What we’re watching this week: 4/5/21

We still have our eyes on the vaccine rollout, tracking how it affects a number of industries, from travel to fitness. We’re also forecasting a wave of content focused on two major trends unfolding now:

Stakeholder capitalism pressure test

After first making general statements on Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws, Coca-Cola and Delta, both headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, decided to be “crystal clear” about where they stand. This is just one example of the pressure on companies to take their values beyond words on a website.

There’s been a lot of talk of stakeholder capitalism in the past year, with the pandemic opening the door for companies to reset their priorities and with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments and initiatives on the rise. Research shows that most Americans are ready for companies to look at something other than the bottom line. As such, companies should start putting their stakeholder capitalism strategies in play now, including content and media.

• McKinsey’s deep dive into stakeholder capitalism includes five principles for action.

• BCG devotes an entire content series to shaping a better future, urging companies to go beyond business as usual, and CEO Rich Lesser continues to be outspoken on societal issues.

• The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Industry Strategy Meeting took place last week, with 400 participants across industries coming together to find ways to advance stakeholder capitalism.

• Korn Ferry provides guidance for CEOs speaking up about—and representing their company on—hot-button societal issues.

Advancing infrastructure

Biden just put his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal out there—and it’s a big one. The plan aims to tackle large, sweeping challenges including climate change, racial inequity, workforce development, and deteriorating infrastructure. Companies advising others on any of these topics—and publishing on them—should take this massive investment into account. At the end of February, we expected inclusive infrastructure would take off—this plan all but guarantees it.

The proposal still needs to pass, and getting Republican support will prove challenging—but it represents some historic investments that will shape the conversation going forward.

• Two revered economists debated federal infrastructure investment as Biden took office—and one of them is back in the news this week.

• How does Biden’s plan stack up against BCG’s analysis and framework for infrastructure investment?

The plan redefines infrastructure for the modern era. Our water and transportation systems need fixing, but the plan will also impact the United States’ role in emerging technology, including green energy and battery production.

Alia Samhat

Alia is the VP of strategy and planning at Leff. Her expertise is in creative strategy and content development. She spends her time working with writers, designers, video producers, analysts, and subject matter experts to produce meaningful work.

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