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Impacting Societies and the Planet Through Global Citizenship

No matter what your industry is, the need to understand social impact and climate change is key to your business’ long-term success. Your customers care, your business partners mind and your employees expect that from you. It’s not an area that any HR pro can afford to side-line or gloss over as a critical component of your employees’ engagement.  

Many HR departments around the world are reaching the same understanding as we are at Spotify. Being a global citizen is good for the business and is expected by your candidates and employees. As global citizens, we take an active role in the communities where we live, and we build partnerships to make our planet more peaceful, sustainable and equitable. This is why at Spotify, we have made a bet on the great synergies to be found between teams working on social impact climate action plans, as well as diversity, inclusion and belonging. Our Equity and Impact team has created a shared mission around these critical areas, aligning our teams and their purpose. We are working together on new approaches and solutions that will massively accelerate progress.

It’s important to consider that brands have the power to make real change and that most candidates and employees have a keen desire to work for a company that aligns to their own values. Employees who are really tuned in to what they care about, will view companies that do not seek to have a positive impact on the society as a whole as less desirable choices for employment.

At Spotify we empower our band members to give back to their communities, to be socially responsible and environmentally sustainable working with our creators to intentionally address societal challenges. 

If you are really committed to equity and positive impact you need to appreciate that:

  1. To create social and environmental equity we must fix systems, not individuals. 
  2. Leveraging your business model to drive change will create more value than isolated philanthropic efforts. 

The Play Your Part Hub

We bring together technology and art by using our platform and reaching thousands of creators who want to play their part in making a better world. As a media platform we believe in the opportunity and responsibility to drive change.

Experimenting in an area where we see an opportunity or have discovered a need is a methodology that’s no strange thing at Spotify. We design, we create, we implement fast, we assess impact, we iterate, we expand. That’s often the way we do things – learning continuously.

In 2020, we used this methodology to design a hub on our platform called Play Your Part. It invited users to engage, learn, and act – in this first instance the focus was on civic engagement and voting in the U.S. The hub was packed-full of content to educate voters with need-to-know information about the 2020 US election. This non-partisan, educational resource was a wide-ranging multiplatform initiative that brought messages about civic engagement to our audience from the voices they trusted the most. We curated podcast playlists on changemakers, in a move to educate, inform and prepare people for voting, shaping the ‘engage’ and the ‘learn’ aspects of our approach.

Having a hub allowed us to include resources on the process to register to vote to reduce barriers to registration (the requirement to be able to vote). We provided Play Your Part hub visitors with one-click easy-to-access voter registration websites. We also housed all the resources they needed to make a plan to vote: the ‘act’ aspect of our approach. And because we are Spotify, we partnered with some of our first-time voting listeners’ favorite artists and influencers to curate new playlists to keep users entertained throughout the entire process, with  new music playlists to soundtrack our users’ voting experience – every important act deserves the best accompanying music!

Having seen the positive impact of the Play Your Part hub, we realised we could continue to lean on this hub to expand our reach in the environmental and social impact and climate change action journeys. In 2021, we iterated on the Play Your Part hub to activate the global community on climate change, and build sustainable development. The Play Your Part hub relaunched on Earth Day following the format of ‘Engage, Learn, Act’. The hub included guest-curated podcast playlists, with the following sections: 

  • Knowledge Is Power – to go deep with scientists and experts on some of the big challenges facing our planet; 
  • Voices of Change – to hear directly from activists on how they use their voices to make a difference, and 
  • How to Make an Impact – to take everyday steps on an individual as well as systemic level to help make our world a ‘cooler’ and better place to live. 

From the hub, users were also encouraged to act through direct access to the external Time for Climate Action site. The site provided our users with information and further resources on a wide array of topics, from energy efficiency, sustainable banking, political engagement and other ways to take simple climate actions that could make a big difference.

Transcending Borders And Staying Focussed

Now the Play Your Part hub is a permanent and adaptable fixture on Spotify, dedicated to inspiring and educating people on the topics that matter most to them, as individuals and as global citizens.

We believe in our role as global citizens, taking an active role in the communities where we live, and the partnerships we establish to make our planet more peaceful, sustainable and equitable. The positive results from the Play Your Part hub confirmed our vision that when companies align their purpose and values to environmentally and socially important topics they can have a positive impact on their employees’ engagement, their customers’ experience, and for the advancement of the world at large.

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