Business to impact a Better World


In today’s world, a slicky story and a great product is not sufficient anymore. Due to the absence of a stable world, young people expect action and impact. If your company wants to be relevant to next generations, you should be committed to create a better future. In this Trend Snack you’ll discover the opportunity to be powerful and relevant for society with your business. Not just today but in the coming years.

Now that the Millennials is no longer the youngest generation in society, Generation Z takes the spotlight. They are still young, late teenagers and early twenties. In 2020, around 40% of the market will consist of these youngsters. To understand this generation a lot of questions pop into mind: what does the Gen Z’er want? What makes their heart beat faster? Who is the adult Gen Z’er and how are you as a company or organization relevant in their lives, now and in the future?

As young people in history have already shown: they are good at starting a movement. They dare to stand up and challenge the status quo. Thanks to digital connections, social issues are daily talks for Gen Z. This goes beyond borders and is shared with like-minded people from all over the world. Gender equality, climate change or privacy, topics that concern this generation and that they want companies to take seriously.

Nowadays young people expect companies to have a strong mission. Not to sell the best product, but to work towards a better world. Lobbying used to have a bad image (think of the tobacco and oil industry). Nowadays companies that are strengthening themselves for social challenges can enjoy the positive impact. Generation Z is aware of the status of the earth and realize the way we live and do business have to change. Yet they struggle enormously. They are looking for ways to make sustainability a "normal" lifestyle. Not just the youngsters, but about 86% of all consumers want companies to get involved in social issues (Shelton Group, 2018). It’s a great opportunity for companies to play a vital role, by offering more sustainable choices, inspiration and education.

Business goes beyond the four walls of your office building. To retain your relevance in the future, companies and organizations will have to work on their impact on the world. It requires responsibility, a new approach and collaboration.

Very important in this trend: be real. Young people are not afraid to confront companies with their bull ****. They smell insincerity from miles away. If you make a little mistake, don't try to hide and seek cover. Even if you do not have the solution yet, Gen Z’ers want to have the feeling that you are making progress and take responsibility.

Where to start?

Start listening. Listen – inside and outside your organization - to what needs to change. Which social issues does your client find important? What is going on? Discover what you can change and have impact on. Act, take action, answer and make yourself strong.

Three companies on the move to a better world:

1. Patagonia, why waste it? Patagonia is the pioneer as ecological and social responsibility. The outdoor clothing brand is 100% committed to the planet: "we're in business to save our home planet." They do this by taking action against environmental pollution, protecting nature reserves worldwide, using material innovation and setting up their own clothing recycling department. Not after office hours, this is what they work for every day.

2. Dove, #ShowUs a more inclusive vision of beauty Dove recently launched the #ShowUp campaign with the largest image bank GettyImages. Research has shown that 76% of British women cannot identify with the image of women in advertisements and on social media. In response, Dove photographed women from all over the world. The result: 5,000 socially inclusive stock photos available on GettyImages.

3. IKEA, climate action starts at home IKEA’s vision is "create a better everyday life for the many people." This is also a 'sustainable life'. To this end, the company interviewed 14,000 consumers in 14 different countries to find out what they are doing to take action for climate change and how they can be motivated and strengthened. The Climate Action report shares IKEA publicly and inspires companies and governments worldwide to work with the insights.

Are you ready to create a better future with your business? Go for it! Send an email to and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Trend Snack is the changing zeitgeist in word and image by Lieke Dols Trend & Innovation Agency and Lisa Winters Illustratie & Grafisch Ontwerp

Lieke Dols