Trust in Institutions, Including Nonprofits, Drops to Level of Great Recession
(Press release, Jan. 19, 2015) — The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals an alarming evaporation of trust across all institutions, reaching the lows of the Great Recession in 2009. Trust in government, business, media and NGOs in the general population is below 50 percent in two-thirds of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan. Informed public respondents are nearly as distrustful, registering trust levels below 50 percent in half of the countries surveyed.
“There has been a startling decrease in trust across all institutions driven by the unpredictable and unimaginable events of 2014,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman. “The spread of Ebola in West Africa; the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, plus two subsequent air disasters; the arrests of top Chinese Government officials; the foreign exchange rate rigging by six global banks; and numerous data breaches, most recently at Sony Pictures by a sovereign nation, have shaken confidence.”
For the first time, the Barometer looked at trust and its link to innovation and found that trust issues are hindering acceptance of technological advancements. A majority of respondents believe innovation is happening too quickly (51 percent) and that it is being driven by greed (54 percent) and business growth imperatives (66 percent), while only some (24 percent) see it being done to make the world a better place. More than half (55 percent) feel business is not doing enough testing on new developments. Consumers also want stronger regulations of business (46 percent), yet across major industries surveyed, only half trust policy makers to develop and implement appropriate regulations.
“The pace of change has never been faster and innovation has become an even greater imperative for business success,” said Edelman. “Innovation should be a trust accelerator, but today it is not. To invent is no longer enough. There must be a new compact between company and individual, where companies demonstrate that innovations are safe based on independent research, provide both societal and personal benefit and are committed to the protection of customer data.”