by Akshita Kolluru
November 13th, 2017

An ‘inclusive economy’ ensures that opportunity and security are equitably distributed for all. It’s a topic we explore in our new Innovation Trends Report, titled Inclusive Global Economies.

Inclusion is a central theme for the global development agenda and critical to ensuring growth and progress here in India benefits most people. Earlier this year, the OECD released a report titled Promoting Strong and Inclusive Growth in India, which put forth a series of policy recommendations to direct India’s economic growth and success towards programmes that benefit the well-being of citizens and the environment. This report echoes similar themes in research, policy and media conversations happening all around the world.

How do we ensure that the progress of the 21st century is equitably shared by everyone?

This was a central question last January at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, the yearly gathering of global political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland. At WEF, the non-governmental organisation, Oxfam released a new report An Economy for the 99% on the state of the global wealth imbalance that estimated that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. It is a striking statistic that makes a depressing point about just how concentrated wealth, and with it power and influence, is becoming.

While there is much to celebrate about our progress in fighting extreme poverty in recent decades, there is more work to be done. If we hope to achieve the ambitious agenda articulated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must ensure that we focus our energies on creating inclusive strategies that solve critical challenges and improve people’s livelihoods and well being.

Our new Inclusive Global Economies report looks at how many vanguard organisations across sectors are reframing ‘the economy’ in a broader context to consider the true costs and impacts capitalism has on people and the planet. It’s our contribution to dialogue about how to catalyse and sustain enduring progress against poverty, inequality, disease and climate change. The answers will be born from unprecedented collaboration among policymakers, business leaders, social sector organisations and everyday citizens within a new economic construct – an inclusive global economy.

As a PR professional, I’m keenly aware of the role communications plays in shaping the dialogue around the inclusive economy. This includes understanding how to talk about difficult issues with sensitivity. It also includes reframing how people think about challenges and opportunities along with elevating the voices of those often left out of the conversation altogether.

In fact, every organisation has a part to play in the inclusive economy, and it starts with an understanding of the unique ways your organisation can contribute to dialogue and progress. We’ve outlined a roadmap for getting started, with a particular focus on the role of communications:

  1. Assess your organisation’s positive and negative impacts on the economy, on people and on the planet
  2. Identify your organisation’s ‘north star’ purpose or theory of change to make a positive impact on people and planet
  3. Reframe your organisation’s operating model to align with your purpose in a financially sustainable way
  4. Create a narrative and set of messages that articulate your organisation’s unique contribution to the inclusive economy
  5. Deploy messengers and storytellers to share your perspective and help others align to the inclusive economy model
  6. Report on progress, lessons learned and the partnerships that are advancing solutions to global poverty

For more information, including insights on reframing the refugee crisis, recruiting new champions for climate change, overcoming the wealth imbalance in Africa, understanding how impact investing is recalibrating the risk/return trade-off, how to use creativity to engage on difficult issues, and recommended resources to learn more on the topic, I invite you to read our Inclusive Global Economies report.

Arpana Kumar Ahuja is the Executive Vice President, Strategy & Market Development at Weber Shandwick, India. With over 20 years in the Public Relations business, Arpana has significant experience in the areas of corporate and brand communication, integrated marketing communication, crisis/issues management, media relations, product/company launches, and social media campaigns.

This article was first posted on Reputation Today.

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