At SIGWATCH, we believe that activist groups and NGOs are some of the most important stakeolders for businesses to engage with, and listening to activists can help companies proactively approach risks and turn them into opportunities. Often categorised as biased or troublemakers, companies can be hesitant to engage with activists and actually engage with the issues they bring forth.
A very common objection we hear while talking about our work is: “But aren’t activists biased?”
In conversation with City AM, with whom SIGWATCH has partnered for their ESG Impact campaign, SIGWATCH’s Editorial and Marketing Manager Arpita Raj explains why regardless of one’s opinion on the activist agenda, engagement is almost always key.
“Activists are biased, but so are companies and so are governments. What sets them apart is that activists believe they have a moral high ground because they’re working in public interest, they’re not motivated by money making or profiteering. So, in their eyes, they immediately tend to galvanise public support and public trust because they’re functioning in the opposite way of companies and governments.
She added that because of this ‘moral high ground’, activists tended to inspire public confidence, because of which the issues and narratives they put forth tend to have a policy or regulatory outcome.
“So whether or not you or I, or companies and governments, believe that activists are biased or not, the point is they still have impact, they’re key stakeholders and you must engage with them because they can impact the environment in which you’re working.”