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

Nick Robins looks at the approaches for sustainable finance and assesses how effective these efforts have been

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Nick Robins joined HSBC in late 2007 to launch and direct its newly-established Climate Change Centre of Excellence, whose aim is to analyse and...

Malcolm McIntosh surveys the development and impacts of the Global Compact - a set of principles for sustainable development adopted by big business and the United Nations.

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Dr Malcolm McIntosh FRSA is Professor and Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Griffith University in Queensland,...

Bjorn Stigson charts the development of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development from its origins around the 1992 Earth Summit through to its role today as a global network of businesses working torwards sustainable development.

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Bjorn Stigson, former president of the WBCSD and visiting professor at the Gothenburg School of Business, has extensive experience in...

Building bridges, informing policy with research, and finding ways to amplify hushed voices: Camilla Toulmin walks through the journey of IIED, spanning four decades and the modern environment movement.

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Camilla Toulmin is Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development based in London (IIED).

Vitae Civilis – the Institute for Development, Environment and Peace, in Brazil – was set up in 1989, following the Bruntland Report. Its mission is to support communities to build sustainable societies, as Rubens Born describes.

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Rubens builds powerful networks and coalitions of civil society organizations addressing major issues of environmental protection and sustainable...

If you want to do something positive for sustainable development, put the scaremongering to one side. Soli Townsend shares her insights about communications for sustainable development.

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Solitaire Townsend co-founded Futerra, the leading sustainable development communications agency, working with big brands, charities and...

Inspired by the potential of ordinary people, Fair Trade has gone from being a lonely notion to a global reality. Harriet Lamb looks at how it got there, and what should happen next.

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Harriet Lamb is Chief Executive of Fairtrade International.

Global fisheries are perhaps the biggest sustainable challenge after climate change: the world wants to have its fish and eat it. But Rupert Howes looks at how, by engaging the whole supply chain, significant efforts are being made towards sustainable fisheries.

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Rupert Howes is Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council.

The Green Belt Movement won the Nobel Peace Prize for its founder, Wangari Maathai. Francesca de Gasparis looks at how the movement has developed.

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Francesca ran the Europe office of the Green Belt Movement (GBM) since its inception in 2005 after GBM founder Wangari Maathai was awarded the...

Open-air voting in Switzerland

Effective sustainable development requires effective democracy, but can democracy in practice move fast enough for the challenges we now face? Halina Ward explores the challenges of democracy and outlines a road map for the future.

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From April 2009-May 2013 Halina Ward was Director of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development (FDSD).

Chandran Nair looks at progress made towards sustainable consumption, and finds more to lament than to celebrate...

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Chandran Nair is the Founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT), an independent social venture think tank dedicated to advancing...

Tim Smit describes the genesis of the Eden Project in a Cornish garden, the nail-biting challenges of redeveloping a big hole in the ground, and what has become one of the most well-known mining regeneration projects in the world.

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Sir Tim Smit KBE is Executive Chairman, Eden Regeneration Ltd and Founding Director of the Award winning Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall...


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.