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Panama’s tourism push empowers local residents, cyber-activism takes aim at unsolicited nudes and employees still struggle to open up about mental health.

Panama invests in community-centric tourism

Panama's Live for More by Visit Panama campaign tactfully harnesses the economic value of tourism to empower 10 Indigenous or Afro-Panamanian communities with an emphasis on heritage preservation and residents' needs.

Panama – In a bid to recover its travel industry, the Central American country is investing in a sustainable tourism plan that it hopes will rebuild its visitor economy by 2025. To do this, newly launched local marketing agency PROMTUR, together with the government-backed Panamanian Alliance for Community Tourism, is placing Panamian communities at the heart of the country’s growth.

Part of the initiative involves sensitively positioning 10 Indigenous or Afro-Panamanian communities as tourism destinations as a way to preserve their heritage and put the spotlight on local residents. ‘We know there’s an opportunity to attract this demand, to bring in dollars to the country, but at the same time preserving our nature and our culture with involvement of local communities and helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of communities,’ says Iván Eskildsen, tourism minister for Panama.

By prioritising its residents through this strategy, Panama sets an example to international tourism boards on how to balance external consumer interest with internal development.

Strategic Opportunity

When designing tourism plans, create opportunities for visitors to connect with local businesses in a way that benefits residents and keeps money in the economy

The graphic campaign putting an end to ‘cyberflashing’

#STOPCYBERFLASHING by Grey London for Brook in collaboration with Genie Espinosa, UK #STOPCYBERFLASHING by Grey London for Brook in collaboration with Genie Espinosa, UK
#STOPCYBERFLASHING by Grey London for Brook in collaboration with Genie Espinosa, UK #STOPCYBERFLASHING by Grey London for Brook in collaboration with Genie Espinosa, UK

UK – The Stop Cyberflashing campaign by health charity Brook and illustrator Genie Espinosa challenges the British government’s lack of response to the rise of unsolicited nudes sent online. With a tagline that reads, ‘It’s illegal to flash someone IRL, so why not online?’, the campaign is aiming to criminalise the act of ‘cyberflashing’.

The campaign was created in response to research by YouGov that found that four in 10 young British women have been sent a photograph of a penis that they did not request, with 46% saying they were under 18 when it first happened. Senders currently face few or no repercussions.

Brook asked illustrator and comic book author Genie Espinosa to design the campaign, using the innocence of childhood to illustrate darker messages. Motivated by government inaction, the campaign uses bright colours and youthful aesthetics to speak directly to those affected by cyberflashing, galvanising younger generations to act by scanning a QR code that conveniently allows them to message their MP. This form of Graphic Activism is becoming a key way for young people to raise awareness about political issues and demand change through design.

Strategic Opportunity

Speak to younger generations in their own language by adopting the aesthetics of Graphic Activism when taking a political stance, joining young people in their attempts to challenge legislation

Google cracks down on climate change misinformation

Global – The technology giant is stepping up to tackle the spread of false information surrounding the climate crisis. Working with external experts, the company has announced an update to its monetisation process for Google advertisers, publishers and YouTube content creators – meaning that it will no longer be possible to promote inaccurate claims about climate change.

Speaking about the decision, which was led by its ad team, Google says it will prohibit advertising that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change. Here, the company is taking a post-purpose approach which takes action beyond greenwashing efforts.

Meanwhile, as a powerful source for global information, Google recognises its responsibility as a platform to facilitate accurate news on societal issues. To discover more about the ways in which global media outlets are playing a role in positive environmental solutions, read our Climate Newsrooms microtrend.

The WiLD Network by Guy Mills, London, designed to mitigate the negative ecological impact of data storage and transmission

Strategic Opportunity

Social media platforms, and even e-commerce sites, should take note of this update and follow suit. Consider how your services can actively play a role in educating people on the complexities of climate change

Stat: Mental health is still taboo in the workplace

PHYD and Il Prisma, Italy PHYD and Il Prisma, Italy

Mental wellbeing in the workplace is still a contested issue for many employees, with new research finding that nearly half (47%) of UK employees feel uncomfortable discussing mental health at work. This has led to a 16% increase in workers taking time off due to psychological reasons in 2021, compared with 2020.

According to research by MHR, a company that provides HR expertise and software, staff members are concerned that speaking openly about mental health could jeopardise their career advancement. Although a 26% increase in mental health training across organisations may have emboldened more employees to request wellbeing leave, stigma remains a barrier for many people.

The pandemic has brought questions about mental health into public view, with health and wellness becoming an international priority in the workplace. Companies looking to introduce new initiatives and wellness benefits will have to consider the new set of challenges affecting the workplace today. To learn more about how behavioural science can boost business, consult this article by Rupinder Mann, founder of UnNamed Ventures.

Strategic Opportunity

Wellbeing is reshaping the workplace. Institutions should consider implementing alternative wellness strategies, such as enlisting the help of a mental health consultant or experimenting with flexi-hours, to retain positive company culture

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