This chapter sets the context for the collection by raising questions related to Brexit, including the potential for change that it may bring to rural communities. In so doing, it identifies a number of critical issues that are relevant for rural governance: climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and the geo-political instability brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The chapter then presents the central concept of the volume, that of sustainability, before moving on to provide a brief introduction to individual chapters, illustrating how they will contribute towards achieving a sustainable and equitable society.