Step Up And Get Involved

Obama’s rallying cry for united social responsibility

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Step up and get involved, the country needs you. These were the closing words of Barack Obama’s keynote conversation at SXSW Interactive 2016. During the hour-long discussion the President spoke about using technology to the solve issues facing Americans today. He called on the skills of tech leaders and private industries to help find technology and communications solutions to make society easier, safer and more transparent.

People often trust brands more than governments. ‘Project Superbrand: 10 Truths Reshaping the Corporate World’ is a report from Havas Worldwide to understand how the movement towards corporate social responsibility has evolved since 2007. “There is the increasing belief that companies have a responsibility to make everything better,” said Tim Maleeny, Havas Worldwide CSO. “Customers think: ‘I don’t really believe the DMV will help my car issues, but I think Tesla would’.”

Imagine if all brands were striving towards the same goals. In September 2015, the United Nations launched Global Goals. Founded by filmmaker Richard Curtis, the ambition is to make the 17 UN goals famous and push for their full implementation worldwide. “Being famous is absolutely necessary to ensure that [the goals] are implemented,” said Cristina Gallach, UN Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. To spread the word and set an example the UN has reached out to brands, asking them to commit their support.

The overriding message is that we all have a responsibility to use our individual skills to tackle some of the biggest global challenges. By working in collaboration, tech and business leaders can use their influence and insight for social good, and help design new ways of getting the general public engaged with bigger societal issues.

Read on for examples…

First News Opens Up the World to Young Minds

In February, First News, the award-winning weekly national newspaper for children aged 7 to 14, launched iHub. This new digital literacy tool enables children to learn through current affairs. It gives young people the opportunity to discover what’s happening in the world, whilst also developing their reading and writing skills.

The hub lets children safely explore the stories they’ve seen in the newspaper and allows them to interact with debates and puzzles.

First News attracts over two million readers every week. Experienced journalists provide insightful and vibrant articles on a range of subjects including entertainment, politics, sport and science, as well as all major news stories from the UK and around the world. The publication helps this younger generation build awareness, empowering them to make informed arguments.

Teachers can access a dashboard to assign stories and set up class tasks, which the children can then complete at home or school. The iHub tool helps children practice vital skills, and rewards them with badges.

Agency: Rawnet, Berkshire

school subscriptions
7-14 year old readers per week

IBM Channels Big Data to Help the Environment

Green Horizons is a global initiative to help improve humanity’s relationship with the environment, supporting cleaner air and increasing the use of renewable energy. IBM combines the power of the Internet of Things,

Big Data and cognitive computing to analyse environmental data from thousands of sources to create accurate, self-configuring weather and pollution forecasts. This allows city planners and utility companies to model a cleaner and more sustainable future. An event was hosted in London to demonstrate how revolutionary this tool can be.

Agency: Havas helia, London

Pearson's Global Literacy Programme

Project Literacy is a global campaign founded and convened by Pearson, the FTSE 100 publishing company, dedicated to building partnerships and driving action that puts reading and writing within everyone’s reach.

Pearson wanted to create a campaign that would raise awareness of the scale, severity and consequences of illiteracy. To push illiteracy higher on the political agenda, and for the United Nations to make a target within the sustainable development goals that by 2030 no child will be born at risk of illiteracy.

Agency: FCB Inferno, LONDON

Android Encourage Us To Be Together. Not The Same

At a time when the world seems to be filled with so much hatred and tension between different people, countries and cultures, Android wanted to remind us of the power and beauty of being together, not the same. Their new campaign tells the story of three unlikely friends – rock, paper and scissors. Traditionally known for fighting each other, in this animated tale they come together and use their differences for good.

Agency: Droga5, New York

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