A collision of trust, innovation, and politics

The 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals a new paradox at the heart of society. Rapid innovation offers the promise of a new era of prosperity, but instead risks exacerbating trust issues, leading to further societal instability and political polarization.

In a year where half the global population can vote in new leaders, the acceptance of innovation is essential to the success of our society. While people agree that scientists are essential to the acceptance of innovation, many are concerned that politics has too much influence on science. This perception is contributing to the decline of trust in the institutions responsible for steering us through change and towards a more prosperous future.


Italy among European “best performers”

Italy maintains its position in the ranking of the countries with a 50% Trust Index and keeps leading the European ranking, trailing only behind the Netherlands.

Business champions ethics and competence

Today, in Italy, business stands out as the most trusted institution and the only one seen as both competent and ethical, gaining more consideration compared to the past.

Industry sectors and family companies are thriving

Italians’ trust towards the majority of industry sectors and business types is on the rise. Family-owned companies take the lead, while private-held companies have gained 10 points over the past year.

High trust towards “My Employer”

“My Employer” continues to build trust in Italy and globally. Expectations are consistently increasing for the business world and its leaders, who are being tasked with addressing change within both companies and society.   

Explore the findings 



Business is trusted to make sure innovations are safe, understood & accessible

In Italy, Business is seen as the most trusted institution for introducing innovations into society, scoring a 54 percent of Trust. This percentage is higher among high-income groups (61 percent) than among low-income groups (47 percent).

Edelman Trust Barometer 2024             


Edelman Trust Barometer 2024     


Acceptance of innovation is at stake

The perception that major institutions are not effectively managing the latest innovation is arising. In Italy and globally, there is growing consensus on the necessity for careful evaluation by scientists and ethicists, demonstrating the emphasis on the importance of regulation and the demand for certainty regarding the actual impact of innovation on our lives.

4 Ways to Restore Trust in the Promise of Innovation


1. Implementation is as important as invention

Mismanaged innovations are prone to ignite backlash, instead of making society advance. With breakthroughs like AI, vaccines, and green energy on the line, explaining the science and managing impacts is essential.    


2. Business must partner for change

Business is most trusted to introduce innovation into society, with an emphasis on partnering with government. CEOs need to safeguard jobs and take a stand on emerging ethical concerns.   


3. Science must integrate with society

Scientists are still trusted—but increasingly subject to public scrutiny. To build trust in expert recommendations, explain the research, engage in dialogue, and harness peer voices as advocates.   


4. Give me control over my future

When people feel in control over how innovations affect their lives, they are more likely to embrace them, not resist them. Listen for concerns, be open to questions.   

Explore the findings 


The Trust 10


The virtuous circle of trust   


Trust is based first on economic prosperity, evidenced by the fact that developing countries have higher trust levels than developed countries. Innovation can drive growth for all levels of society, resulting in higher trust in institutions.


Society is changing too quickly   


A majority of respondents who believe that innovation is poorly managed think that society is changing too quickly and not in ways that benefit people like me.


Peers on par with scientists   


Seventy-four percent say they trust scientists and peers, equally, for the truth about innovations; however, peers are more trusted than scientists among those who think innovation is poorly managed.



What does this mean for your business? 

Get in touch to learn more.


The 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 24th annual survey. The research was produced by the Edelman Trust Institute and consisted of 30-minute online interviews conducted between November 3 and November 22, 2023. Learn more >



Respondents / Country