Introduction and Context: The State of the World



This chapter introduces the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the United Nations Agenda 2030 “Transforming Our World” as the background for exploring the notion of stewardship of sustainability transformations. It describes the world’s sustainability challenges, which range from climate change to ecosystem decline and from energy insecurity to water scarcity, as systemic in nature. The chapter subsequently suggests that the interdependence of the challenges requires a new approach to implementing the Agenda 2030. It emphasizes that a systems view of life could potentially incorporate shifts in perspective from the parts to the whole, from silo thinking to networked collective action, and from fixation on economic growth rates to revisiting the purpose of measurements. This leads to a chapter overview that summarizes the flow of the books argument toward an emerging theory and practice of sustainability transformations.


Sustainable development goals SDG implementation Sustainability challenges Agenda 2030 Stewardship Systems view of life Sustainability transformations Collective leadership Climate change Anthropocene Flourishing world 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Full Member of the Club of RomeCollective Leadership InstitutePotsdamGermany

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