Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception

Public interest

For many years we have sought that single term that regrouped the many organizations who do many good deeds around the world. There are non-governmental organizations, charities, associations, foundations, the United Nations, community-based organizations and many more types of organizations. Most are non-profit, some are not, so calling them non-profits or not-for-profits does not work either. The one thing they all seem to have in common, whether they work in development, humanitarian or environmental issues is that they all defend the public interest.

What is the parallel term for the business side of the formula? Is it business? No, that doesn’t seem to work either inasmuch as many public interest companies are bona fide business entities. Instead, we use the term commercial interest.

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This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.