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Activism and Innovation 
 
If you're reading this newsletter, you know that technology is the foundation of media transformation. Essential to this innovation equation? Top tech talent. It's highly competitive to recruit and retain the very best. Beyond things like salary and work-life balance, do we know what intangibles this cohort wants in an employer of choice? One of them might surprise you. 

Enter CEO activism. The New York Times recently referred to it as the "new normal." Author David Gelles said that barely a week goes by without a CEO speaking out about a hot-button social issue. And our recent global report revealed that these specialized technology workers – an influential group coveted by companies in every sector – are very enthusiastic about CEO activism. 81% think CEO's have a responsibility to speak to issues that are important to society, and 79% say they would be more loyal to their organizations if their CEO did so. And tech talent is vocal about the topics too. Top-ranked? Job/skills training (74%), equal pay in the workplace (73%) and privacy and personal data protection (72%). Companies looking to recruit, engage and retain this employee segment – that's all of us really – may want to consider giving these issues greater amplification. 

All this coming from Weber Shandwick's latest global study conducted with KRC Research, CEO Activism in 2018: The Tech Effect. This is the latest in our long history of studying CEO trends, particularly how these execs adapt to changing norms and communications channels. You can dig deeper into the analysis here

The next generation of technology-savvy talent is acutely aware of changing norms and its members prefer to work for leaders who are solving for the commercial and societal challenges of tomorrow. Our research suggests that engaging around important issues is a critical ingredient for employee engagement – and ultimately, for driving innovation. And let's be honest, innovation is what we're all after.  

Chris Perry 
Chief Digital Officer, Weber Shandwick
@cperry248
 
What We're Reading
CONTENT EXPERIENCE
What if Reality isn't Real
By Nicky Woolf, Medium
Have you started to get the feeling lately that nothing is real? That the world seems to be testing your credulity or cracking around the edges? You’re not the only one questioning the nature of reality — some go so far as to suggest we’re living in a computer simulation.​
 
 
 
 
 
PLATFORM DOMINANCE
Is the Podcast Bubble Bursting?
By Mathew Ingram, Columbia Journalism Review
Podcasts are a great way for a media outlet, publisher or individual to connect with an audience of passionate supporters and pull them into a long-term relationship. But they are time-consuming, difficult to monetize, and may not be the solution a lot of companies are looking for. 
 
 
 
 
 
LEADERSHIP INSTINCTS
It's Time for Techies to Embrace Militant Optimism Again
By Louis Rossetto, Wired
At the beginning of the digital revolution, techies developed a stance in the face of opposition that change is good. Then came the dot com bubble and 9/11 and that optimism began to fade. But there are more reasons than ever before to shed the pessimism and be fiercely optimistic.
 
 
 
 
 
SYNTHETIC CONTENT
Synthetic Media
By John Borthwick, Medium
Algorithmically created text, images, and videos will soon become indistinguishable to human observation and undoubtedly have significant implications for media. But synthetic media also has direct implications to our legal system, since media — pictures, videos — are so often used in law as accepted truth.
 
 
 
 
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
AI May Have Written this Article. But is that Such a Bad Thing?
By Neil Sahota, Forbes
Imagine how productive Woodward and Bernstein might have been if only they had robots to write their articles for the Washington Post. With a little AI on their side, they might have taken down Nixon in days instead of years. AI has the power to enhance commerce, creating greater prosperity for all. (And it’s not impossible to imagine that the great scoops of the future will begin in artificial minds.)
 
 
 
 
 
MEDIA FORENSICS
How the Internet Gave us All Superpowers
By Kevin Kelly, Wired
The internet allowed for hundreds of millions of minds to link together in thousands of novel ways, each arrangement yielding potential benefit. And even today, the main event has barely started. 
 
 
 
 
 
LEADERSHIP INSTICTS
Hasan Minhaj and the Art of Persuasion
By Joe Berkowitz, Fast Company

Hasan Minhaj uses message-driven comedy to shift perspectives. “My job is to be as funny as possible, and to tell the truth,” he says. “If I can do those two things, hopefully I can reach people”—and spur them into action.

 
 
 
 
Emerging Technology
Third Thumb Changes the Prosthetics Game
INSIDER

London-based product designer, Dani Clode designed a third thumb as a prototype for extending the human body with prosthetics. The 3D printing tools she used to build it can all be bought online, by anyone.

 
 
 
 
Deep Take
Millennial Perspectives on CEO Activism
As part of our CEO activism research, Weber Shandwick conducted a business response analysis. In this report, we found millennials to be the generation that most embraced CEO activism. We sat down with with some of our own, high potential employees for their thoughts.
 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 2018 Weber Shandwick



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