2019: The year of protest

2019 protests took place all over the world: from Hong Kong to India, the Middle East, Africa and Europe to North, Central and South America. The reasons vary. In the run-up to European Trend Day, an exclusive graphic by the GDI provides an overview of where and when protests took place.

2019 will go down in history as the year of protest. From Hong Kong, where people fight against the influence of the Chinese government, to Iraq, where people demonstrate against corruption and mismanagement, to Europe, where the "Fridays for Future" movement against the climate crisis takes to the streets, to the protests in Chile, which are largely fuelled by social inequality in the country.

This flood of protests, which continues into 2020, is summarized as the "Global Protest Wave of 2019". What the protests have in common is their decentralized organization through social media. This creates a dynamic that makes protest movements unpredictable.

The increased sensitivity of the population to what they perceive as “injustices” affects everyone who speaks out in public--Facebook users and politicians, alike. In particular, however, every company must now take a stand in order not to be punished by customers. Passivity is no longer an option in the medium term.

The Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute has run a Google Trends analysis of 31 worldwide protest movements in 2019. The following chart illustrates the protest movements worldwide:

The GDI Trend Day on 11 March 2020 will focus on moral consumption. Register now, the early bird price ends in one week!

A GDI study to be published in March 2020 will deal with this topic in greater depth and seek answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main characteristics of protest and social movements?
  • Where  are people protesting--why, and against what?
  • What do these movements have in common, how do they differ?
  • What is the role of social media? What do the networks of the different protest movements look like?
  • What influence do the protests have on consumer behaviour?
  • Brands and companies are increasingly appearing as individuals on social media today, and their attitudes are becoming more tangible. How do they position themselves in the course of these protest movements? What roles do brands and companies play?