I just “stumbled!” upon a remarkable website, offering an opportunity to contribute to a book entitled, Citizen Renaissance. The basic idea is that those who are now consumers will become citizens in the future. One of the co-authors, Robert Phillips, is the head of Edelmann, UK, a branch of the world’s largest independent PR firm. I found his short essay, The Rise and Fall of the C Word, compelling. Although his solution to the unsustainable consequences of consumerism is different from mine, it adds another path to follow in the quest toward sustainability.
Here are a few keys pieces from his essay.I encourage all the readers to read it in full. It’s language comes from the world of advertising and communication, but it’s message is clear to any concerned citizen.
The future of PR belongs to the Citizen. The Consumer Age is coming to an end. Corporate Reputation and Brand Marketing are converging. In tomorrow’s world, constructive dialogue, engagement and a new tripartite contract between Citizens, Businesses and Government will drive the Communications agenda…
There is a free radical somewhere deep within me that believes we are facing the end of consumerism as we know it. The global financial meltdown of recent weeks has served as a timely reminder that the death of Capitalism may be upon us also. There are real lessons to be learned from recent events: consider the inconsistencies and the lack of responsible regulation in the financial sector over the past decade – and think through the implications this may have if Governments and Citizens fail to actively intervene on an environmental level, to properly safeguard our planetary future.