Recent tales of networked social movements exerting pressure on governments and businesses.

This Week: Tim Hortons, Enbridge and Sumofus.org

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Businesses should get over themselves and start to work with the grassroots movements that are taking them to task over social and environmental issues. In a previous post, we looked at the incredible power of new social movements in a networked society. Fighting them is a foolish plan. However, many businesses still spend a lot of their time and energy doing just that.

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In line with my recent ‘You Can’t Beat Them So Why Not Join Them’ series, I recently published an article in The Guardian’s Sustainable Business section on the tech sector’s uneasy relationship with human rights groups. While greatly criticized for censorship and privacy breaches these past few years, a number of companies both large and small have undertaken initiatives that are helping dissidents in closed societies around the world. Recognition of such initiatives proves that, however much you have been part of the problem, it’s worth taking steps to be part of the solution too. Continue Reading…

Would you stand in the way of a hurricane?

The main reason that companies and governments keep getting their butts kicked by grassroots social movements these days is that they consistently underestimate their strength and fail to understand the deep social forces driving them. If they properly appreciated and understood these factors, they would put aside any idea of fighting them and consider ways to work with them instead.

Thus begins Chapter 2 of my ‘You Can’t Beat Them So Why Not Join Them’ series.

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My conference roadshow kicks off in Paris this year. For these engagements, I am going forward with a direct and uncompromising message to businesses and governments: Stop trying to resist the power of new citizen movements. Better learn to work with them, or else face the music! I’ll start by laying out the topline of my arguments below and a deeper look will follow in subsequent posts.

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