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Shift it

26 April, 2024

It’s with sadness that we see our friends at Shift, formerly known as We Are What We Do, are closing their doors. The organisation was small but mighty, leading behaviour change projects aimed at “creating the change our world needs”. Their projects spanned a range of issues including sustainability, mental health and social wellbeing.

Their portfolio shows the lasting impact Shift will have in the UK. One that has stood the test of time in the Good Business office is the iconic “I am not a plastic bag” campaign in 2007, which brought the issue of plastic bag overconsumption to the mainstream and led to a 58% reduction in plastic bag usage in Sainsburys in the following two years. They also ran innovative programmes addressing unemployment, childhood obesity and intergenerational conversations around the places we live. Their legacy will live on, as many of the projects are being passed on to friends and partners to continue to deliver impact. And its end is as thoughtful as its life, rejecting a “survive at all costs” mentality in favour of a more thoughtful approach to transition. (For more on this, check out The Decelerator which supports civil society organisations to manage change and endings).

So while we say goodbye to Shift, we want to celebrate the great work Shift did, and seek inspiration in the work they delivered. What Shifts could you make in your line of work? Do you work at a food company – could you include healthier food higher up on your website, a marketer who could advertise a product’s repairability or a manager who could look to offer pro-environmental perks to your employees (such as Climate Perks – slow travel days enjoyed by Good Business!) Whatever your industry, we bet there are shifts you can make to encourage people to live better.

By Anna Heis

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