Teachers and educators have a responsibility for encouraging their pupils to consider the human and environmental implications of the products of design and technological educational activity. The appropriate technology approach, which has people and the environment on which we all depend for our survival - at its centre, has much to contribute to this debate. Applying the criteria of `appropriateness' to technology - for example using renewable sources of energy, using materials which are environmentally sound, providing means of meeting human needs, rather than creating wants - can provide educational challenges which bring the concept of sustainable development into the classroom. It is hard to exaggerate the urgency of education to take account of this crucial issue. Within this context, this paper will also explore related issues, such as those multiculturalism and gender in a global context, and will introduce classroom strategies and materials for dealing with such issues. It is in the interests of all of us that we should create a future that works for all inhabitants of the planet.