Now is the time for social good

This photograph was taken in our office. We aren’t there to read it, though it has never been more true.


Both eskimosoup and me personally have been quiet on social media the past couple of weeks. Checking the channels, we say that many people have many valid, and sometimes questionable, things to say and I have been reluctant to add to the noise. This doesn’t mean however that eskimosoup or I have been quiet, indeed we’ve been incredibly productive and methodical in our approach to ensuring that the important work we do is not lost in the melee whilst considering how our unique skills and experience can be utilised at this crucial time.

Plans will be revealed soon, though as an interim I wanted to share a few points of reflection that if only read by our team, suppliers and clients might help give some perspective.

  1. Behaviour change for the greater social good has been at the heart of eskimosoup’s work for the past decade. Right now, globally this is what we need and whilst we’re seeing some worst of that behaviour through selfish hoarding, defying social distancing and increased aggression online, it should be acknowledged that this is outweighed by the good we are seeing.

The actions we all take now and will take in the coming weeks will be remembered by others and, most crucially, by ourselves. I hope we can all look back and know that we were the best versions of ourselves.

In the UK, whilst we have a wealth of behavioural sciences knowledge, we could be applying it more effectively. We have the support of the majority to make sensible choices in the interests of the greater good, though we need plain language and direction to those who need more than a nudge.

We shouldn’t be asking people to do things that are open to personal interpretations such as “practicing social distancing” we need to speak in a language everyone understands. It that means telling people to stay indoors, we should tell people to stay indoors! There are many great initiatives being created organically to support principles that will work; we just need to make sure that this reaches people beyond social media.

  1. There is so much need for social good right now and the restrictions are forcing innovation. It has been a frightening couple of weeks for businesses, though now we are seeing a bounce of positivity that is solutions-focussed.

At eskimosoup, we are taking the opportunity to push forward ideas that have been on the backburner and have even created innovate new ventures that weren’t even a twinkle in the eye a fortnight ago.

People will lose their lives and livelihoods in the coming weeks. Those of us remaining need to come out stronger, more compassionate and ready to rebuild.

  1. eskimosoup switched to working from home relatively early in this crisis. We’ve always had flexible working, so it is not much of a culture shock, however it’s not the same as working together at our base. We are trying lots of new things to keep each other motivated as well as cohesive working.

I could not be prouder of the human way the eskimosoup team has responded and appreciate that some have reached out to me on a personal level as they recognise the emotional cost of leadership through difficult times. It is a difficult time for everyone and yet they are responding pragmatically and positively. Yes, we will experience some changes, maybe even short-term pain caused as a result of the changing business environment, however when we get this right, we’ll come out of this stronger together. Just wait and see.

That’s enough rambling. Let’s get back to making the socially good change we want to see in the world.

John Gilbert, Director, eskimosoup

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