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Our team, along with many in the sector, often look to the Edelman Trust Barometer for insights on the perception of business and factors key to stakeholder capitalism in relation to other key groups like journalists and government leaders. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer report, especially given all of the unprecedented crisis and reckoning of the past year, shines an important light on shifting perceptions of institutions around the globe.


The data from 33,000 respondents across 28 countries shows that business is the most trusted institution among the four studied (business, government, NGOs and media) and the only institution seen as both ethical and competent. This reflects a remarkable shift in sentiments with citizens worldwide telling researchers of their high expectations for businesses and CEOs to address and solve today’s challenges as well as the incorporation purpose alongside profit.

  • 86% of respondents expect CEOs to publicly speak out on societal challenges

  • 68% of respondents believe CEOs should step in when government does not fix societal problems


The report shows the opportunity the private sector has to play a role in building a better future for our society, but also raises serious questions about the trust of many of the other institutions central to this work. 

"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."
- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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