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May 22nd 2017

Greening the Economy: Lessons from Scandinavia (Coursera)

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How can we live a good life on one planet with over seven billion people? This course will explore greening the economy on four levels – individual, business, city, and nation. We will look at the relationships between these levels and give many practical examples of the complexities and solutions across the levels.

Scandinavia, a pioneering place advancing sustainability and combating climate change, is a unique starting point for learning about greening the economy. We will learn from many initiatives attempted in Scandinavia since the 1970s, which are all potentially helpful and useful for other countries and contexts.

The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University is an international centre of excellence on strategies for sustainable solutions. The IIIEE is ideally suited to understand and explain the interdisciplinary issues in green economies utilising the diverse disciplinary backgrounds of its international staff. The IIIEE has been researching and teaching on sustainability and greener economies since the 1990s and it has extensive international networks connecting with a variety of organizations.



Syllabus


WEEK 1

Introduction: what is a green economy and why is it important?

We start the course by looking at the key issues that a green economy seeks to address and the underlying concepts and definitions of a greener economy. In this module, we will describe problems arising from the interaction of the economy and the environment; we will state some of the aims of greening the economy and look into the multitude of definitions; we will use tools to measure and assess a green economy; and we will discuss concepts and indicators related to the green economy.

Graded: Introduction


WEEK 2

Individual choices

Here in Module 2 we look at the individual level and how individual choices can help or hinder progress towards a green economy. This module offers an increased understanding of patterns and levels of consumption; we will look at the drivers and theories of consumer behaviour and the limitations of working with consumer choice in isolation (e.g. rebound effect); and develop an understanding of how to measure the impact of consumption (e.g. carbon footprint).

Graded: Greener Product

Graded: Individual Choices


WEEK 3

Business strategies

In the third module, we look at the business level, focusing on how companies and organisations choose strategies that can help transitions to a green economy. In this module, the aim is to understand the changes relevant to the business level for a greener economy. You will be presented to some solutions and concepts that companies use to deal with complex problems encountered in their sustainability work. We will discuss the challenges facing companies that want to take a lead in the transition to a greener economy, and reflect on strategies for green business in different contexts.

Graded: Greener Business

Graded: Business Strategies


WEEK 4

Sustainable cities

In Module 4, we look at how planning and designing cities can help achieve a green economy and underpin sustainable development. The aim this week is to understand the role of cities for experimentation, planning, collaboration and providing visions for a greener economy. We will use tools to measure and critically assess green economy indicators at the city level and discuss whether city level policies and actions in Scandinavia can work around the world.

Graded: Greener City

Graded: Sustainable Cities


WEEK 5

National policies

Finally, in the fifth module, we look at how national governments can establish policies to promote green economy across the different levels (individual, business, city, national) discussed in this course. In this module, we discuss how national level policies affect cities, business, and individuals, as well as the challenges for national level policies to influence other levels, including the international sphere. Finally, we will discuss whether national policies from Scandinavia can work in other contexts.

Graded: National Policies


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