The good news is there is good news. The bad news is very few know about it.
Newspapers, news stations and endless digital posts flash across the screens of our devices bombarding us with messages of terror, ethical lapses, sadness and grief. Tucked away amidst this news will be the occasional human nature story, but rarely are these stories given the top billing they deserve. Why?
Well first, we have an attraction to bad news. Since the beginning of time, man has thrived on the fight or flight mentality, and we are keenly wired to be ready to run in order to survive. With as many as 17 bad stories to every good story, the cycle of disparity keeps our minds attuned to more -- and when we find it, we share it. But what if we could begin to change this phenomenon? What if we could turn up the volume on the positive, pile on the good, disrupt the imbalance of bad things to good things and build a sense of hope instead of a sense of depression?
At this year's World Economic Forum, Arianna Huffington announced the launch of "What's Working," a new Huffington Post initiative that will showcase just that -- what's working. The goal is to highlight the news, organizations and people that are positively influencing and changing our lives and communities, those who are developing solutions for seemingly inextricable problems and creating a better world around us.
When we learned about Arianna's and HuffPost's efforts, we knew that we had to be a part of creating and fostering this community. In fact, it was directly in line with our firm's Purpose -- to build trust in society and solve important problems. That is why PwC is proud to be the founding sponsor of a new section on The Huffington Post entitled "What's Working: Purpose + Profit." Our vision is to inspire a community of change-makers and provide a consistent way to highlight the stories of the people and trends positively disrupting the market, serving as catalysts for change and developing solutions that are working to solve some of society's biggest problems. By focusing on the positive and on the solutions that are working, we can start to change the dialogue and tone of media and constructively shape conversations with our friends, colleagues and networks. We can help celebrate those who are redefining how we scale and replicate seismic positive change. We can give them a voice and a platform to share their ideas and news.
There are more of these remarkable stories than most consumers of news could possibly imagine. Our firm is proud to support organizations that are transforming lives daily. Take Eli, a driven and determined young woman who volunteers with the Trevor Project to provide life-affirming programs for LGBTQ youth in crisis. Or Tony, who created Harlem Grown by turning an abandoned yard into a thriving garden where school children grow a wide variety of vegetables used to prepare healthy foods in their schools. Or Ryan, a veteran who knows first-hand how hard life can be when vets return home and volunteers with Team Rubicon as a result.
These inspiring individuals and organizations are engaged in what is often referred to as "cause work," which ranks as the third most important factor for millennials when applying for jobs. A recent study by the American Press Institute reports that nearly 70 percent of millennials read "the news" daily, and many check news sources several times every day. How can we expect them to stay positive about the potential for their own "cause work" and impact on the world if they don't have examples to follow or believe anyone will notice?
Young people are not the only ones who want to hear good news. In fact, research shows that good news travels faster than bad news on social networks, and positive articles are more likely to be shared with friends, family and colleagues. Researchers point out that this is partially due to the perception that we want to invoke on social media. As the New York Times writes, "Debbie Downer is apparently no match for Polly Positive" when it comes to sharing news. No one wants to be seen as the constant deliverer of bad news -- and I agree.
By highlighting the stories of businesses and individuals creating trust in society and bettering our communities, we can help scale successful solutions and optimize their effect. Simultaneously, an influx of good news can help change our habit of being drawn to the bad, and we can develop a more positive perspective on our communities and the world, which we will then pass on to others. We know we cannot ignore the difficult and painful news, but we believe sharing news of positivity, change, innovation and transformation is inspiring -- and necessary. In a world where we can report instantly on happenings around the globe, we agree with The Huffington Post -- we should report on what's working to better understand what actually works.
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