Sustainable development in both the developed and developing world has the common fundamental themes of advancing economic and social prosperity while protecting and restoring natural systems. While many recent efforts have been undertaken to transfer knowledge from the developed to the developing world to achieve a more sustainable future, indigenous knowledge that often originates in developing nations also can contribute significantly to this global dialogue. Selected case studies are presented to describe important knowledge, methodologies, techniques, principles, and practices for sustainable development emerging from developing countries in two critical challenge areas to sustainability: water and energy. These, with additional analysis and quantification, can be adapted and expanded for transfer throughout the developed and developing world in advancing sustainability. A common theme in all of the case studies presented is the integration of natural processes and material flows into the anthropogenic system. Some of these techniques, originating in rural settings, have recently been adapted for use in cities, which is especially important as the global trend of urban population growth accelerates. Innovations in science and technology, specifically applied to two critical issues of today, water and energy, are expected to fundamentally shift the type and efficiency of energy and materials utilized to advance prosperity while protecting and restoring natural systems.