The RST asked some of the key sustainability figures to reflect on the developments in their fields: reflecting on the lessons of the past so as to inform strategy and action in the future.


Perspectives on sustainable development

From a 1981 conference for the UK water industry, to helping 17.5 million people gain access to clean water, Kate Whittaker looks at how WaterAid has worked towards a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.

Barbara Frost's picture

Barbara Frost is Chief Executive of WaterAid in the UK.

Jonathon Porritt looks back through the growth of business taking responsibility for sustainability: from 18th-century pioneers building communities for their employees, to today's corporate strategists gradually giving sustainable development a central place at the table.

Jonathon Porritt's picture

Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable...

John Sauven looks through the highs, lows and lessons learnt by Greenpeace, a global network of ordinary people willing to do extraordinary things to protect the environment.

John Sauven's picture

John Sauven is Executive Director of Greenpeace UK

Jonathan Sinclair Wilson looks back to the beginnings of sustainable development's leading publisher, and reflects on the changing role of information publishing today.

Jonathan Sinclair Wilson's picture

Jonathan Sinclair Wilson was Managing Director of Earthscan, the sustainability publisher, for 20 years.

Testing a field water pump

David Okali recalls the events in the 25-year development of NEST - the environment and development NGO operating through a network across Nigeria.

David Okali's picture

David Okali is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NEST.

Human rights are arguably the most powerful and widely-adopted moral language of international politics. Patti Whaley charts the development of the human rights movement and examines the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in practice.

Patti Whaley's picture

Patti Whaley is Director of Resources at Forum for the Future and has 23 years’ experience in charity management.  She has worked as Director of...

Today, many corporate boardrooms and new start-up companies fully understand both the importance and the business potential of sustainability, but it hasn't always been this way, as John Elkington writes.

John Elkington's picture

Founding Partner & Executive Chairman of Volans (2008 to date) also Co-Founder of...

Many business leaders understand well the importance of sustainability, yet much leadership education seems not to. Sara Parkin looks at the needs of leadership for sustainable development.

Sara Parkin's picture

Sara Parkin founded Forum for the Future, along with Jonathon Porritt and Paul Ekins (who is currently Professor of Energy and Environment Policy...

Poor health is only ever recognised when the symptoms start to show - perhaps why health has often been overlooked in sustainable development, as Tony McMichael describes.

Tony McMichael's picture

Tony (AJ) McMichael is Professor Emeritus (Population Health) at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Education for sustainable development has been a core thread, since at least the first Rio conference in 1992. But this won't translate fully into practice without systemic change, as Jane Wilkinson explains.

Jane Wilkinson's picture

Jane Wilkonson is the Masters Course Director and Principal Sustainability Advisor at Forum for the Fugure.

Sara Parkin explores the interwoven themes that make up 'sustainable development' and surveys some of the history and definitions of the term.

Sara Parkin's picture

Sara Parkin founded Forum for the Future, along with Jonathon Porritt and Paul Ekins (who is currently Professor of Energy and Environment Policy...

Earth rising, as seen from the moon

For as long as humans see themselves as the centre of life on earth, they'll not be able to keep that life going. Andrew Dobson explains the need for a cultural revolution to de-center human beings.

Andy Dobson's picture

Andrew Dobson is Professor of Politics at Keele University.

Looking across perspectives, timelines and discussions, we've pulled out some of the common questions raised for sustainable development and some of the different responses.