Speaking on the Global Day Of Influence, Founder, Ayeni Adekunle said “We can’t compel or force people, companies and governments to be and do better. But as we enter the age of influence, there’s no better time to begin discussing and activating the resources that will drive us towards the kind of leadership we so badly need. The kind of direction we need for our lives, for our families, for our nations and for the world.”
Following a series of events which has rocked the world in recent times, it has become imperative for all stakeholders to evaluate the power and potential of negative influence.
Some of recent impacts of influence and its adverse effects include the uprise in demonstrations against police brutality over the past few years and suicide bombings over the last decade. According to the U.S National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism, suicide bombing increased from an avergage of 4 per year in 2001, to over 400 per year by 2011, due to the precedent set by the 9/11 bombing.
A more recent example of the power of misinformation and influence is the 2016 U.S election, as many investigations are still being carried out to determine the impact of false narratives in swaying the outcome.
According to Washington Post’s review of a study by Ohio State University researchers, fabricated stories favoring Donald Trump were shared a total of 30 million times, nearly quadrupling the number of pro-Hillary Clinton shares leading up to the election. The study also shows that the most widely circulated stories were shared by well meaning Americans who believed these false narratives and became advocates for the message carried in these stories.
The Global Day of Influence has been put together to recognise the responsibility of those with influence, as well as to highlight and disincentivize the role played by impressionable audiences in promoting a circle of false narrative, skewed sentiments and negative influence.
“We all need to answer a call of duty, to help people and companies and governments communicate more honestly and responsibly,” says Ayeni.
According to the Statista, the average daily digital interactions per person stands at about 1,400, while in-person interactions is estimated to be around 25 for middle aged adults.
This means that humans are interacting more than we have in our entire history. The speed in which information travels is faster, and more impactful, hence measures must be put in place to ensure the right narratives are being spread.
The selected date for Global Day of Influence pays homage to the great Austrian-American public relations pioneer Edward Bernays who was born on November 22, 1891. Bernays is widely regarded as “the father of public relations”