We’re all consumers of one type or another.We buy food and beverages, electronic products, and an assortment of apparel and footwear products. So the questions come to mind…
What are you wearing? Is it fashionable? Stylish? And sustainable (as a product you want or need)? Sustainably and responsibly produced? In a global (mostly invisible) supply chain that you could say with certainty is “well supervised and responsibly managed”?
When young people take to the streets in significant number, there is usually a revolution of some type in store, history tells us. Revolutions belong to the young, we can say with some certainty if history is our guide. (Think: American Revolution, French Revolution, Civil Rights protests in the American South. Dramatic change followed these protests.)
For many years, our references to “generation” usually meant that we were speaking about the people living (and able to act) at the time. For example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936 on accepting his party’s nomination to a campaign for second term, ended his remarks with this: “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny…” President Roosevelt was a progressive and liberal leader.
Among the fascinating – and horrifying – environmental-focused stories we see now on a regular basis are those about the “Pacific Gyre” -- that floating (and quickly becoming “a semi-continent” of garbage and waste) in the Northern stretches of the vast Pacific Ocean.
We should not have been surprised: in 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that among his first steps when in the Oval Office would be the tearing up of his predecessor’s commitment to join the family of nations in addressing climate change challenges. In 2015 in Paris, with almost 200 nations in agreement, the United States of America with President Barack Obama presiding signed on to the “Paris Agreement” (or Accord) for nations and private, public and social sector organization to work to prevent further damage to the planet.
Question: Does a corporate sustainability program “cost” (and thus shows up on the “expense” side of the ledger) or are there measurable “returns” on the investments that companies are making to develop or adjust strategies, assemble teams and launch sustainability programs? (Especially those that have set goals and where progress is measured and then publicly reported.)
Here we are in the new millennium, since 2000 or 2001 (the clear delineation has been debated) and the generation that straddles the 20th and 21st centuries has characteristics that may be quite different for employers (and as customers, investors, voters).
“Ethical sourcing” – we see that a lot of companies are systematically addressing issues in their sourcing and supply chain management to better understand and address (and better manage!) the various issues that their investors, customers, employees, business partners, and other stakeholders care about. What is “ethical” behavior in the layers upon layers of suppliers in the usual globalized sourcing effort?
The nation’s leading think tanks, home to numerous scholars and policy wonks, including former officeholders (with many centers headquartered in Washington DC) focus on a variety of political, economic, cultural, environmental, science, and global issues and topics -- typically reflecting the points-of-view of their constituent base.