Last month Professor Jeffrey Sachs, renowned economist and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, stopped by GW's Elliott School of International Affairs to discuss the future research agenda for sustainable development. Sachs spoke extensively about what exactly sustainable development means, and how "dangerously off-course" he considers the world to be.

His core theme: that there are no easy answers to be had, and hard decisions lie ahead.

Sachs closed by presenting twelve "Grand Challenges" for a sustainable future, the twelve issues he sees as absolutely essential to moving this planet forward. Explore the interactive video below to hear what Sachs thinks the big challenges ahead are.

Sachs closed by presenting twelve "Grand Challenges" for a sustainable future, the twelve issues he sees as absolutely essential to moving this planet forward. Explore the interactive video below to hear what Sachs thinks the big challenges ahead are.

Challenge 1: Identifying Boundaries to Economic Growth

Challenge 2: Identifying Pathways for the World's Toughest Regions

Challenge 3: Securing Minority and Gender Rights

Challenge 4: Ensuring Proper Childhood Development

Challenge 5: Creating Affordable Healthcare Systems

Challenge 6: Providing Low Carbon Energy for All

Challenge 7: Establishing Sustainable Smallholder Agriculture

Challenge 8: Protecting Major Ecosystems Under Stress

Challenge 9: Developing a Toolkit for Urban Sustainability

Challenge 10: Developing Sustainable Mining and Land Use Policies

Challenge 11: Designing Equitable Standards for the Global Commons

Challenge 12: Redefining Corporate Responsibility and Governance

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