The future of the Earth and its global population holds significant challenges, particularly with respect to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Indeed, in 2020 we experienced a taste of many of the impacts to come, such as large-scale bushfire events and disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Engaging people with science and tackling misinformation will be a key part of findings solutions to the challenges ahead. In this presentation I will discuss approaches to engagement with policy-makers, industry and the general public, including increasing needs for co-design, translation, communication and interpretation of science to tackle complex problems. I will give examples of how inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches can support robust decision-making and will discuss the importance of increased diversity and equity in STEMM to bring novel solutions for addressing future challenges.