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New Report Outlines 5 Principles for Regenerative Brand Leadership

BBMG and GlobeScan’s ‘Leading Regenerative Brands: Five Paradigm Shifts to Thrive in a World in Flux’ is part manifesto on the imperative to build a purpose-driven company and part handbook for how to do it.

As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic and navigate the compounding impacts of climate change, racial injustice, economic inequality, societal divisions, violence and war, brand leaders are facing profound paradigm shifts that create new challenges — and opportunities — for business leadership and impact.

A new report from BBMG and GlobeScan shares a vision for regenerative leadership inspired by a global survey of over 30,000 people in 30 international markets; as well as extensive interviews with elders, issue experts, youth activists and brand leaders to understand the moment we're in and how we might harness the power of brands to regenerate our world.

“We’re experiencing new social and environmental conditions on a daily basis; and we believe brands can respond with a human-centered ethos — a spirit of care, of learning together, of building connection, of honoring our mental and physical health, and co-creating responses so that we can find our way to richness, meaning and rejuvenation,” write BBMG Founding Partner Raphael Bemporad and Futurist-in-Residence Sanjay Khanna in the introduction to Leading Regenerative Brands: Five Paradigm Shifts to Thrive in a World in Flux.

The report tracks rising expectations among the next generation for more honesty, transparency, accountability and positive action to address issues including climate change, racial justice, health equity and mental health — which emerged as the most serious concerns for people under 30. Youth also expressed growing impatience with incremental change, more willingness to change their lifestyle and behaviors to meet the new challenges we face, and an eagerness for brands to leverage their reach and resources to take leadership on these issues.

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"I envision a reality where we take only what we need, and we make sure that we live to provide for the next generations,” says Alexis Saenz, founder of the International Indigenous Youth Council, and one of the young leaders interviewed both for the report and last fall at SB’21 San Diego. “Everything needs to be reciprocated — our relationships with ourselves, with each other, and with the planet.”

Delivering on higher consumer expectations requires brand leaders to shift our mindsets, incentives and norms of leadership; and the report outlines five paradigm shifts needed to thrive in this time of change:

  1. Power: Giving voice, choice and ownership to those with the most at stake

  2. Space: Closing the distance between the people and places that make, sell and use our brands

  3. Time: Slowing down, moving with intention, and becoming good ancestors

  4. Leadership: Welcoming vulnerability, embracing ‘not knowing’ and turning challenges into quests

  5. Relationship: Widening the circle of connection to thrive together with all of life

Brand leaders are recognizing that our current economic, social and political systems are broken and that meeting this moment requires humility, bravery and community like never before. Among the perspectives shared in the report:

“I know where I want to go, but I don't really have the answers. I see my role as inspiring everyone to think about the opportunity, the potential, and where we could be. I see the fullest expression of my leadership as empowering others.” — Shawn Outler, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Macy's, Inc.

“I think we have to embrace our interdependence and recognize that the individual is actually not the fundamental unit of life, that nothing exists apart from community.” — Dave Rapaport, Global Social Mission Officer at Ben & Jerry’s

Leading Regenerative Brands also shares inspiring examples of brands that are taking a regenerative approach to business and cultural influence such as** IKEA**’s journey toward a circular model.

“We want to contribute to the movement in society around better everyday living within the boundaries of the planet and work towards making sustainable living the default option and the norm in society,” says Malin Pettersson-Beckeman, Head of Sustainability Engagement & Communications at Inter IKEA Group. IKEA has committed to becoming a circular business by 2030.

BBMG and GlobeScan developed the report as inspiration for brand leaders seeking to find their footing and make bold moves in this time of flux; Bemporad, Rapaport and Pettersson-Beckeman shared more insights from the research last week at Brand-Led Culture Change. The report concludes with a simple framework for Bringing a Regenerative Mindset to Brand Leadership to help guide the way.

Download the full report at