The aim of this chapter is to introduce the concepts of globalization and sustainable development, indicating the complex and often contested nature of various debates, actions and practices that have occurred in recent years. The significance of some key international agreements and the recent publication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be discussed, as will the criticisms and comments they have stimulated. Sustainable development has emerged through political and environmental struggles, through a business, citizen and governmental engagement with the complexity of contemporary ecological and other problems, and a vast array of perspectives, values and interests that have been applied in seeking to understand and deal with them. The chapter ends with the suggestion that sustainable development is perhaps best understood as a ‘dialogue of values’ – a way of encouraging people to learn, to discover and to evaluate.