After capturing lessons from the first lockdown at the start of 2020, the Rapid Transition Alliance began in early 2021 to examine the trends in behaviour and systemic change that were emerging during the pandemic, supported by ClimateWorks.

We collected reflections by people as this new world unfolded and began to analyse how new behaviours might prove positive for a future low-carbon world. Two of the big shifts we identified were an increased awareness of our own over-consumption across wealthier parts of the world, and a huge reduction in what became “unnecessary travel” – including commuting, holidays and business journeys.

The deluge of ‘stuff’ as evidenced by the breakneck growth of fast fashion, the boom in self storage facilities and the increasingly global issue of plastic pollution, is being tackled by a wide range of initiatives, from reuse and repair workshops, and secondhand clothes exchanges, to refill shops and local cooking services that prevent food waste.

The huge power being brought to bear by advertisers encouraging us to consume is being resisted by people turning instead to local, artistic and communal activities, such as singing, craft, volunteering and protesting. High streets are being re-imagined and green spaces appreciated more than ever. Cycling and walking are being treated in many places as valid parts of our transport system once again, while flying for business is becoming a rarity and staycations are the norm for many.


In June 2022, the Rapid Transition Alliance will be hosting two webinars exploring overconsumption and unnecessary travel.

Through these sessions, we want to reflect on our collective experience of the pandemic, what we learnt about rapid transition, how we felt, what worries us as we emerge from the pandemic and, most importantly, what we think needs to happen to lock-in some of the more sustainable habits, behaviours and choices that arose during the pandemic. This is an opportunity for us to get together as an alliance, share and pool our insights, while building a collective vision of the challenges ahead.

Film series: Five days of change

Filmmaker Dan Edelstyn created five short films for the Rapid Transition Alliance that capture post-pandemic, lessons from lockdown in his local London borough in the UK. Each film highlights new habits that emerged during the pandemic focusing on eating, travelling, mending, heating our homes and shopping.

Watch the films


The short downloadable briefings collated here in the ‘Reset series’ look in more detail at these two areas and consider some of the key messages and solutions that have become apparent during the pandemic that could help us make the rapid transition to a more sustainable future. You can download each story through the images below.

front cover of the death of business travel