COVID-19 has shown us clearly that the world must commit to a transformative approach that promotes health and wellbeing. Living in the Anthropocene – an epoch defined by human impact on our ecosystems – moves us into unknown territory. The challenge is to find a way of living that aims to meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet. We will require foresight, agility and resilience to be well prepared. The global risks we face are enormous and they are interconnected – yet the opportunity to accelerate change for the better is extraordinary as well. We have models, knowledge and technologies at our disposal that could significantly improve health and wellbeing and create fairer and more sustainable societies – yet they have not been used widely to serve the public purpose and to address inequities.