The world aspires to sustainable healthy living for all. This ambition is challenged by accelerating global change, fuelled directly by entrenched patterns of land and water use and loss of biodiversity, combined with rising consumption and ongoing population growth. We can and must improve levels of agricultural productivity to feed the world. At the same time, the hope of a continuing ‘green revolution’ as future salvation focussed on a few mainstream crops seems increasingly unlikely without new land and water ethics, economics, and political and financial systems that value social and natural capital as much as present systems focus on financial goals. We are at a global turning point, comparable to that when slavery was abolished. Plant diversity has never been more important than now to help with solutions towards sustainable livelihoods. This presentation will touch upon global plant diversity patterns, ongoing scientific discovery, and strategies that have helped and will help towards humans living with and sustainably using biodiversity.