In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, societies have become less resilient with respect to water, food and energy resources. If present trends continue, it is unlikely that increasingly overused ecosystems subject to deterioration and depletion will be able to meet global water, food and energy needs. Current academic thinking is that scarcity, pollution, mismanagement and misallocation of natural resources will impact every sector on which humankind depends for survival. In a globalized economy with increasingly free movement of commodities and financial and human capital, a poor understanding of the most pressing issues and their interconnectedness and interdependences will cause irreparable damage to the Earth and its billions of people: a clear case of fait accompli. The presentation will discuss the challenging context for global development and the understanding that is necessary to manage the interdependencies between the various sectors and their global impact. Aspects like comprehensive planning and policy implementation, institutional resilience, partnerships across economic sectors, and innovation in development are important, but so are politics and leadership, to sustainably manage resources in the wake of population growth and climate change.