Nowadays there is a lot of talk about environmental sustainability, yet it has come to mean different things in different contexts. Although defining sustainability is complicated, understanding it is crucial in helping us solve urgent global issues. The newly emerging field of ‘sustainability science’ has identified a set of skills, critical to analysing and solving sustainability problems.
In the MOOC Becoming an Agent of Sustainable Change, we will introduce you to these essential skills in an applied and interactive way. Through assignments, real-world inspirational cases of sustainability leaders, self-reflection and discussions with fellow learners, you will sharpen and personalise your skills. It will empower you to start your journey as an agent of sustainable change.
Personal sustainability project
As the course progresses, you will be able to directly set off sustainable development by applying these newly acquired skills to a real-world problem in your own living environment. You will choose a project of personal relevance to you, which can be any sustainability issue - big or small – that you wish to effect and change! For example:
- start a weekly community to limit food waste or recycle
- promote a plant rich diet by raising awareness at your work, or
- set up a project for renewable energy and insulation in your neighbourhood.
It’s up to you!
So, are you eager to see a solution to the complex issues our world faces? Sustainable development can happen today, if you it want to. Join the growing force of environmental gamechangers and pick up the sustainability challenges you see near you. Take the lead, enrol now!
What you'll learn
- Tools to understand the concept of sustainability
- To define problems related to sustainability, identifying the direct and indirect causes and effects
- To reflect on the use of sustainability by different actors in society
- To develop essential skills to achieve sustainable change
- To directly apply these skills to a sustainability issue in your own environment
Module 1: Dissecting sustainability
Here you will be introduced to the concept of sustainability and its uses within society. We will also explain the sustainability competencies which are your tools for this MOOC.
Module 2: Understanding Complexity
You will now define problems related to sustainability, identifying the direct and indirect causes and effects. This will be done at different scales, from the political arena, to your community, in order to illustrate how complicated these issues can be. Systems thinking tools shall then be explained as a way of tackling this complexity.
Module 3: Challenging Norms and Values
There are many different cultural understandings of sustainability, and our personal values influence our views and behaviours. You will learn to recognize these differences and biases and how these can influence your understanding.
Module 4: Collaboration for Sustainable Change
In this module, you will see how communication can bring different worldviews together to solve problems related to sustainability.
Module 5: Thinking about the Future
You will now look to the future; how do you envision it? Using forecasting, back casting and scenario development, you will learn about the tools that will help make that future a reality.
Module 6: Making your plan work
Now it’s time to create an action plan for your personal project. You will identify the limitations of action taking and the feasibility of tackling your problem.
Module 7: Wrapping up: Being an Agent of Sustainable Change
This module is about reflecting upon the competencies and understanding how they can help achieve sustainable change. You will also look at how you have integrated them into their personal project.