In an ideal world exists a society in which people everywhere live in peace and security, breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat uncontaminated food. They have livelihoods that allow them to enjoy life, raising healthy, contented and educated children. They leave behind them a stock of wealth comprising man-made and environmental assets for the next generation, no less than they inherited ... [Show full abstract] from the previous generation. The real world, however, is far from this ideal. There is a growing concern about the long-term future, the resources of the planet, the environment and high levels of poverty, which are linked with the spread of disease, social unrest, population growth and environmental degradation. Sustainable development has come to prominence, not as a sudden fad nor a silly fashion, but rather to bridge the gap between the ideal and real worlds. This article rediscovers sustainable development by exposing the risks and limitations of the current variable images together with the opportunities they provide in making sustainable development a valid concept.