The idea of sustainability has been around for a while and whilst many businesses are starting to realise the economic, social and environmental benefits of operating much more sustainably, we now need to go beyond incremental change. Only by influencing the nature of the systems in which they operate can businesses create a context in which they can innovate for long-term success.
Together with migration, urbanisation, climate change and population growth, ageing is a transformative phenomenon affecting our world. One of the effects of rapid population ageing across the world is that we are entering the era of the 'age bulge', when the older population increases in size relative to younger people.
People's daily experiences and concerns differ enormously around the world. While a farmer in Angola prays for a good harvest, a manager in Greece worries about losing her job. And while a mother in Egypt comes to terms with life in a conflict zone, a doctor in Denmark struggles with work-related stress.
Madagascar has many different faces. There's the wealth of biodiversity and endemic species such as the famous lemurs, but then there is also the extreme poverty and political instability. Before I arrived on my volunteering placement, I didn't really know what to expect; I'd never been out of Europe before so everything was a new experience.
"I didn't know that there were more over 65-year-olds than under five-year-olds... But to hear that the fastest cohort of these over-65s is in the developing countries is very telling". These words came from the Kenyan co-chair of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that I attended this week to discuss the post-2015 development framework.
Over the past five years, more and more of my work is with developers who are developing new neighbourhoods or updating existing areas. As a sustainability consultant, I look for ways we can take advantage of large scale development to transform the efficiency of our energy, water, waste and transport systems. Neighbourhood development often has benefits over individual sustainable buildings.
There are wider, less obvious dangers, which are threatening both the tiger and the islanders. Erosion and siltation are clogging the rivers, leading to growing salinity of the area's soils as the flow of freshwater is reduced - a problem compounded by rising sea levels as the effects of climate change kick in.
The concept of development, through which governments view social policy in environments where capitalism is the mode of social organization, may be up for a major rethink, globally. This year, policy signals at agenda-setting global convening and major publications seem to be heralding new directions.
I've been involved in engineering for 16 years through school, university and now as an Associate at Arup. This is an important part of my life, and is especially exciting as we enter what the BBC calls engineering's golden age. I can now see the various strands of my personal interests and professional life starting to coalesce: being an engineer, being a woman, being passionate about design and wanting to make things better.
The opening of the United Nations General Assembly gathering in New York each September is celebrated with as much verve by multilateralist groupies as the start of each autumn's new season of the X Factor is by fans of pop culture. Both 'shows' are filled with stars at various points on the azimuth, giving grandstanding performances that appeal to voters. But there the analogy ends.