environmental conservation

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: sam@reputation-dynamics.com

Client Spotlight: American Forests and Eddie Bauer

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To commemorate Earth Day and celebrate 20 years of partnership with American Forests, Eddie Bauer has made a commitment to honor the planet by setting a goal to plant 500,000 trees in 2015. And for all you outdoor enthusiasts, Eddie Bauer is making it easy to get what you need for yourself, family and friends while also helping preserve the landscapes you care about. 

From today until Earth Day — April 22 — Eddie Bauer is making its “Add a Dollar, Plant a Tree” option available to both online and in-store customers. In addition, on April 21 and 22, Eddie Bauer will plant a tree for every transaction, whether online, in store, or by phone. Our 20-year partnership has resulted in the planting of more than 6.5 million trees in 150 ecosystems in the U.S. and Canada. Over the course of two decades, these trees have contributed to $100 million worth of improved air quality, $16 million in sequestered carbon and $20 million in enhanced water quality.

Please help us continue to restore and protect our forests by supporting our work through Eddie Bauer.

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Sam Taylor

Trends for 2015: Joining Forces is Vital for Resilient Communities

In 2014, the UN Climate Summit, the first ever U.S.-Africa Summit, dwindling natural resources, gaps between the rich and poor has propelled awareness of advancing solutions for our complex challenges.

To be sure, the influence of climate change is fueling global economic volatility, posing threats to natural resources and wildlife habitats. What is certain is that progress must be made to ensure a healthy planet for our future generations.

A recap of the top realities we face includes:

  • Harsh climate: This burden cost $2.1 billion between 2000-2013 due to weather-related disasters.
  • 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. The conversion of forests for the production of commodities such as soy, palm oil, beef and paper-accounts for roughly half of global deforestation. 
  • Threatened wildlife species: The London Zoological Society has reported that world wildlife populations have been cut in half from 1970 to 2010:
    •  In the 1970s, Africa was home to more than 1.3 million elephants. Today, as few as 419,000 may remain and 35,000 elephants are killed by poachers each year to feed the ivory black market.
    • The South African government recently reported a record 1,020 rhinos have been poached in the country since the beginning of 2014, surpassing the 1,004 rhinos killed in all of 2013.
  • Chronic diseases: Deaths from chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, have risen by more than 50 percent according to the Council on Foreign Relations 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 according to the 2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, the shortage of quality teachers is the key problem.  Children are not receiving quality education and skills training for potential jobs.

Major initiatives in 2014:

First Ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in D.C: The White House convened African heads of state and government, U.S./African corporations, civil society to strengthen alignment between the United States and opportunities for trade and economic investment in the continent. Africa is finally being recognized as the next major emerging market, access to new consumers and resources with a combined GDP upwards of $2 trillion.

UN Climate Summit: President Obama unveiled a series of actions to urge the international community to cut emissions and help developing countries better prepare for climate change.  While the EPA proposed a new plan designed to cut carbon emissions by 30% by the year 2030:

  •  New York Declaration on Forests: More than 150 governments, companies and NGO world leaders endorsed a global timeline to cut natural forest loss in half by 2020, and strive to end it by 2030. 
  • The U.S. and China signed the first major deal on climate change to cut emissions.

Predictions for 2015: Value of nature:

While nature is deemed priceless, various studies have tried to estimate the value of ecosystem services (provision of timber, minerals, food and medicines) in financial terms.  The total value of ‘nature’ is estimated to be about $33 trillion per year of which the global economy is consuming about $7 trillion dollars annually.

This is raising the bar on developing more inclusive partnerships between the public and private sectors to ensure the provision of basic needs (such as food and water) and solutions to ensure more resilient economies.

Environmental awareness and education: With consumers and millennials more informed about the increasing role of crowd funding, digital and mobile network applications, for and nonprofit companies must improve how they share, advocate and demonstrate their commitments. Also, enlist participation from the public at large with authenticity and transparency.

Forest and wildlife protection: Continued action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, alleviating poverty, creating food security, protecting wildlife species and habitats.

Investment in Africa: Africa’s economic growth and prosperity will be driven by primarily investing in youth education and creating jobs. 

Market access: More correlation and alignment between trade, new and existing markets is the focus of economic growth.  The co-creation of programs at the community-level with businesses, government and nonprofits is essential for long term sustainability, protection of resources and livelihoods.

Conclusions: In a disruptive global economy, companies and individuals have significant opportunities to promote economic growth, develop new products and access new customers, while saving trees and protecting wildlife species. However, what is fundamental to this success is to convene more alliances, break down silos, enforce greater knowledge exchange and a more united front to address the complex challenges associated with climate change.

By: Samantha Taylor - Founder of Reputation Dynamics.