Corporate social responsibility has become an increasingly well-known phrase, both in the boardroom and in the public discourse. Company behavior, policy, and mission are increasingly transparent to the public, and with a multitude of options in most consumer spaces, consumers who are “spoiled for choice” are erecting new selective filters on their buying behavior: does a brand align with their values and do the “right thing?”As McGuinness points out, with optics being a powerful motive, many companies embark on “social good” initiatives primarily motivated by the impact on their brand image- only to be seen as cynical by their audiences and called out as disingenuine. Simultanously, a brand must be sustainable- its accountability to shareholders does not vanish even as when it holds itself accountable to society. The new challenge to the modern brand is one of alignment- creating a vision that is sustainable both economically and morally.
Daniella Ballou-Aares and the organization she started with HBS alums have their sights set on gerrymandering, dark money in campaign finance, lobbying, and the numerous