic life is essential to build stronger economies and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities, including raising the bar on sector expertise and programs that enable economic security, mitigate domestic violence, close gender gaps in the workplace and communities at large.

Preservation of Forests:  Forests are a stabilizing force for mitigating climate change. They regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and supply goods and services that can drive sustainable growth. Approximately 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, one-third of the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels, is absorbed by forests every year. Estimates show that nearly two billion hectares of degraded land across the world – an area the size of South America – offer opportunities for restoration. 

Refugees in Protracted Exile Need Education: Refugee camps and villages show characteristics of short-term settlements, children are born, families are finding ways to survive, and communities hosting refugees are struggling with how to live, work and go to school together. Education plays a particularly vital role for those who are displaced and rebuilding their communities. 

Urban and Rural Development: With the increasing number of natural disasters, corporations, emergence of mission-critical foundations and nonprofits are re-thinking approaches to disaster relief and recovery efforts. While many organizations will continue to provide immediate relief to victims of natural disasters through cash grants and product donations, companies are taking a more pro-active approach to restoring and building resilient communities for the long-term. 

Tapping the Next Generation: Today, employees, particularly millennials, are passionate about social causes that benefit the greater good and expects to work for a company that supports causes they care about. Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 and they are looking for socially responsible employers.  Companies must improve how they advocate, market and align with their philanthropic commitments via experiential digital and mobile network communications.

Conclusion:  For the SDGs to be successfulthe 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 for underserved populations. However, what is fundamental to success is to convene more alliances, break down silos, enforce dialogue and action on a more inclusive front.  

By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics

Since 2005, Reputation Dynamics (RD) has been committed to addressing social, environmental and human justice issues. RD mobiizes corporations, NGOs/civil society and academia to devise share-valued approaches and develop inclusive partnerships.

I look forward to connecting with peers who are making the world a better place, advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. Please contact me at:



Trends for 2017: ‘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 defence, 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.

By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics

To learn more about RD's work and clients' on the front lines of  change, please contact: