Corporate activism: can companies support social change, or is it just goodwashing?

Sarah Corbett (Craftivist Collective), Rebecca Baron (Ben & Jerry’s), Natalie Fee (City to Sea)

Room: Seminar 1

From Dove’s Real Beauty to Patagonia’s #CrudeAwakening, Always’ ‘Like a Girl’, Jigsaw’s ‘Heart Immigration’ ads to fashion brands using International Women’s Day as a communications opportunity, massive global brands are recognising that there’s nothing like a good cause to capture people’s attention. But how much are such campaigns simply using social causes as a way to keep brands and products in mind as people increasingly tune or filter out conventional advertising, and which really have something useful to contribute to social movements?

And given their basic purpose is to make money, what role should businesses play in social change? In this based session we’ll hear perspectives from Craftivist Collective’s Sarah Corbett, on who she works with and why (and why not!), from Ben & Jerry’s Rebecca Baron, on the company’s approach to campaigning, and from Natalie Fee, founder of City to Sea, on how and why the campaign works with corporates.

Come ready to share examples of ‘purpose driven’ corporate campaigns, and discuss their role in modern activism.

Open discussion to the floor, suggested questions:
– Have any of you worked on campaigns which engaged with corporates as allies, rather than targets?
– What do we see as positive and negative examples of corporate purpose campaigns?
– How can we make the most of this opportunity, and harness this trend in order to drive greater social change?