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The Forum > Article Comments > Itís social movements that create market expectations > Comments

Itís social movements that create market expectations : Comments

By Peter Shergold, published 12/8/2011

From civil rights to wildlife protection it is social movements that create new market dynamics.

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Those overlooked or quickly dismissed elements. For instance, little mention of party politics or bureaucracy and the way they impede social movements - if you talk to some activists it won't take long to hear about this. Given your background Peter this silence screams - just like the loony one bottom line economists.
Posted by Evan Hadkins, Friday, 12 August 2011 9:14:11 AM
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Social movements do create market expectations but unrealistic & unsustainable ones only. You just have to look at what kind of people run these movements.
Posted by individual, Friday, 12 August 2011 4:29:41 PM
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< Itís social movements that create market expectations >

WellÖ Iím not so sure about that. It is the great short-term profit motive that creates market expectations, even in the face of some pretty strong social movements which would make the markets take a much longer view of the world if they could.

There is an awful lot of concern about rapid growth. That is; population growth and all the economic growth that is needed to support it. People are generally very worried about this growth just continuing in an endless manner, especially with all the obvious huge negative impacts, such as traffic congestion, water supply stress, environmental degradation, and the fact that after decades of this sort of growth, we are not really any better off as a society or on an average per-capita basis than we would have been without it.

There is an enormous amount of concern about all of this. And yet the business paradigm continues to be one in which there is a very strong push for rapid growth. And governments just roll over and pander to it.

In short, the market has NOT responded to the social movement towards slower growth or the achievement of a sustainable society, AT ALL! It has charged forth with the same old totally unsustainable never-ending expansionist model, totally regardless of this huge social concern.

And it would appear that there is just no stopping it until the wheels of society are falling off. Then maybe there will be some large-scale change. But by then it will be too late.
Posted by Ludwig, Sunday, 14 August 2011 10:50:57 PM
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I hadn't sufficiently credited the activities of social movements with the impact on business in quite this way before, despite the significant change and reform that has come about as a result. I think it is because social shifts have traditionally seemed to take an awfully long time and thus it is easy to overlook the original role of advocacy groups in gaining a response from business and government. Social media is changing all this of course. Reputational risk or simply bad "pr" is a bigger issue now for companies and the community now has more avenues to evaluate corporate behaviour, and in many cases, to apply pressure for change and response. Examples might include the success of anti-apartheid movement, through to recent movements to end the use of child labour and adoption of fair trade practices.
Posted by meljane, Sunday, 14 August 2011 11:56:02 PM
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