What Matters to Aussies

Nearly 7 in 10 want to move beyond sustainability to regeneration

Human-driven consultancy Human8 and their strategic cultural and creative specialist team Space Doctors today released their annual trend report highlighting actions brands must take in response to the insights of what matters to Australian consumers now.


The What Matters 2024 Report reveals that traditional sustainability is no longer adequate, with nearly 7 in 10 (67%) of Australian respondents agreeing we need to move beyond ‘sustaining’ and into ‘reversing’ the damage done. Traditional sustainability focuses primarily on environmental considerations, while regenerative sustainability or regeneration broadens the scope. Regenerative sustainability extends beyond the planet, encompassing people and communities.

Everyone has a role to play to effect change. The report finds 79% of Australians believe brands need to take responsibility to help safeguard the future of our planet.

Matthew Jorgenson, Senior Business Director, Human8 Australia explains, “The key takeaway is that the majority of Australians no longer believe the status-quo mindset when it comes to the state of our environment and our communities is sufficient. With regenerative sustainability, brands are challenged to foster a more harmonious relationship between commerce and caring for our people and planet. A healthy environment and social equity are interconnected components of a truly sustainable and regenerative future. We need to fundamentally change how we do things if we want to safeguard the wellbeing of present and future generations. Our 2024 What Matters report outlines actions that brands and stakeholders operating in Australia can and must take, to respond to what matters to people.”

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

The four-part study with a unique mix of cultural and human insight methodologies culminated in quantification with 13,028 consumers in 17 markets (including 801 consumers in Australia) in October-November 2023.


Key highlights for Australia include:


  • The time for sustainability is now – 71% are worried about the state of our planet for future generations, 67% say that drastic changes are needed to our lifestyle.
  • Consumers look to brands for inspiration and vision to move them towards positive change – 70% believe 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 1 in 10 can confidently state they have a sustainable lifestyle. Price (57%), availability (42%) and education (37%) of/on sustainable options would help consumers adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • Brands need to be more transparent about sustainability efforts – 77% say brands need to provide more information about sustainability efforts, with 43% 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.

Jorgensen adds, “While we expect challenges to continue on multiple fronts in Australia in 2024, the study reveals insights into the Australian consumer reality that offers inspiration and opportunities for brands and stakeholders alike.”

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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