Social norms are the formal and informal rules that govern behaviour in groups and societies. They are what groups of people believe to be normal, fair or appropriate, and they operate at different levels: individuals, communities, industries, nationally, and internationally.
A Future-Fit Society supports and encourages diversity of thought and culture, as well as individual expression. In such a society, everyone is free to define and pursue a life of personal fulfilment, because social norms are fully aligned in support of this pursuit.
In order to transition to a Future-Fit Society, many of today’s entrenched social norms need to be challenged. A company may seek to positively influence social norms in a variety of ways:
- Advocacy: Influencing decision makers to change their policies, practices and attitudes through activities such as lobbying, campaigning, boycotting and strikes.
- Leadership: Leading by example to defy existing social norms, thereby making alternative ideas and actions more visible and accepted.
- Innovation: Introducing new technologies, business models or other targeted initiatives which make it easier for people to adopt new norms.
This Positive Pursuit encompasses any action which achieves such an outcome.