It is time for corporate America to become 'the third pillar' of social change in our society, complementing the first two pillars of government and philanthropy. We need the entire private sector to begin committing itself not just to making profits, but to fulfilling higher and larger purposes by contributing to building a better world.

Simon Mainwaring

Simon Mainwaring

Profession: Businessman
Nationality: American

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The question remains: which brands will commit to creating a private sector pillar of social change, and which will become casualties of their own outdated thinking?

Technology is teaching us to be human again.

When thinking through who to bring together to generate new ideas, it is more effective to combine specialists from very different and unrelated disciplines rather than a variety of people with different skills sets in the same field.

Social media companies must combine their mastery of the latest in real-time, location based or augmented reality technologies in the service of clear and consistent storytelling.

Brands must empower their community to be change agents in their own right. To that end, they need to take on a mentoring role. This means the brand provides the tools, techniques and strategies for their customers to become more effective marketers in achieving their own goals.

The false separation between living and giving must end.

One of the greatest challenges companies face in adjusting to the impact of social media, is knowing where to start.

A social contract is the way out of this dilemma for corporations that want to lead in the 21st century by showing consumers how seriously they take customer loyalty and goodwill.

Everyone living under the social contract we call democracy has a duty to act responsibly, to obey the laws, and to abandon certain types of self-interested behaviors that conflict with the general good.

The creative destruction that social media is currently unleashing will change more than technology or the leader board of the Fortune 100. It is driving a qualitative shift in the nature of relationships between brands and their customers.

If capitalism is to remain a healthy, vibrant economic system, corporations must participate in taking care of the society and the environment in which they live.

The role of social media is critical because it helps to spread cognitive dissonance by connecting thought leaders and activists to ordinary citizens rapidly expanding the network of people who become willing to take action.

Consumers now have a voice. And the fact that consumers can be creators, producers and distributors means they can push back against brands to punish them for their socially irresponsible behavior or reward them for their responsible behavior.

Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration, as we need an entire army of companies to work together to build a better world within the next few decades. This means corporations must embrace the benefits of cooperating with one another.