Global Stagflation and Economic Recovery, Greenwashing vs. Sustainability, and Doing “Better Things” on the Agenda of PRGN Asia Summit

October 4 2022

For the first time in three decades of bi-annual member meetings behind closed doors, the Public Relations Global Network is opening parts of its upcoming member agency conference in Singapore to external guests who can follow online the discussion of keynote speakers and PRGN experts on Oct. 12, 2022.

Dubbed the “PRGN Asia Summit”, the first day of the network’s upcoming members only conference will include two panel discussions with leading experts of Asian and global geopolitics and sustainability and ESG – now open to the public online.

In the first panel – between 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. SGT on Oct. 12 – Manoj Pradhan, Founder of independent macroeconomic research firm Talking Heads Macroeconomics, and Prof. Kong Yam Tan, a professor of economics at the Nanyang Technological University, will join PRGN members for a 75-minute session to shed light on the dynamics of global and Asian economics and politics, with focus on the influence of China. Wy-En Yap, a senior investment analyst and strategist at Neo Criterion Capital and Board Member of Mileage Communications, PRGN’s agency member in Singapore, will moderate their discussion.

In the second panel – scheduled for 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. SGT on Oct. 12 – Frederick Teo, CEO of GenZero, a S$5 billion Temasek Investment platform company, Raghav Kapoor, CEO and Co-Founder of Smartkarma, an independent investment research network, and Ariane Hofstetter, CEO of market research firm Kohorten, will join PRGN member Michael Diegelmann, founder and principal of investor relations and ESG consulting company cometis AG, to discuss how sustainable investment decisions are made and what are the ESG frameworks that shape them. Mark Paterson, Principal of Currie, a sustainability consulting and communications firm and PRGN’s agency member in Australia, will moderate their discussion.

The two panel discussions will be streamed and available to a greater public online. For more details and registration, click here.

As PRGN is getting prepared to demonstrate the global brainpower it has access to, we have reached out to the speakers of the two panels to ask about their focus of attention and concerns for the near future and give some insight into the upcoming discussions. Our question was:

What is the single most important issue in your area of activities – be it economics and geopolitics or sustainability and ESG and sustainability – for the next six months?

See their responses below and if you have questions of your own, make sure you register to the panel discussions so you can participate and ask them online.

 

PRGN Asia Summit, Panel 1. 

“I’m most worried about extreme stagflation, a scenario that would leave core inflation at levels that are too high to ignore but create a much deeper global recession than is currently anticipated.”
Manoj Pradhan, Founder of independent macroeconomic research firm Talking Heads Macroeconomics

 

“How China would relax its zero covid policy and the effect on economic recovery.”
Prof. Kong Yam Tan, professor of economics at the Nanyang Technological University

 

PRGN Asia Summit, Panel 2.

“Beyond doing things better, we need to focus on doing better things – how to identify and invest in solutions that will deliver the most positive impact for the climate in the near term.”
Frederick Teo, CEO of GenZero, a S$5 billion Temasek Investment platform company

 

“As the CEO of Smartkarma, I keep abreast of evolving issues that impact financial markets. While it hasn’t been named yet, the events of the last six months will soon be unfolding into an “The Great Energy Crisis”, which in all likelihood will lead to several sovereign defaults. By looking at how FX rates have evolved, we can already see that leadership has shifted. The once-mighty British pound and the Euro have fallen from grace, and new contenders have emerged to take pole position. Even the reserve status of the U.S. Dollar is being called into question. How this unfolds will be my focal point in the coming six months.”
Raghav Kapoor, CEO and Co-Founder of Smartkarma, an independent investment research network

 

“Under the CSRD (or Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), European companies are required to provide a more precise definition of materiality. This definition requires that both the inside-out and the outside-in perspective must be covered. To comply, companies will have to start a sound, scientifically validated stakeholder engagement process. Those waiting too long to comply not only end up under pressure, but also squander important potential for their sustainability strategy.”
Ariane Hofstetter, CEO of market research firm Kohorten

 

Michael Diegelmann“More and more CEOs around the globe must understand that ESG and sustainability actions and reporting are not there to please rating agencies and investors only. But more to inform all stakeholders about the actions taken and progress achieved to secure a positive future for the following generations.”
Michael Diegelmann, founder and principal of investor relations and ESG consulting company cometis AG, Wiesbaden, Germany

 

Mark Paterson“Under pressure from corporate and government regulators, investors, customers and workers, many mid-cap publicly listed companies and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) will start work on their first non-financial reports in FY2023. The maze of reporting standards and frameworks for sustainability and ESG reporting and stakeholder engagement is confusing for first-time reporters as well as their stakeholders.

As a result, for the next six months, the single most important issue in ESG is greenwashing. Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about a company’s environmental sustainability. Greenwash is inevitable when you have companies reporting on ESG for the first time and people who are new to business sustainability or ESG writing them.

We’re at risk of the blind leading the blind on ESG. ESG is not marketing. ESG is not only about purpose. ESG is not CSR. New reporters should get advice from experienced ESG advisors.

Right now, the main focus of ESG reporting is climate change. In the medium term the public reporting of climate risks will become mandatory in many jurisdictions. Mandatory reporting on biodiversity and human rights, including modern slavery, will follow. Transparency and clarity in ESG reporting will be rewarded. Robust, open dialogue with all stakeholders about business sustainability will be a necessity.”
Mark Paterson, Principal of Currie, a sustainability consulting and communications firm and PRGN’s agency member in Australia

 

Gábor Jelinek
Executive Director,
With 15 years of agency management and communications consulting experience, preceded by a 10-year media career, Gabor is the Executive Director of Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). In that capacity Gabor is the center of action at the global network, supporting the work of the President and the Executive Committee to grow and develop the 30-year old communications network. Working closely with PRGN's Business, Marketing and Membership committees, Gabor is the driver of global business development, self-marketing and membership retention and recruitment.
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