This commentary cannot pretend to synthesise a conference such as this: the quantity and range of the papers defy summary. So, the following comments touch on some of the themes that recur in ecological economics and which were evident at ISEE2000. My perspective is one of tangential engagement with ecological economics since its formal inception a little over a decade ago, and from my main preoccupations with policy and institutional dimensions of sustainability, natural resource management, and environmental history. I will touch on three areas relevant to an academic perspective: research directions; connections with policy; and education. The coverage of these is limited to just a few aspects of each that strike me as interesting or important.