Undeniably, the most urgent questions to take centre-stage since the first edition of Debates (2013) are those around sustainability. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic only adds to this urgency. In Part 1, contributors therefore make unambiguous arguments for global, local and democratic action focusing on ecological, economic and social imperatives. The pandemic and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrations also make it more likely that people and governments will consider alternatives to a return to ‘business as usual’, so that radical options may well be given serious deliberation. If present action is vital for a future of any kind, nonetheless, in Part 2 authors look backwards for a moment, revisiting ideas from the past as a means to reconsider future actions. Through a series of genealogical somersaults, they recommend ways in which to reconfigure neglected or lost concepts and educational approaches, applying them in helpful ways to understand current blockages and lacunae.