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  • The paradox of communicating CSR: Time to refocus

    October 12, 2021

    Many companies try to improve their image by communicating their involvement in socially responsible activities. This often arouses scepticism rather than achieving the intended goal. Greta Thunberg conveyed it most eloquently: “Blah, blah, blah”. In this series, we explore ways to successfully manage the predicament. Time to refocus In post 1. 'Reality check', we highlighted the reputational challenge that corporations face when communicating their socially responsible activities.  Let’s now take a short definitional excursion to...

  • Beijing’s CPTPP mischief is another headache for Washington in the Indo-Pacific power struggle

    October 12, 2021

    Over recent weeks headlines have been full of the announcement of the AUKUS defence partnership. In an unsurprisingly rapid response China, the unspoken target of the new submarine capabilities in Oceania, announced their application for accession to CPTPP. Although they had previously made no secret of the ambition to apply to this multilateral agreement, with full awareness of the irony that it had been originally created to contain their regional economic dominance, it was nonetheless...

  • The paradox of communicating CSR: Reality check

    October 8, 2021

    Richard Costa, Director and Head of Corporate Reporting at Ensemble Studio Many companies try to improve their image by communicating their involvement in socially responsible activities. This often arouses scepticism rather than achieving the intended goal. Greta Thunberg conveyed it most eloquently: “Blah, blah, blah”. In this series we explore ways to successfully manage the predicament. There is a difficult challenge that companies face when trying to communicate their corporate social responsibility (CSR): the lack of...

  • Previewing the Conservative Party Conference 2021

    October 3, 2021

    By Tomos Davies, director As Conservatives gather this week for their annual Conservative Party Conference 2021, the first in-person meeting since Boris Johnson’s triumphant 2019 general election victory, they do so against a turbulent and uncertain political backdrop. As Britain’s forecourts run dry, the cost of living spirals, and with warnings of a winter of discontent on the horizon, Conservatives congregating in Manchester will hope for a dash of that fabled Johnsonian tonic to banish...

  • Labour Conference 2021 Round-up: Five things we learned

    September 30, 2021

    Labour Conference 2021: Starmer slays the Corbyn dragon, but will he now resonate with the public? Four days of Labour Conference is quite enough Conference for most. However, I hugely enjoyed being back amongst party members, MPs, peers and the wider business community for the first in-person Labour Conference since 2019. It’s safe to say that Brighton 2021 was a mixed bag for the party, but there are clear signs that Labour is now once...

  • Better together: The Top 3 collaborations announced at Money20/20 Europe

    September 29, 2021

    Last week, after over 500 days of global lockdowns, the annual Money20/20 Europe conference returned. Bringing together more than 4,000 people from over 1,500 companies; the show in Amsterdam, once again, is shaping the future of money. From tiny fintech start-ups to incumbent banking giants, global leaders to innovators and disruptors, they all gathered to meet, debate and of course – announce new initiatives. Back in our 2020, ‘Fintech Driving Global Change’ report, Money20/20 President...

  • Communicating corporate social responsibility: Corporate responsibility as a negotiation between organisation and stakeholders

    September 28, 2021

    Richard Costa, Director and Head of Corporate Reporting at Ensemble Studio There is a great deal of ambiguity that shrouds the concept of corporate responsibility. Not only is there a lack of consensus as to what it actually means, more than ever companies are also expected to communicate theirs. It’s a riddle wrapping an enigma. How should corporations approach communicating corporate responsibility? In the third post, 'Corporate responsibility as a strategic activity', we examined the idea...

  • Inside Labour Business Day 2021: Finding a new normal

    September 27, 2021

    The party conferences are back and with them the challenge of speaking to multiple audiences – to the party faithful, to the general public and to competing interest groups. But where does business feature in this mix? At Labour Business Day 2021, the party is signalling that it cannot achieve the better future it seeks for the workforce, the planet and for local communities without working better with business. But how will it cultivate this...

  • Issues management — security and data privacy

    September 27, 2021

    In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. This major new European privacy law radically reframed consumers’ relationship with the organisations that store and process their personal data.   For consumers, the introduction of GDPR was seen as an important and much-needed step, following increasing levels of concerns about issues of privacy and security of personal data.  In this year’s Authenticity Gap Report, we saw that nearly seven in 10 consumers have high expectations of companies, wanting them to...

  • Communicating corporate responsibility: Corporate responsibility as a strategic activity

    September 23, 2021

    Richard Costa, Director and Head of Corporate Reporting at Ensemble Studio There is a great deal of ambiguity that shrouds the concept of corporate social responsibility. Not only is there a lack of consensus as to what it actually means, more than ever companies are also expected to communicate theirs. It’s a riddle wrapping an enigma. How should corporations approach communicating corporate responsibility? In the second post, “Corporate responsibility as social conformity or CSR”, we looked...