PRedicting 2019: What’s next for…Purposeful Business?

Paul recently spoke at Ethical Corporation conference on why businesses are failing to beat climate change and why millennials are the key to winning. You can watch the 10 minute video here.

Making the millennial manifesto everyone’s manifesto

2019 will be the year of the purposeful millennial. Why? Two simple reasons. First, because the Brexit-voting Boomer generation has failed to deliver the economic change their generation promised. Second, because by 2025, millennials will make up 75 per cent of the world’s working population. And millennials are angry. We won’t have pensions, won’t have houses and will earn less than those before us. The ambitious social and environmental change our political and business leaders promised hasn’t fully materialised.

But we’re going to do something about it. The ‘millennial manifesto’ is a very different one to that of previous generations. 75% of millennials will take a pay cut to work at a purposeful company. More than six in ten view positive social change as a life goal, and a whopping 90% prefer to buy brands from companies with a purpose beyond products. To survive and thrive in the age of the millennial employee, consumer and investor, profit without purpose just won’t cut it. It’s no longer enough to just sell, you have to sell your ‘why’.

What does that mean for companies and their CSR? Cutting carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 is clever and alliterative, but it’s not enough – we expect companies to act to neutralise their impact on the environment. And taking a stand on big social issues, as Nike did by heroing Colin Kaepernick, may make your investor relations people jittery, but it could build your authenticity with an increasingly millennial workforce and consumers.  The reward? Ask Nike’s CEO, who saw sales and brand equity rise by 30% and $6 billion in less than two months.

Paul Afshar, Head of Purposeful Business