Purpose Disruptors invite the industry to be part of The Great Reset

A new movement has launched which aims to use the creative industry’s talent and influence to help ensure the positive environmental behaviours developed during lockdown become a long-term shift in society.

Izzy Ashton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Amidst the flurry of plans, proposals and points of view focused on the ‘return’ to normal life something vital is often missed amongst the craving for normality. Whether it is the all too obsessed about return to the office or commuting and travelling; perhaps people don’t in fact want to step back into old habits. That perhaps the normal so many once knew wasn’t actually as positive as it seems on reflection, especially when it comes to the negative environmental impact of consumption habits and old routines. 

Global emissions have decreased by 7% thanks to lockdown, which the UN states is the same annual reduction required to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. As the world starts to ‘reopen’ and return to a ‘new normal’, there is a small yet urgent window of opportunity not to let this progress slide.

To keep generating essential forward momentum, 200 individuals from across the UK creative industries have come together to launch The Great Reset, an initiative that hopes to both promote and maintain the positive behaviours developed under lockdown and the environmental shifts that have occurred as a result.

Recent research conducted for The Great Reset through OnePulse revealed that only 23% of the population believe post-lockdown advertising should encourage people to consume, shop and fly like before. While 77% of respondents think it is the creative industry’s responsibility to encourage people to behave more sustainably.

When 8 out of 10 people are telling us to take responsibility for the behaviours we encourage, is it time for us to assess the true impact of our creativity?

Ben Essen

An opportunity for reset

The Great Reset is a movement which aims to use the creative industry’s talent and influence in order to embed these positive environmental behaviours developed during lockdown into society. 

The initiative has been co-ordinated by The Purpose Disruptors, the organisation behind the Create and Strike movement in 2019. The team, led by Iris, invited the industry to go on strike for the climate. A network of advertising insiders working together to tackle climate change, their desire is to create “a visible, large-scale, bottom-up movement.”

Iris has developed the film, brand identity and website for the movement, while individuals from agencies at Wieden & Kennedy, McCann, Gravity Road and Thinkhouse have contributed to the strategy and developing the initiative.

D&AD have also come on board as partners, integrating the initiative into their New Blood programme. As Dara Lynch, Chief Operating Officer at D&AD, explained: “At D&AD we believe in the power of creativity. We are keen to use our position and influence to stimulate and inspire the creative industry to work towards a fairer, more sustainable future.”

The movement is also calling for other people and organisations within the advertising, marketing and creative industries to pledge their support with the #createthereset through donating free media space, offering up creative time or amplifying the campaign.

Using the industry’s creative power

The creative power in this initiative comes through the collaborative approach taken to its conception, built off the back of data and research and open to all who want to pledge their support. Iris’ launch film has been designed as a call to arms for the industry, an invitation to use its collective creative power to bring about lasting change.

To keep its environmental impact to a minimum, the film was created entirely in-house using stock imagery. As Ben Essen, CSO at Iris, explained: “The launch film is a reminder that our industry creates a lot more than just nice films - we create mass behaviours, many of which are unsustainable. When 8 out of 10 people are telling us to take responsibility for the behaviours we encourage, is it time for us to assess the true impact of our creativity?”

The website will enable people to access resources and pledge support. This includes a white paper written by strategists at Gravity Road and Thinkhouse which aims to help further people’s understanding of the issue at hand and of the means which they have to bring about change. It suggests resetting behaviour on individual, collective and professional levels.

The Purpose Disruptors will also be hosting Virtual Great Reset Gatherings daily from 8th to the 16th July to further inform people and offer them a space to learn more, ask questions and share knowledge.

As Jem Lloyd-Williams, CEO at Mindshare explained: "To tackle the extraordinary issue of Climate change we need cooperation of people, organisations and companies. We need to work together to develop solutions to the manifold problem’s climate change causes.”

The Great Reset is yet another example of the power of creativity under constraint and how, when the industry can cast aside its traditionally held competitive nature, it can use creativity for good. Old ways of operating, of living and working are perhaps not sustainable, for individuals, for businesses and for the planet. The current crisis presents a unique opportunity to carry the behaviours developed under lockdown forwards, to create a new normal that will safeguard our planet’s, and our own, future.

Visit The Great Reset's website to find out more.

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