No Place to Hide: Three Ways Brands Can Face Fearful Consumers and Embrace Radical Transparency

O Palsson

Originally posted on

In today’s world, citizens are plagued by the all-too-constant soundtrack of terrorism worries, mass shootings, and race and gender relations. This “age of the fearful consumer” has created a paradox, according to a new U.S. study (fielded by my parent company, Havas Worldwide): While people are looking to businesses to help solve society’s problems, they’re also fretting over the fact that corporations have more power than some countries.

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12 Days of Havas: One Young World

In this season of giving thanks, the Pittsburgh office of Havas PR is celebrating the 12 Days of Havas by reaching out to express our enormous gratitude to so many people who contributed countless hours to the success of the 2012 One Young World summit in Pittsburgh in October.

One Young World, a nonprofit founded by Havas Worldwide Global CEO David Jones and U.K. Group Chairman Kate Robertson, convenes the world’s best and brightest next generation of leaders in their 20s at an annual summit, where they examine the most pressing global issues and are motivated to take action toward overcoming them in their communities and places of business. Though One Young World (OYW) is young, having just completed its third summit, it is modeled after the long renowned World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where today’s reigning leaders in business, government, philanthropy and academia meet to find solutions to the challenges plaguing our global society.

Pittsburgh business and nonprofit leaders worked very hard to have the city selected to host the 2012 OYW summit. Then they rolled out the red carpet to ensure that the 1,300 young leader delegates from 187 countries enjoyed a rich, welcoming and inspiring four-day experience.

There are literally thousands of people to thank for their efforts in letting Pittsburgh shine on the world stage. This week, as part of the 12 Days of Havas, we are beginning to write letters of thanks to everyone, including:

  • Our Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the youngest big-city mayor, and his team, who contributed time and city services to ensuring a safe and welcoming experience
  • Hundreds of volunteers who greeted our international guests at the airport and assisted with any request at their hotels and conference venue
  • VisitPittsburgh, which managed the volunteer registration and training
  • The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Manfred Honeck, who donated their treasured Heinz Hall of Performing Arts as the opening ceremony venue and gave a resounding and appreciated performance
  • American Eagle Outfitters, Bayer Corp., PNC and all their employees and many others, for welcoming our delegates at a Bridge Party with food tents, dance and musical performances, and fireworks. In the city that boasts more bridges than Venice, what venue could have been more memorable?
  • Elsie and Henry Hillman, for hosting the illustrious international counselor speakers at a stunning dinner; and their foundation, for funding a PBS documentary on the One Young World experience
  • The foundation, academic and business organizers of the 50 breakout sessions held throughout Pittsburgh that showed how this city has both been challenged by and successfully addressed the tough, global issues tackled in the summit’s main plenary sessions
  • The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC and so many others, who donated space for the sessions
  • The 120 Pittsburgh families who opened their doors and invited the international delegates to their homes for Saturday evening dinner
  • Bayer and pop artist Burton Morris for donating original commemorative artwork and high-profile billboards at the airport, along the highway and in center city to welcome our guests
  • UPMC, for hosting a welcome reception for the world media who attended and covered the summit
  • The bus companies, the University of Pittsburgh transportation team and Pennsylvania’s newly elected legislator Erin Molchany, who masterfully orchestrated very challenging transportation logistics
  • The 70 Pittsburgh-based global and national businesses and academic institutions that sponsored more than 200 delegates from many countries to attend this 2012 summit

So much heavy lifting was needed for this summit. But thousands of Pittsburghers couldn’t have been happier to do it. The response from our international guests? Pure joy and enlightenment! Pittsburgh is not traditionally a celebrated world city. But it is now. During this celebratory season, we know the positive word about Pittsburgh has traveled to all ends of the globe. And here in our city, we’re grateful for the thousands who welcomed the world and showed them everything Pittsburgh has to offer.

You can thank Pittsburgh, too, with your special note to #oyw.