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Conflict is not inevitable, but ask yourself: what if?


Conflict is not inevitable, but ask yourself: what if?

IbyIMD+ Published 18 January 2023 in Magazine • 6 min read • Audio availableAudio available

Stakeholder capitalism has forced CEOs into taking political positions, even on controversial topics. Tensions over Taiwan make it critical for companies to plan ahead for the next values-driven conflict. 

If I told you a year ago that within three months, Russia was going to invade Ukraine, that massive land war would return to Europe for the first time since the Second World War, and that a very large number of Western multinationals would leave the Russian market virtually overnight, I suspect few would have believed it. Neither would I. 

Yet, as we know, that’s exactly what happened. Why did companies react so quickly, effectively abandoning a market that they had spent many years developing? And what does it mean for the future, both with respect to the role of business in society and the role of communications professionals positioned at the interface? 

In my view, we have witnessed the confluence of two distinct trends: the rise of stakeholder capitalism on the one hand and on the other a new era of global ideological struggle that is reshaping geopolitics.  

Stakeholder capitalism 

In a world of global challenges, from climate change to gender equity to pandemics,…

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