The future of sustainability: Deep transformation or shallow transition?

In late 2020, Forum identified four trajectories emerging from the disruption created by COVID-19. 15 months on, where are we now? How is the world responding to an unprecedented pandemic that continues to impact the systems we rely on? What might come next and what practical solutions are needed to tackle our intensifying social justice and environmental crises? 

Here, Forum’s CEO, Dr Sally Uren revisits the Compete and Retreat, Discipline, Transform and Unsettled trajectories. With the clock rapidly ticking towards 2030, Sally argues that there is a growing need for us all to embrace immense, ongoing disruption and substantially up our game if we’re to transform the way we live and work at the scale and pace needed.

These insights kick off Part Three of Forum’s ongoing Future of Sustainability: Looking Back to Go Forward series, which is exploring what the past can teach us about the future, the extent to which the world is responding to today’s challenges, and what it all means going forward. 

Read on

Rising to meet new tides of change – by building our systems change practice

What is system change, how does it happen? Where do we see it occurring, and why do we need it urgently? In this latest piece from our ongoing Future of Sustainability series, Dr Anna Birney, Forum’s Director of the School of Systems Change and Jasmine Castledine, Operations & Development Designer at the School, demystify the concept of ‘system change’.

Read on

Elsewhere in our Future of Sustainability series...

Watch our video snapshot of what we’ve heard so far and join us as we take on some of the biggest questions proliferating across the movement: from a deep dive into what we are learning about system change, to what will it take to deliver a ‘just transition’, the need to transform food systems to solve for global challenges, and what new alternative economic models might be emerging from the niche.

Join us to explore all this and more on the Futures Centre

With thanks to our partners
Looking Back to Go Forward was made possible thanks to the generous support from our partners: 3M, Bupa, Burberry, Capgemini, CTPA, GSK Consumer Healthcare, Laudes Foundation, M&S, Olam Food Ingredients, Target, and in particular our headline partner, SC Johnson.

School of System Change

Applications now open for Basecamp Europe 2022

Would you like to join an international network of inspiring changemakers? Starting in May, the School will welcome a new cohort of change leaders to our Basecamp Europe 2022 online learning programme. Join us to learn the skills and methodologies we use with businesses and civil society to tackle real-world, complex sustainability challenges. Apply today.
Investors in Change 2022: learn to reduce risk and drive innovation 

If you are a funder in philanthropy, impact investment or the public sector, join our five-week module on systems change from Investors in Change to learn how to navigate complex challenges. Enroll from February for the Understanding Systems module starting in April for US EST/GMT/CET times and in June for US PST/EST times. Express your interest.

With a narrow window for innovation, will our food systems transform or unravel? 

In this special edition of the Futuring Podcast for the Future of Sustainability series, Forum’s Associate Directors for Sustainable Nutrition, Lesley Mitchell, and for Sustainable Value Chains and Livelihoods, Charlene Collison, discuss the past, present and future of food, and why food systems transformation could be the great unlock to tackling the challenges of our time. Among many other themes, the podcast considers the time-bound opportunity we have, brought by the disruption of COVID-19, not just to ‘fix’ the brittle nature of the supply chains that see our food from farm to fork, crop to cup, but to fundamentally reimagine them to be fit for a just and regenerative future. 

Listen to the podcast

Can current ESG investments address the climate crisis?  

While environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration in Asia was still in its relative infancy two years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased ESG investments. Forum's Senior Strategists Cynthia Morel and Madhumitha Ardhanari demonstrate through the protein system that while the push for ESG metrics is a step in the right direction, it falls short of enabling the deep transformations needed to build a just and resilient future.

Read on
Jobs at Forum

We're hiring...

We use Applied as part of our recruitment process as Forum wholeheartedly supports the principle of equal opportunities in employment. We promote and support equality, diversity and inclusion both in our own workplace and through our work with our partners and the wider public. You can also subscribe to Forum job alerts. 


15-17 February, 2022 
GreenBiz 22


Join us at GreenBiz 22, the premier annual event for sustainable business leaders, to convene with more than 1,500 professionals in Scottsdale, AZ, February 15-17.

Forum’s CEO Dr Sally Uren will be hosting a breakout session on equipping business leaders to create a just and regenerative future. Learn more and get 15% off your All-Access Pass with GB22PARTNER
8-9 March, 2022 
edie Sustainability Leaders Forum 2022

Forum’s Chief Executive, Dr. Sally Uren, will be chairing a workshop at the 12th annual edie Sustainability Leaders Forum on 8 March. Entitled ‘People, Partnerships & Collaboration’ the workshop will address how we establish meaningful partnerships to drive systemic change. The event will be in-person in London and streamed online. Find out more.

In other news 

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