To kick off the new year and build towards the launch of our 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, the ETI has launched a new publication, “Rebuilding Trust: What it Will Take.” Curated and edited by former business editor of the Economist, Matthew Bishop, this digital compendium of eight essays penned by leaders and experts from academia, business, media, and civil society reflects on the changing dynamics of trust in 2021 and offers insights on how institutions and leaders can, and should, rebuild trust in 2022 and beyond.
The new year began with the Omicron variant seemingly everywhere. Yet in 2022 much of the world is likely to move decisively into post-pandemic mode. Expect a “new normal,” different from the old normal we left behind in early 2020. How different, exactly? Much will depend on whether, and in what ways, we can rebuild that essential foundation of modern living: Trust.
Dan Schulman, President & CEO, PayPal and Rik Kirkland, Writer and Editor
Looking back, Dan Schulman has no doubt that trust-building has been at the heart of PayPal’s success. In this interview with Rik Kirkland, former managing editor of Fortune, he reflects on what it takes for businesses to earn trust—and why doing so is going to matter more than ever.
The brutal police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020 prompted an unprecedented outpouring of commitments (many with big dollar amounts attached) from business leaders in America and beyond to fight racism, within their firms and in society more broadly. Yet as we enter 2022, there remain huge doubts about whether business leaders can be trusted to deliver on their promises.
The late Kurt Lewin of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology once observed that companies’ practices and cultures are usually frozen, making deep change harder. But sometimes external factors can bring about a thaw, making transformation possible—before the organization freezes again.
Natasha Landell-Mills, Partner and Head of Stewardship, Sarasin & Partners LLP
Haven’t we done well? Following the latest climate Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, world leaders have amassed enough promises and ambitions to limit global warning to 1.8°C, according to the International Energy Agency. This is within reach of the 1.5°C temperature target scientists tell us we must achieve to avoid dangerous societal harm.
Lysa John, Secretary General, CIVICUS and Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer, CIVICUS
Despite a percentage point decline in trust in NGOs in the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, these institutions actually delivered a strong performance during the COVID-19 pandemic— especially in comparison with the well-documented failures of many governments and businesses in dealing with the crisis. Should those notable contributions continue— and we believe they will— then NGOs and civil society organizations (CSOs) globally may well be in for a reputational rebound in 2022.
Sharon Moshavi, President, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)
The crisis of confidence in news media and what journalists can do to fix it
Being a journalist right now is not easy. You face daily menace and harassment from every corner: repressive governments and would-be autocrats, abusive Tweets and Facebook posts, as well as physical threats and an unprecedented risk of being killed for your work. Add to that the chronic stress of working in an industry bedeviled by existential financial crisis.
Juha Leppänen, Chief Executive Officer, Demos Helsinki
Let’s face it. During the last decade, liberal democracies have not been especially successful in steering societies through our urgent, collective problems. This is reflected in the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Spring Update: A World in Trauma: Democratic governments are less trusted in general by their own citizens. While some governments have fared better than others, the trend is clear.