... from the 12th floor of Centre Point on Friday afternoon was only one of the pleasures afforded those of us lucky enough to be at the latest meeting of HEFCE's sustainable development steering group. This was a workshop rather than a normal committee meeting – and much the better for it. I can only hope that it was as useful to the Council as it was stimulating. I obviously speak personally , but feel it is a sentiment shared by others who were there. This is a forum that brings together HEFCE officers, vice chancellors, estates directors, the NUS, members of university Councils, academics, the business sector, government, and NGOs. The focus was how to renew HEFCE's current SD strategy (running from 2005 – 2015). The structure and formal of the day helped us release and share creative ideas. It was certainly good to hear from the Council of its own determination to renew the strategy and give it greater bite, and to work with the sector to help institutions to do what universities are well (and perhaps still uniquely) placed to do – to help society decide how to evolve when faced with existential challenges.