In the context of IUPAC’s 2019 centenary celebration in Paris, Peter Mahaffy and Steven Matlin look back on how the world has changed over IUPAC’s first one hundred years, and then look forward to the complex and rapid ways in which society and the environment are changing as we enter IUPAC’s second century. In this story*, they discuss why systems thinking will be increasingly important to chemistry and describe the IUPAC Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education (STICE) project, which sets out a framework to reorient chemistry education to more meaningfully equip students and the public to address emerging global challenges.

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*This IUPAC100 Story is reprinted from L’ Actualité Chimique, (N° 446, pp. 47-49 (Dec 2019)), the journal of the French Chemical Society. In 2019, l’AC also run a special issue in July ‘Let’s create the future of Chemistry‘ and to celebrate the IUPAC Congress held in Paris.