The woman who started it all


Widely regarded as the “mother” of sustainable development, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland has been an advocate of public health, political activism and the environment for most of her life.

As an environment minister, a prime minister, and a party leader in her home country of Norway, she gained international recognition as a passionate spokeswoman on key global challenges including human rights, global security issues, sustainable development and the environment.

It was in a 1987 report “Our Common Future” – written when she was chair of the United Nations’ World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), eventually known as the Brundtland Commission – that she developed the broad political concept of sustainable development.