What Matters to Britain

More than 7 out of 10 people in the UK are worried about the future

Today, Human8, the global human-driven consultancy, together with Space Doctors, their strategic cultural and creative specialist team, release their annual What Matters trend report. The 2024 report takes a clear and provocative stance for positive change driven by a global call for urgency as new research reports 74% of people in the UK are seriously worried about the future and 83% feel brands need to take responsibility.


New global research by Human8 reports more than 7 out of 10 people in the UK are seriously worried about the future, confirming the pressure on people and planet is at an all-time high. The pressure on people and the planet is at an all-time high. The simultaneous crisis of climate and cost of living play out against a backdrop still dominated by the fallout of the pandemic and on-going political instability while further afield, turmoil spills across borders and conflict feels very close to home.

With an additional 7 out 10 people in the UK agreeing we need to move beyond ‘sustaining’ and into ‘reversing’ the damage done, the global agency advocates the shift towards ‘regenerative sustainability’. Where traditional sustainability focuses primarily on maintaining the current state of the environment, regenerative sustainability or ‘regeneration’ broadens the scope. It’s not only about the planet. And it’s not only about doing less harm. It’s about thinking in regenerative ways, restoring and reimagining everything, including how businesses are run to reshaping human norms and ecological systems.

“As a certified B-Corporation the movement for regeneration is part of Space Doctors DNA. With this in mind, we started our 2024 What Matters journey by developing a cultural framework of positive transformation, a model which revealed the 4 main dimensions of positive change that all brands should be aware of. These dimensions provide the context for a further 8 cultural codes of transformation – meaningful and actionable paths to adopting a regenerative mindset and identifying powerful, systemic solutions.” says Gareth Lewis, Director at Space Doctors.

The four-part global study showcases a unique mix of cultural and human insight methodologies, culminated in a global insight community across 10 markets and a quantification with 13.028 consumers across 17 markets. Not surprisingly, the global research has a clear message for brands as 83% of people in the UK feel brands need to take a responsibility to help safeguard the future of our planet.

“Now is the time to act. We need to fundamentally change how we do things if we want to safeguard the wellbeing of present and future generations. From talking to consumers, to clients and to experts in the field, we know that many people, organisations and brands want to make a positive change. Our 2024 What Matters report reveals the frictions and needs of people worldwide, both in their attitudes and beliefs and in the way that they behave and can point to where brands can be most effective in supporting people in making that change.” adds Paul Child, Partner and Senior Business Director at Human8. “The report is a call to action for us all. As an organisation on a mission to do business in the best way possible, we invite others to join us and do the same.”


Some key UK findings include:


  • The time for action is now: 83% is worried about the state of our planet for future generations, 73% says that drastic changes are needed to our lifestyle.
  • Consumers look to brands for inspiration and vision to move them towards positive change: 83% believes making the world a better place isn’t something they can do on their own. It requires people/ organisations/ brands with a clear vision to take the lead and drive change.
  • Moving the needle on sustainability: Only 7% can confidently state they have a sustainable lifestyle. Price (59%), education (40%) and availability (39%) of/on sustainable options would help consumers adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • Brands need to be more transparent about sustainability efforts: 8 out of 10 people say brands need to provide more information about sustainability efforts, with 44% saying that brands that don’t communicate about sustainability aren’t sustainable.

Flip the script on diversity and inclusion: 43% states that fighting dominant norms and labels used in society is draining and ineffective. They believe it is better to just let go and create your own way of doing things.

What Matters in 2024?

This is not a trends report, but a story about what matters. Based on cultural and semiotic analysis in collaboration with Space Doctors, a global online insights community and a 17-market quantification, we bring you 8 themes that highlight what matters in 2024 and beyond. 
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