Chapter 1: Responding to the grand challenge of our time
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This chapter engages with the grand challenge of our time: how to secure the social foundation for people, while staying within planetary boundaries. The convergence of crises that we face as a global society emphasises the importance of discussing the role of the market actors: businesses, investors, consumers and the public sector in its many roles as market actor. In spite of all the business initiatives using a sustainability language, status quo remains very much unchanged: ‘business as usual’ continues, and is a very certain path towards a very uncertain future. After outlining and discussing the grand challenge of our time, and the significance of market actors in this context, the chapter canvasses fragmented and conflicted law and policy approaches to seeking to stimulate market actors to contribute to resolving this challenge – to contribute to sustainability. The chapter concludes with reflections on the potential for achieving policy coherence for sustainability.

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