Exploring the Global South Narrative Shift in all its Complexity

Today, we really need to evaluate how we present ourselves to the world, how narratives are created and create worthy narratives. Girish Balachandran, ON PURPOSE took us on a journey of understanding what exactly is Global South.  Bringing voices from the Global South into Mainstream Narratives” was the theme of the talk.

What is the Global South? Countries below the equator, one homogenous entity, all the countries depend on the Global North or ….? Exploring the dynamics of global communication, Girish Balachandran led a captivating session at SPECTRA, shedding light on the theme, “Bringing voices from the Global South into Mainstream Narratives.”

In a thought-provoking presentation, Girish challenged perceptions of the Global South, emphasising the need to move beyond a homogenous view. The emerging world order for these nations often goes unnoticed by media influencers, necessitating a responsibility to sensitise stakeholders about the diverse voices from the Global South.

A new world order is emerging for countries in the global South. Media influencers fail to recognise this. It’s our responsibility to sensitise stakeholders and update them with voices from the Global South, which is often ignored in global conversations. 

Drawing inspiration from Prime Minister Modi’s call to position India as the “Voice of the South” during the Voice of Global South summit at G20, Girish highlighted the significance of amplifying these voices on the global stage. The theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future” resonated with the age-old belief of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” fostering unity among nations.

The traditional dominance of Western media is undergoing a transformation, challenging the dominant narrative and paving the way for alternative perspectives. Girish cited examples like Bangladesh’s leadership in climate change and the global impact of South Korean creations like ‘Parasite’ and ‘Squid Game,’ emphasising the changing landscape of global perceptions.

Communication from the Global South centers around themes of unity, progress, reliance, and empowerment. As the Global South takes on a leading role in global matters, it becomes increasingly crucial in the global conversation.

#GlobalLeadership #Empowerment #SPECTRAGlobalSouth

Girish highlighted the necessity for the Global South to adapt and lead in positive climate action. ON PURPOSE has taken the initiative to drive this change, underlining the scripting of a new world order where the Global South plays a pivotal role.

So, the Global South in global matters, matters! The #GlobalSouth is having to adapt and lead on people positive #ClimateAction. Not by choice. But, by necessity.

In the Discussion that followed, the participants were – Arun Sudhaman, CEO, Provoke Media, Radharani Mitra, Global Creative Advisor at BBC Media Action and the Moderator was – Girish Balachandran, ON PURPOSE.

What are the most important principles to represent the voice of the Global South? The world has changed now elucidated Radharani, and the scene of action whether it’s AI, manufacturing or creative industries – there’s no one place where it’s happening!  In my experience, ‘audience’ has to be the heart of everything.  It’s important to form strategy partnerships (like we did with academics) which establishes us as thought leaders; and secondly, you have to have friends to carry the stories and for representing the voices.

From the communications perspective, what are the challenges faced by the Global South?  At the best, it treats Asians as audiences, remarked Arun and added that in general it’s too superficial.

‘Localisation’ is not a new word. Has anything changed? What needs to change is the importance of ‘soft power’. Part of the responsibility rests with people in communication in the global cell, for they have the responsibility to reshape conceptions.

Here, Arun revealed his concept of Three ‘Ls’ for brands and companies – Listen, Learn & Let go. And  three trends were highlighted – Corporates in the Western markets are moving away from ESG; Corporates are under increasing scrutiny by NGOs for meeting ESG commitment & it seems there’s a ‘green hush’.

The final word, as Radharani put  it– “Everyone has to let go and loosen up”.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

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Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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