A series of virtual workshops to explore how we build a sustainable society post-crisis.

Within weeks, the global COVID-19 crisis completely transformed how we operate as a society; everything from how we shop, eat, travel, socialise and work was flipped from the usual.

Whilst we still don't know what the future will look like on the other side of COVID-19, the crisis presented a unique opportunity for communities and businesses to come together to build a fairer, more sustainable society as we recover.

Hubbub launched a series of virtual workshops that brought together forward-thinking businesses, thought leaders and key stakeholders to examine the different responses to the fast-changing world. We explored ways that communities, businesses and government could keep social and environmental issues are at the core of the COVID-19 recovery. 

Curious about what we discovered? Check out the topics each workshop covered below, and dip into the blogs and podcasts that share all the insights, discussions and learnings that came from them.

Workshop 1: What will a purpose-driven business look like post Covid? 

In a matter of weeks the COVID-19 fundamentally changed the way that businesses operate, highlighted the inequality in our society and shone a spotlight on key workers who are essential to keep our society functioning.

For a purpose-driven business, the old rules no longer apply. Businesses are having to adapt their CSR strategies and are pivoting towards more socially-minded initiatives that help the most vulnerable; they are reconsidering the benefit their businesses can offer to society; and they are donating important supplies to key workers.

This workshop seeked to answer:

  • How have businesses responded positively to the crisis?
  • How are businesses starting to plan for life post-crisis, and how will the emphasis change?
  • How can businesses collaborate to amplify the impact of their activities?


LISTEN TO THE HUBBUB explores podcast

Workshop 2: How will Covid change the way we shop? 

The already-struggling high street has suffered a huge blow. Non-essential shops, cafes and restaurants have closed, social-distancing measures are in place at supermarkets and the public have been forced to shop more online – even those who had never considered it before.

Household budgets have been severely affected, many people are spending less and being more prudent with their money.

This workshop sought to answer:

  • Why are high streets important and what could the high street of the future look like?
  • What changes are likely to stick and what are the implications (positive or negative)?
  • What is the role of businesses, communities and government to shape a more relevant high street?

Read the insights from WORKSHOP 2

Workshop 3: How will Covid change our relationship to food? 

The COVID-19 crisis has already transformed how we buy and consume food. With restrictions on certain foods, people are becoming more resourceful and seeking out advice on how to make the most of their food including tips on storing, freezing and cooking.

There's been a huge surge in home delivery and an increased interest in growing your own fruit and veg and buying locally.

Hubbub is conducting public polling on the shifting attitudes to food, the results of which will be presented at this workshop.

This workshop sought to answer:

  • Where does the public currently feel most vulnerable/exposed in terms of food security and knowledge?
  • What types of campaigns and communications do people need – both in terms of theme and medium?
  • What types of programmes and infrastructure could make communities more resilient around food?

Read the insights from workshop 3


Workshop 4: How will Covid change how we get around? 

The crisis is likely to have a long-term impact on how we travel. Aviation and tourism were among the industries hardest hit, while air quality improved in many cities as cars stay at home. Businesses and employees were forced to adopt remote working and embrace the potential of virtual meetings, brainstorms and conferences.

During the height of lockdown where non-essential travel was banned and we were allowed out once a day for exercise, the importance of green space on mental and physical wellbeing became even more apparent. 

This workshop sought to answer:

  • How will the crisis change working practices? What are the opportunities for continuing with some remote working post crisis, with subsequent impacts on air quality, carbon emissions and wellbeing?
  • What are the opportunities to continue to promote low carbon travel?
  • Has the crisis changed how we as a society value nature and urban green spaces?


 Workshop 5: How does this change how we communicate environmental issues? 

Food waste is now a commonplace topic of conversation as households seek to make the most of what they buy; airplane and car travel has dropped dramatically. More people are gardening, appreciating nature and enjoying carbon-free travel such as walking or cycling.

But this is no time for environmental triumphalism. Households will be under enormous financial pressure when the crisis is over and society will need to be rebuilt and restructured. How can this be done in a way that sensitively takes environmental considerations into account? 

This workshop sought to answer:

  • How do we talk about sustainability after this – what tone and language is appropriate? What’s the right timing for talking about environmental issues?
  • What can we learn from this crisis that can be applied in the future?
  • How can communities and businesses collaborate to ensure that social and environmental issues are at the core of the COVID-19 recovery.

Read the insights from workshop 5

Workshop 6: How has Covid changed what we want and need from our homes? 

During lockdown most of us spent more time at home than ever before. The home has become an office, a school, a gym, a playground, a cinema and much more. Bills went up as we’ve been using more energy and water, and local authorities have reported household waste increasing. Internet connectivity has become even more important than before, and we’ve been spending more time in the garden – or wishing we had one. Some have spent lockdown improving their homes while many others have been busy worrying about how they will make their next rent or mortgage payment. The last three months have forced many of us to re-evaluate what we want from our homes and how we interact with them. 

This workshop sought to answer:

  • What are the positive behaviours at home experienced during lockdown which will help households reduce their environmental impact in the long term?
  • If homes are the new office space, who is responsible for their carbon emissions and are they likely to rise?
  • How can struggling households be supported to cope better with the difficult path that lies ahead, for example helping them to reduce their bills?


To stay informed of other developments, collaborations and opportunities at Hubbub, please sign up for our business e-bulletin.