Each day you can find an article in the news that demonstrates how societies influence and impact local, regional, and national levels events. Today in Indonesia, the House of Representatives passed a bill abolishing direct regional elections by an overwhelming majority. The legislation ensures that politics remains with the powerful elite–a step back for democracy in Indonesia. This announcement was met by protests and public outrage, with many expressing their anger on Twitter and Facebook.
How this play out remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, Indonesia’s population will influence the outcome. Governments can no longer create laws or implement programs without taking into account the short and long-term social implications. Corporations operating in these environments must do the same. By engaging with and creating stakeholder relationships with local communities, where they operate, companies can avoid being seen as another mechanism of government repression or exploitation. This is critical when social unrest turns violent and communities take out their frustration on government symbols. A small investment in the communities today will pay significant security dividends in the future.