500 GOOD Things

2020 has been a difficult year for all. It has been a challenge to remain optimistic and inspired throughout lockdown and in the face of an increasingly challenging reality.

At GOOD, we look forward to Friday afternoons because it is when we pause and reflect on positive news stories from the past 7 days.

Curated by planner, Helena Farrell, Three GOOD Things is our weekly newsletter and is comprised of three inspiring stories from the world of brands, causes and creativity. It is your weekly dose of positivity.

Having spent three years sourcing and writing about GOOD things, Helena has written up over 500 positive news stories. It made her realise that there is still a lot of good in the world. As a planner, she loves a trend, so after some reflection and revisiting the archives, here are three key trends she has identified:

Less ‘them and us, more ‘us’.

The charity landscape has shifted dramatically in the past three years. What used to be a market saturated with needy, sometimes dehumanising stories, has now shifted to creating human-to-human connections.

Over the past three years, I have seen more and more examples of supporters and beneficiaries enjoying an equal footing. Less ‘them and us’, more ‘all of us’. Our work with WaterAid on Untapped was a prime example of a campaign that dissolved ‘white saviour’ and ‘poor African’ stereotypes in favour of a meaningful connection between supporters in the UK and people living in Tombohuaun.

This trend isn’t just about charity donors and beneficiaries, but also about less ‘them and us’ when it comes to commercial brands and consumers. ‘More us’ means more inclusivity and greater representation. This has been clear across sectors – from Crayola’s range of skin coloured crayons, to Apple expanding their emojis to be more inclusive, to Always removing the gender logo from its packaging. Representing ‘us’ is thankfully on the rise.

Speaking of ‘us’, the shifting roles that supporters and consumers play takes me to my second trend…

Repurposing roles

Supporters and consumers can no longer be put in boxes – not that they ever belonged there in the first place!

We no longer just want to eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream; we want to be social justice activists. We no longer buy clothes just because they look good, we want to buy pollution absorbing t-shirts that represent our eco values. Consumerism has taken a sharp turn away from purely transactional purchases, towards demonstrating what matters to us. Calling people consumers doesn’t quite cover it anymore.

Similarly, the commonly used title ‘donors’ for charity supporters feels limited in 2020. Three GOOD Things has taught me that people who support charities can be donors, but they can also be many other things: collaborators, co-creators, campaigners, customers… the list goes on. In a recent product we’ve launched with Crisis called Art from Crisis, supporters are encouraged to be art collectors. Having narrow roles and definitions for supporters and consumers is quickly becoming history.

It is not just individuals’ roles that are shifting, the relationships between different organisations are also taking on a new meaning, which leads me to my final trend…

Compelling Collaborations

Although collaborations and partnerships have been around for a long time, over the course of three years, I have seen increasingly interesting and relevant partnerships forming. These amplified further when the pandemic struck. We saw Mercedes F1 partner with UCL to create breathing aids to support 40 NHS hospitals as well as Deliveroo raising money for the NHS. More recently, we have seen Tesco Mobile partner with Crisis to help reconnect people experiencing homelessness to society.

Collaborations have grown, and will continue to grow as organisations, commercial, charity or otherwise continue to lean on one another for support and innovation. Watch this space…

In conclusion, a lot of change has happened over the past three years. Encouragingly, these three trends have all contributed to more good in the world.

At GOOD we’re all about working for the world, and that is exactly what creativity has the potential to do, make the world a better place for us all.

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