Collective Citizenship: People’s Insights for June & July

Introduction: The State of Humanity

From the Industrial Revolution to the internet boom, the human race has witnessed vast progress that has resulted in improved economies, lifestyles and overall well-being. As a direct result life is longer, healthier and easier.

But it’s easy to forget that we’re doing well for ourselves, when the flip side stares us right in the face. Harsh realities like climate change, human rights issues, and social and economic inequalities are just some of the pressing challenges for humanity today. And people aren’t content to ignore it anymore.













Apathy is gradually being replaced by concern and a willingness to tackle these issues. There seems to be a collective desire to advance in a more ethical and environmentally-responsible manner. Activism is no longer a thing that “hipsters” do – it’s increasingly becoming a moral duty, for people and organizations alike.

This explains why we’re seeing more and more movement around citizenship –  from global communities uniting to fight for human rights, to businesses pledging to increase their positive handprints. Everyone wants to contribute towards the greater good.

The Change Generation

The internet plays a key role in fueling this momentum. It makes it easier for people to organize themselves, for businesses to spread awareness, and for anyone to inspire action. For instance, blogs and petitions that advocate better lifestyles and social change have proliferated across the world.

“I want to be remembered for the things I did on this planet, not for the trash I left behind.”

Lauren Singer, Why I Live a Zero Waste Life


We are also hearing more stories about millennials leaving their corporate jobs to join startups or to create their own companies. This generation will soon make up 75% of the global workforce, and are hungry for opportunities that align with their principles and ideals. Doing good, giving back and living sustainably – these are important priorities for people and thus for businesses. As we move forward, we’d argue that the lines between individuals and business will blur, to usher in an era of collective social citizenship.

In this issue of the People’s Insights monthly brief, we explore seven initiatives that demonstrate the growing trend of collective citizenship. We also look at new developments at Google and Twitter which could impact journalism, communications and PR.


People can make a difference too

People are keen to join brands as their citizen partners. They’re just as keen to create their own solutions. While the scale of people-driven initiatives are usually limited to local communities, some campaigns have a broader impact.

  1. Near Me– A platform that helps people create their own sharing economy marketplaces.
  2. Good Gym– A community effort to run for good, amplified by sports brand New Balance.
  3. City Gym on Google My Business– A local business that helps empower transgendered people, and was recently featured in Google’s ‘Google My Business’ content series.
  4. Greek Bailout Fund – A crowdfunding campaign initiated by a British citizen to help Greece pay back their € 1.6 billion loan installment.


Simple ideas can have big impacts

Storytelling is often at the core of successful products and campaigns. Here are three examples where a simple, engaging story helped the campaign reach more people.

     5. Volvo LifePaint– A reflective spray for bikes that makes them visible at night, and can potentially lead to less road accidents.

     6. Lucky Iron Fish– A fish-shaped iron ingot that rural Cambodians can use while cooking, to combat iron deficiency.

     7. Heineken’s Legendary 7– A creative story that portrays sustainable farmers as heroes, to celebrate and promote sustainable farming practices.


Digital giants continue to shape new-age journalism

Facebook’s announcement of Instant Articles earlier this year seems to have been just the beginning. Google and Twitter recently announced new projects designed to help journalists tell new age stories.

8. Google News Lab– A new data-rich website that aims to provide journalists with helpful resources for reporting.

9. Twitter’s Project Lightning– A content curation feature through which anyone can access customized real-time content on the platform.

We hope you enjoy this issue. Let us know what you think at @PeoplesLab.


Read the full report below.

Melanie Joe

Melanie Joe

Melanie is Consultant - Research and Insights at MSLGROUP, based in Mumbai. She tracks inspiring initiatives in the digital space for People's Insights.

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