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Length Length

8 modules, accessible at any time

Effort Effort

4-6 hours per module

Price Price

FREE

Languages Languages

English

Video Transcripts Video Transcripts

English

Prerequisites Prerequisites

None

Requirements Requirements

An internet connection to access course materials

WEALTH
does not equal

WELLBEING

WEALTH
The HISTORY of
economic growth, expansion, and

GLOBALIZATION

The HISTORY of
Putting PEOPLE over PROFIT
A look at the

SHORTCOMINGS OF CAPITALISM

Putting PEOPLE over PROFIT
CHARTING a PATH
to a

SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

CHARTING a PATH

Overview

This course is self-paced – you can enroll immediately and complete the course materials at any time before December 31, 2019.

Our present system of global capitalism is flawed. While it has produced immense wealth and economic growth in nearly all regions of the world, it has also prioritized profits over people and harmful consumption practices over the needs of our planet. Sustainable development must bring about a new world order to replace the vices of global capitalism, ensuring development, human wellbeing, and environmental security. This course presents the U.N.’s Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals as the necessary successor to laissez faire-style capitalism, and emphasizes the urgency of embracing sustainable development objectives to transform our economy into a more reactive, efficient, inclusive, and environmentally-conscious system.

This massive open online course (MOOC) provides an in-depth look at the shortcomings of our current and past global economies, and shows why and how sustainable development has become the universally-prioritized agenda for the future of our world. The topics covered range from market economics to education, gender equality, international trade, financing, and more.

structure

  • Pre-recorded lectures
  • Readings
  • Quizzes
  • Discussion forum

Lead Faculty

  • Faculty Image

    Jeffrey Sachs

    Columbia University

This course is for

Policy professionals who want to understand frameworks for SDG planning

Development practitioners seeking knowledge on goals-based development

Advanced undergraduates and graduate students interested in economics, development, and other key concepts related to the SDGs

Private-sector actors, such as those who work in real estate development, technology, telecommunications, transportation, or energy – whose work can contribute to and redefine urban areas

Questions?

Course logistics and requirements

This course is self-paced. All course components are available now and can be completed at any time that is convenient for the students. Please note that this course is not facilitated by a course team. We encourage students to engage with one another via the discussion forum. Any specific questions can be sent to the SDG Academy team at sdgacademy@unsdsn.org.

Certificates

Learners who successfully complete the course will be eligible to purchase a Verified Certificate signed by the course instructor.

syllabus

Module 1: What is Sustainable Development?

1.1

What is Sustainable Development?

1.2

Why Sustainable Development is Important: Happiness & Wellbeing

1.3

Global Capitalism is a Faustian Bargain: Greed in Return for Prosperity

1.4

We are not Achieving Sustainable Development

1.5

Using Sustainable Development as Our Global Framework

Module 2: What Do Global Markets Do?

2.1

The Traditional Economy

2.2

The Market Economy: Specialization, Division of Labor, Entrepreneurship

2.3

Production Possibility Frontier

2.4

Fair or Unfair: Intra-generational and Intergenerational

2.5

The Malthusian Specter

Module 3: A Brief History of our Faustian Bargain

3.1

Traditional Empires

3.2

The Age of Discovery

3.3

The Industrial Revolution: Population and Production

3.4

The American Century

3.5

The Age of Convergence

Module 4: Capitalism and Injustice

4.1

Power (Colonialism and Slavery, Discrimination, Indigenous Rights)

4.2

Gender

4.3

Class and Inter-generational Privileges

4.4

Skills and Jobs

4.5

The Social Democratic Idea

Module 5: The SDGs: Leaving No One Behind

5.1

Ending Poverty: Skills, Infrastructure, Inclusion, Redistribution

5.2

Universal Access to Education

5.3

Universal Access to Health Care

5.4

Universal Access to Infrastructure

5.5

Innovation Economy (SDG 9)

Module 6: The Tragedy of The Commons

6.1

Growth on a Finite Planet: Is it Inherently Impossible?

6.2

The Three Big Challenges: Climate Change, Biodiversity, Pollution

6.3

The Three Big Transformations: Clean Energy and Industry, Land Use, Smart Cities

6.4

Overcoming Obstacles: Technology, Vested Interests, Corruption, Foresight

6.5

Malthus Revisited

Module 7: From Capitalism to Sustainable Development

7.1

Six Sources of Wellbeing

7.2

Public Provision of Human Needs (Services, Infrastructure, Income Support, Family Time, and Leisure)

7.3

Taming Corporate Greed: Company Law, Unions, Co-Determination

7.4

Limiting Monopoly Power: Public Provision (Health), Public and Open Source (R&D), Antitrust, Limiting Lobbying Power

7.5

Subsidiarity (Local Power, Participation, and Community)

7.6

Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship

Module 8: How Can Cities and Urban Areas be Governed Better to Make them More Sustainable?

8.1

The Two SDGs: Sustainable Development Goals and Social Democratic Governance

8.2

Using Goals to Motivate Social Change (the Moonshot and the SDGs)

8.3

Regional and Global Cooperation for Sustainable Development

8.4

Engaging All Stakeholders

8.5

Financing Sustainable Development: Taxes, Ending Tax Havens, Capturing Value (Land and IP from Government R&D), Development Aid, the Super-Rich

8.6

The Ethics of Sustainable Development: Human Dignity, Universal Destination of Goods, Stewardship of the Planet, Dialogue and Diversity, Cultivation of Virtues, Peace