Sustainable development is arguably the most urgent challenge facing humanity. The fundamental question is: how could we continue to develop in a socially just way within the boundaries of our planet? The aim of this module is to give students the opportunity to acquire a systems perspective on society, and develop their insights into ideas, visions and strategies towards sustainable development.
The module provides a broad overview of the concept of sustainability – its rationale, theory, ethics, evolution, critique, and use in contemporary policy. Students will examine concerns related to population, consumption, pollution, resource use, impacts and implications from a wide range of perspectives. We will get familiar with new ways to measure progress, as well as processes of visioning, goal setting and strategy development with an explicit link to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs). Conceptual points will be illustrated with practical examples, interactive games, micro-exercises and an overarching analytical assignment in which students have to apply the UN SDGs framework in real-life contexts.
The course is especially useful for students interested in global issues, geography, development studies, environmental science, policy, international relations, and economics.