The age of sustainable development
Sr Peta Anne Molloy (Qld) recently completed an online course, The Age of Sustainable Development. Earth Institute Director, Jeffrey Sachs launched this free, global on-line course earlier this year.
“ This course offered an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development,” said Peta Anne . “ It drew on the most recent developments in the social policy, and physical sciences.”
Each week Peta Anne received five online videos, each 15-25 minutes, relating to the topic for that week. In addition, Jeffrey Sachs supplied comprehensive notes and links to a reading list. There was a weekly quiz and a final multiple choice open book exam.
“I found the course very interesting. It broadened my understanding of the challenges facing our Earth and its peoples. I learnt that the goals expressed in the MDGs need to be re-examined and extended through the Sustainable Development Goals so that the world economy can continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.”
The course described the complex interactions between the world economy and the Earth’s physical environment. Peta Anne was particularly interested in:
- why some countries did not access the economic benefits of the Industrial Revolution;
- the concept of Planetary Boundaries – this could be a useful context in considering Earth’s future – many people are ‘climate change weary’;
- what has been achieved through the MDG’s, for example, the work done in the Millennium Villages.
This course will be offered again later in 2014. It is recommended to teachers, students, justice groups and all interested people.
More information is available at https://www.coursera.org/course/susdev