Starbucks executive chairman and former CEO, Howard Schultz, is trying to make everyone see that the world is not as grim as social media and the news makes it seem.
The 2016 election and current situations coming out of Washington have shadowed over most positive things, making everyday seem pretty messed up and hopeless.
However, Starbucks has an original series, Upstanders, and the new season is trying to make everything and everyone feel better. The announcement for the new season came on Monday, a little over a year after the season one debut.
Season 2 will be vignettes of various people, showcasing their lives. There is an executive chef who quit his job to work with former juvenile inmates. Another is an entrepreneur who uses his status to speak of poverty in his hometown.
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video, each episode will be less than 10 minutes long, but there will be one full-length documentary.
In an attempt to attract more viewers, the series will also stream on the new Facebook Watch feature, and is also being released as an audiobook.
“Every one of these stories, as in Season 1, is threaded into a level of compassion, empathy, kindness, and also sorting through one’s one level of unconscious bias,” Schultz said. There’s a lot of be learned from the actions of these people — the behavior — at a time in America when we’re witnessing a level of a lack of civility and respect and so much vitriol.”
Schultz says that the series is not a marketing technique, but really is more interested in getting the stories out to the public. There is no branding or selling of coffee.
“This is what we view the role and responsibility of a public company should be today. And that is not only to create financial performance and shareholder value, but also to add value back to our society at a time when I think we really need it. We’re not preaching. We’re not selling. We’re just sharing,” Schultz said.
The Starbucks Foundation is also launching the “Upstanders Challenge,” which allows viewers to submit a 1-3 minute video about a company they believe is a good “Upstander.” The series is meant to invoke feelings of service and charity in others, so getting people involved in other charities and introducing new Upstanders helps others see the good.