While we in Australia have higher living standards than ever before, there are significant challenges for us to overcome this century and wherever there are significant challenges there are significant opportunities. For our HSC students in 2016 there is a high probability that over the course of their professional life they will be contributing to the solutions towards a more sustainable planet. Who doesn’t want to work on exciting projects to save the the planet?

This episode of Foreign Correspondent (December 1st 2015) crosses the globe looking at the different ways nations and communities are turning these challenges into opportunities as well as providing some frightening evidence of the changes we are already seeing such as the suburban Miami streets that are already experiencing regular flooding due to rising sea levels.

From Costa Rica’s pledge to be Carbon Neutral by 2020, the solar panels being deployed in Kenya to bring electricity to those who have never had electricity to the Australian entrepreneur dominating the Solar industry in California there are opportunities galore if we are willing to go after them.

I was shocked that in Miami the high tides leave areas of the city flooded and by 2100 the sea levels in Florida are expected to rise 1.5 metres. How will we solve this problem around the globe? What opportunities does this present for Australia? What are the start up companies that will contribute to the solution?

In my opinion this episode of Foreign Correspondent should be compulsory viewing for all Year 12 students across the country where they should be asked a question “How will you contribute to solving earth’s problems in your life time?”

Over the summer break, I urge all students to watch this and think about what path they would like to create post university to take advantage of the business, science, leadership, management consulting, engineering and every other opportunity created from the challenges we face. These problems aren’t for “other people to solve”, we need all hands on deck to be contributing to the solution.

We have well and truly entered the age of ideas and innovation and the HSC is the opportunity for our students to learn how to think creatively to solve problems. This is the skill that all industries will seek this century and now is the time to develop the skills.

How to save the world