Why social impact is keeping CEOs awake at night in 2018

Do you feel like your company is on the cusp of greater economic growth and prosperity? PwC’s annual survey of global CEOs reveals a strikingly optimistic economic outlook. But the surge in prosperity is accompanied by profound concerns around corporate social responsibility.

In PwC’s 2018 global CEO survey, 57% of those surveyed believe economic growth will improve over the next 6 months, up from 29% in 2017. This belief is based on survey participants’ financial prospects for their own companies but is also in line with the robust trajectory of global stock markets, reports Strategy + Business’s editor-in-chief, Art Kleiner.

Solid financial performance is no longer the only worry keeping CEOs awake at night. Those surveyed report social issues such as environmental damage, cybersecurity, and geo-political instability as pressing concerns for their business leadership and strategy.

Why are social issues taking front seat in business today? It seems that the crisis of public trust in governance and institutions is shifting the role of business. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, people now trust business to address social issues more than they do governments in 21 of the 28 geographies surveyed.

According to the survey, global CEOs are “daunted and anxious” to bear primary responsibility for addressing the most pressing problems of the 21st century, but they are also feeling compelled to rise to the challenge…

To learn more, read:
« Optimism and Trust on the CEO’s Mind » by Art Kleiner (Strategy+Business, May 2018)
« The Anxious Optimist in the Corner Office What’s on the mind of 1,293 CEOs around the world? » (PwC’s 21st CEO Survey)