Key Social Impact Trends for 2024
It’s that time of year again when everyone puts on their thinking caps to predict what the next year will bring.
As part of our review for 2024, the Pandas decided to look back at our predictions for 2023. Unlike most crystal ball exercises, we were delighted that more than one or two of our most important predictions were spot on! These include the greater corporate scrutiny we’ve seen throughout the year, (as we saw with the CBI misconduct scandal) and an increase in B Corps in the UK (a 50% increase from last year).
So, reassured that we have our fingers firmly on the pulse, here are our 2024 predictions.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
- We will all need to get smarter about AI tools like Chat GPT. These tools needn’t replace people, simply aid in tasks that save time. The human touch is likely to be needed in the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean technology won’t have a role in helping people get there. Practising your prompts is key – always make sure you are asking the right question and challenge the system to do better.
- Speaking of the human touch, with machinery and AI automating the more technical aspects of work, soft skills like communication, high-level strategy, and thought leadership will become even more crucial in the coming year.
- A lot has changed in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) over the past year. More awareness is being raised around topics not usually attributed to EDI – like visual differences – and how workplaces and employers can continue to improve. However, as our Account Executive, Hind Dihan, rightfully identified recently, it appears we’ve collectively hit a brick wall when it comes to the push for anti-racism, as demonstrated by the conversation around Gaza.
- While 2024 will bring a further upward trend of greater awareness, unless action is taken by organisations to protect employees’ psychological safety, certain topics will still fall away from the mainstream.
- Recently, our Chief Executive Officer wrote about the importance of businesses thinking of people as ‘citizens’, not ‘consumers’, regarding climate action. Similarly, employers across all industries must shift their thinking from perceiving people simply as ‘employees’ to ‘humans.’ While the legal definition will always be important, making this small but important change will help create an ever more thriving workplace culture where dignity is respected.
- In the social media space, TikTok and LinkedIn will be the unrivalled leaders for B2C and B2B marketing, respectively. LinkedIn will be the platform for CEOs and C-Suite to take a bigger role in communications. A watch-out from the Pandas is that although this will aid some organisations, others will be penalised by LinkedIn’s algorithms. As with most other social media platforms, LinkedIn tends to deprioritise marginalised communities’ voices, especially people of colour, when they discuss topics around race, which in turn harms the work of anti-racist and EDI experts. While LinkedIn could cement its place as a B2B marketeer champion, 2024 could also be the year it further solidifies into the elite social media platform.
- Mainstream media continues to struggle with audience trust and low levels of engagement, which means marketers, businesses and the third sector will increasingly look for other innovative ways to get messages and information out to the public. While direct messaging is unlikely to replace quality journalism, the creep on this has created a growing knowledge deficit in society, which needs to be filled, especially around critical issues like climate and inequality.
Thriving planet and a healthier, fairer society
- With the upcoming elections in the USA and the UK among many others, navigating dis- and mis- information will be something for all to consider. Given the regulation around AI is still in its infancy, the danger of false information spreading fast and wide has increased considerably. Thus, it will be necessary to be vigilant and work with reputable partners to ensure accurate messages are delivered through trusted channels.
- At the halfway point of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) earlier this year, the UN reported that progress has remained woefully inadequate, with more than 50% of targets insufficient and 30% stalled, or worse, in reverse. At Skating Panda, we still believe there is an opportunity to make some significant progress, but 2024 could be the tipping point if we approach things with urgency, focus and proper resolve. We continue to work with brilliant organisations who want to meet the SDGs by being good, not just saying or doing good. We want 2024 to be the year that more businesses and organisations join our ranks to accelerate this work.
- Research shows that carbon offset projects are not the climate change saviours they were billed to be. The closer we get to 2030, the greater the pressure for companies in all industries to reduce their carbon footprint. For all organisations, the challenge lies in keeping up to date with the latest best practice, legal frameworks, and policy change to carry out the appropriate actions to net zero. We are proud to help our clients navigate this complexity.
As you plan for 2024 and beyond and are challenged by these trends, contact us to discuss them at firstname.lastname@example.org