The challenges we face, in our local and national governments, at COP27 and in 21st century society, are created by people. Driven by a colonialist, competition-driven narrative of endless growth and individualism, by a mistaken interpretation of ‘survival of the fittest’, an undercurrent of ego and fear. To overcome this, ultimately we need our culture to grow up. Our leaders need to seek the courage and creativity to recognise that we are a global community, and we can only get out of this mess by working together.