28
Apr
Lucy Chapple

A tale of two crises

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Introducing our new series, ‘Sustainnovation in a post-pandemic world’.  

In his now famous speech to London’s insurance market in 2015, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, described catastrophic climate change as the ‘tragedy of the horizon’. Limiting global temperature increases would necessitate leaving valuable fossil fuel assets in the ground – a scenario with cascading implications for the energy sector, and investors and governments banking on future profits from those assets. Because the burden of climate change will be carried by future generations, the incentive to change felt ‘abstract’. The risks of inaction were real, he argued, but not immediate.

In the five years since Carney delivered this speech, climate change consciousness has steadily grown. 2019 was a watershed year for environmental activism. Warnings by the IPCC on the far-reaching effects of inaction, and new evidence of mass biodiversity loss, prompted the declaration of a ‘climate emergency’. Global protests led by Greta Thunberg and other young people around the world dominated the news agenda. ‘Our house is on fire’ Thunberg warned, urging international leaders to take decisive action.

In 2020, a new crisis emerged that was more urgent and more immediately catastrophic. The Covid-19 pandemic threatened to bring our healthcare system to its knees, to tank our economy, and to take the lives of society’s most vulnerable. As resources were redistributed to support international efforts to combat the deadly virus, some wondered about the impact of this new crisis on what we’d come to recognise as the moral crisis of our time – climate change. How could we sustain momentum to avoid devastating our planet, in the face of a health emergency devastating our people?

In our new series, ‘Sustainnovation in a post-pandemic world’, we hope to uncover a deeper understanding of the impact of the pandemic on the road to net-zero. Exploring the nexus between sustainability and innovation, we’ll speak to business leaders to understand the role of green innovation in economic recovery efforts as we cautiously emerge from lockdown. Deep-dives into key sectors, from transport and mobility to financial services, energy and infrastructure, will reveal shifts in business strategy, attitudes and behaviour over the past year.

We look forward to sharing what we learn with you.

If you are a business leader in our network interested in contributing your thoughts, we are inviting guest submissions for this series and would love to hear from you. For those interested in checking out ‘Sustainnovation in a post-pandemic world’, please subscribe to our newsletter for updates, at the bottom of our home page.

14
Dec
Lucy Chapple

Slogan fatigue is diluting the government’s vital message

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The Scottish government recently launched a new campaign – based on the FACTS acronym – to help curb the spread of Covid.

However, a poll for The Sunday Post has revealed 51% of 16 to 24-year-olds don’t know what any of the letters stands for and 81% are unable to name all five key messages, which, in case you were wondering, are; Face coverings in enclosed spaces; Avoid crowded places; Clean your hands regularly; Two-metre distancing; Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.

Any good pub quiz includes an acronym round. This is because recalling the words behind common acronyms is notoriously hard to do. It’s perhaps surprising then that the Scottish Government chose a wordy five letter acronym to deliver what should be a relatively simple message to a highly engaged public about how to stay safe during the pandemic. Whilst not knowing what ‘NASA’ stands for could lose you points at a pub quiz, the public not grasping the meaning behind ‘FACTS’ is a significant failing with serious consequences.

Read more “Slogan fatigue is diluting the government’s vital message”

12
May
Lucy Chapple

Why do some government slogans fall flat?

Posted by Lucy Chapple

Yesterday the Johnson government unveiled a new phased plan to ease the lock down, and with it a shiny new slogan, ‘Stay alert. Control the Virus. Save Lives’. The internet was quick to hand down its verdict on the new messaging, with memes mocking the ‘vague and meaningless’ strap-line appearing within minutes of Johnson’s tweet. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon was an early critic, dismissing the new slogan outright. This morning, most media commentators have lambasted the ‘stay alert’ directive as a communications blunder with big consequences for the Government and it’s Covid strategy, which relies on public support and compliance.

Read more “Why do some government slogans fall flat?”

27
Mar
Lucy Chapple

Strength in weakness – Leadership lessons from Jacinda Ardern

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In the wake of the worst mass murder in New Zealand’s history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern received a call from US President Donald Trump. After sharing his condolences, President Trump asked if there was any help the United States could provide. Prime Minister Ardern had a simple request for the commander in chief – ‘sympathy and love, for all Muslim communities’.

It’s been nearly two weeks since 50 New Zealanders were murdered in Mosques in central Christchurch, and the style and substance of Prime Minister Ardern’s response to the violence continues to make headlines around the world.

Read more “Strength in weakness – Leadership lessons from Jacinda Ardern”

27
Jun
Lucy Chapple

Communication Tips from Generation Z

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Last week, we welcomed two fourteen year olds to Stand HQ for Take Your Child to Work Day. Bella and Chloe spent their time with us shadowing client teams, participating in brainstorms, and contributing ideas for communications campaigns geared towards young people.

In this blog, Chloe and Bella share their thoughts on how brands and not for profits can effectively communicate with them in a way that feels authentic.

Read more “Communication Tips from Generation Z”

06
Apr
Lucy Chapple

Autism in the news

Posted by Lucy Chapple

Last week we arranged a background briefing for a national journalist with Michelle, an advocate who has three children with autism.

When asked to describe how autism impacts her children, Michelle told the journalist: “people don’t suffer from autism they suffer from a lack of understanding”.

Is this lack of understanding driven in part by inauthentic representations of people with autism in the news?

Read more “Autism in the news”