Sustainability is the need to ensure that the components and processes of the natural world are not diminished and continue to provide human populations with ecosystem goods and services as well as maintaining ecosystems in their own right. In this sense, environmental sustainability aims to meet the needs of humans for access to environmental resources for the survival of both current and future generations of humans, and to sustain biodiversity across the globe.
Environmental sustainability is an inherently interdisciplinary concept, with interacting economic, ecological, technological, socio-political, philosophical, governance and legal dimensions. These interacting dimensions are key in both determining the goals of environmental sustainability and in crafting suitable and effective policy responses. In terms of responses, there is a wide range of opportunities to explore where human resourcefulness and strategic thinking can focus on reducing our demands and on maintaining and improving key natural resources of air, water, energy, land and biodiversity.
Global health is concerned with rethinking the meaning of health and wellbeing in the context of globalisation. It is concerned with research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Sustainable development and growth relies on the ability to eliminate persistent and emerging health problems across the globe with a consideration for the wellbeing and health of all people in accordance with the United Nations sustainable development goals.
Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. Efforts to promote social justice include poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.
Distributive justice is concerned with the way in which resources are allocated within society, including patterns of inequality relating to gender, sexuality, ethnicity and race, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty and disadvantage. Global distributive justice engages with issues of patterns of inequality around the world, including those driven or influenced by climate change, urbanisation, and social, cultural or religious traditions and norms.
Technology and Innovation
The technological innovation system is a concept developed within the scientific field of innovation studies which serves to explain the nature and rate of technological change. A Technological Innovation System is a dynamic network of agents interacting in a specific economic/industrial area under a particular institutional infrastructure and involved in the generation, diffusion and utilization of technology. The approach may be applied to at least three levels of analysis: to a technology in the sense of a knowledge-field, to a product or to an artefact, or to a set of related products and artefacts aimed at satisfying a particular (societal) function’. With respect to the latter, the approach has especially proven itself in explaining why and how sustainable (energy) technologies have developed and diffused into a society, or have failed to do so.