How we cope with the accumulating effects of our actions is a major issue for society and requires understanding and political leadership. This was the sentiment of the Sustainability Series talk given by Sir Crispin Tickell – a member of the Board of Directors for Sustainability at ASU – in April 2016. He began by staging The Anthropocene, which he described as a man-made geological epoch that started when fossil fuels began replacing muscle. Now, Tickell said, we need to address climate change on an intellectual level, closing the gap between scientific findings and political will. We need to learn to think differently and – above all – to expect the unexpected. Tickell is a member of the Advisory Council for Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He is the former director of the Policy Foresight Programme for the University of Oxford and former chancellor of the University of Kent.