The Weber Shandwick Collective Launches Business & Society Futures to Advise Clients Across Business Strategy, Stakeholder Expectations and Societal Impact

Business & Society Futures brings together Powell Tate, United Minds, KRC Research and Weber Shandwick Corporate & Public Affairs and adds a new panel of outside senior advisors to seamlessly advise business leaders across the C-suite.

The Collective Senior Advisors, a new group of external senior advisors from business, government, civil society and academia joins Business & Society Futures to advise clients on business strategy, stakeholder insights and leadership positioning

– New research finds that CEOs & C-suite leaders believe societal issues and stakeholder expectations are now directly connected to commercial performance. Executives, themselves, also report often lacking the skills to effectively understand, manage and leverage these new market dynamics.

NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) launched Business & Society Futures, comprised of the Collective’s advisory brands, Powell Tate, United Minds, KRC Research and Weber Shandwick’s Corporate Affairs, Public Affairs and Social Impact & Sustainability practices. The agency network also announced the creation of The Collective Senior Advisorsa new group of external senior advisors who will counsel clients on leadership positioning, organizational effectiveness, policy and regulatory complexity, positive societal impact and value creation for all stakeholders.

Business & Society Futures will give clients a single point of access to the industry’s most accomplished strategists and counselors, providing differentiated AI and technology-backed insights and advisory expertise across communications, public affairs and management consulting.

“Understanding and managing social and political polarization, environmental challenges, misinformation and disinformation are now required leadership skills for CEOs and other executives to ensure organizational resilience, drive commercial performance and deliver growth,” said Gail Heimann, CEO of The Weber Shandwick Collective. “The formation of Business & Society Futures and the addition of The Collective Senior Advisors enables us to more seamlessly and nimbly provide clients with a range of expertise and capabilities related to their company’s business performance, stakeholder expectations and societal impact.”

Business & Society Futures will be led by Chris DerryWeber Shandwick’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and President of TWSC’s C-suite Advisory Business. Pam JenkinsWeber Shandwick’s Chief Public Affairs Officer, will serve as executive partner to Deri while continuing to head up the global public affairs practice, Powell Tate and the firm’s growing public health practice. Kate BullingerCEO of United Minds, a consultancy specializing in organizational transformation, and Paul MasseyPresident of Powell Tate & Weber Shandwick’s Global Lead, Social Impact & Sustainability, will co-chair the new group.

  • According to a recent KRC Research survey of over 100 business leaders, including 39 CEOs, 47 C-Level Executives and 16 VP/SVP leaders: In anticipation of a recession and increased market volatility, the majority of business leaders aim to proactively focus on navigating social headwinds, understanding risks stemming from misinformation, addressing societal disruption and economic displacement. *Top 10 concerns below.
  • However, while executives feel confident in their ability to ensure high quality standards for products and services (92%), less than half feel equipped to lead in areas such as political and social issues (49%), geopolitical issues (47%) and climate change (45%).

The below senior strategists and counselors have joined The Collective Senior Advisors:

Beth-Anne Bygum — Chief Security & Compliance Officer, Acxiom
Kimberly Davis – Senior Executive Vice President for Social Impact, Growth & Policy, National Hockey League
Mike Dubke — former White House Communications Director
Ashley Etienne — former Head of Communications for Vice President Kamala Harris and Communications Director and Senior Advisor for Speaker Pelosi
Nelson Fernandez — former North American Chair, APCO Worldwide
Jerilan Greene – former SVP, Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer & Chairman/CEO of Yum! Foundation
Adrian Hodges — former Managing Director, Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum; former VP, Corporate Responsibility & Community Partnerships, GSK
Paul Kawata — Executive Director, National Minority AIDS Council
Kerry Kennedy President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Orin Kramer — former Chairman, New Jersey State Investment Council
Sasha Mackler — Executive Director of the Energy Program at the Bipartisan Policy Center
India Gary-Martin — Leadership Expert, C-Suite Coach, Non-Executive Director, DEI Strategist; Has held global COO and CTO roles for several of the world’s largest banks
Lauren Maynard — EVP, Global Managing Director, McCann Worldgroup Advisory Services
Dr. Michael Merson — the Wolfgang Joklik Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Professor of Global Health at Duke University
Dr. Sachiko Scheuing — European Privacy Officer, Acxiom
Vivian Schiller — Executive Director, Aspen Institute Digital; former CEO, NPR
Stephen F. Smith — former Insider Risk Management Coordinator, US Dept of State; Former Principal Security Advisor to NATO Secretary General
Don Spetner — former EVP, Corporate Affairs & CMO, Korn Ferry International
Paul van Zylformer Executive Secretary of South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Sudhir Venkatesh — William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology & African American Studies, Columbia University
Claire Wardle PhD, Professor at the School of Public Health, Brown University; Co-founder and co-director of the Information Futures Lab

Business & Society Futures: A New Paradigm Built for the New Paradigm
Business & Society Futures is built for the kind of flexibility and speed business needs to address complex and late-breaking situations. A Round table governance model for the new group, designed by United Minds, will enable swift decision-making and flat collaboration across the four advisory brands and The Collective Senior Advisors.

“Business leaders have moved beyond the somewhat simplistic Stakeholder Capitalism 1.0 paradigm of ‘doing well by doing good.’ They recognize stakeholder priorities and issues such as climate change, societal inequities and geopolitical risks have become material to commercial performance – but addressing them is highly complex,” Deri said. “In fact, executives across multiple industries often feel as though they lack the skills to understand, let alone manage and leverage these new complexities. We’ve intentionally and carefully built a new approach and assembled the internal and external expertise to advise our clients at the intersection of business strategy, stakeholder expectations and effective communications.”

“Business & Society Futures brings a policy and political perspective to corporate reputation communications as core to strategy, rather than an appendage or add-on,” Jenkins noted. “Today, policy and regulation increasingly present greater opportunity and risk related to commercial performance, employer brand and shareholder value creation and must be considered an integral part of business strategy.”

Top 10 focus areas for business leaders today:

  1. Attracting and retaining talent – 93%
  2. Managing the adoption of new technologies to promote business growth, increase efficiency, or address sustainability goals — 90%
  3. Addressing the impact of inflation on our business and its stakeholders – 81%
  4. Communications and public relations – 77%
  5. Supply chain (materials, equipment, inspections, distribution, etc.) – 76%
  6. Employee engagement and activism – 74%
  7. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – 71%
  8. Capital markets and financial communications – 70%
  9. Understanding risks from misinformation relating to your sector, company, or brand – 68%
  10. Concerns about privacy protection – 67%

The Weber Shandwick Collective
The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) is the earned-first strategic communications and consulting network built for the convergence of society, media, politics and technology. In addition to Weber Shandwick, TWSC brands include Cappuccino, Current Global, dna, Flipside, KRC Research, Powell Tate, Prime Weber Shandwick, Resolute Digital, Revive, ThatLot and United Minds. The Weber Shandwick Collective is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit

United Minds
United Minds is a global management consultancy dedicated to making business more humane. Our team of 70+ management consultants, business strategists, communicators and HR professionals know how to harness the power of your people to solve your most critical business challenges as you transform. This includes culture change, employee experience, DEIchange management and leadership impact.

Powell Tate
Powell Tate is the globally recognized, premiere, DC-based public affairs unit of The Weber Shandwick Collective. Built for change, we are nimble, data-driven and led by people who understand fast-changing politics, complex policy debates, emerging cultural trends, the role of third-party stakeholders and digital transformation. We know the motivations that spark movements. The issues that matter most – privacy, environment, sustainability, automation, food safety and healthcare. In short: What to embrace. What to avoid. What you didn’t see coming. We solve complex business, political and social issues. We mitigate risk and build reputation. We shape opinions and build support for issues that matter. For more information visit

KRC Research
KRC Research is a global communications and market research and strategy firm. A unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), KRC Research offers the quality and custom service of a small firm with the reach of a global organization. For over 30 years, KRC Research has worked on behalf of corporations, governments, not-for-profits and the communications firms that represent them. Staffed with multidisciplinary research professionals, KRC combines sophisticated research tools with real-world communications experience. For more information, visit

Contact: Kimberly Dixon
Weber Shandwick
[email protected]

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