Modern civilization is enormously complex and has been built on an explosion of knowledge facilitated by advances in IT and information management. The quantities of data held on computer are ballooning and the power of computer processors is doubling every two years.1 The global knowledge economy, facilitated by these computers and networks, will continue its rapid growth. Sharing information at the global level will be important in disseminating methods and technology for sustainable living. Explicit knowledge can flow across borders with ease, but much valuable know-how is complex and specific to the context in which it resides. It is, therefore, also important to support local centres of expertise in order to develop innovative solutions that are insulated from the assumptions and restrictions that come from ‘global group think’.