Age of Sustainable Development online course by Columbia University

Age of Sustainable Development online course


The Age of Sustainable Development gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development - that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

About the course

This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development, drawing on the most recent developments in the social, policy, and physical sciences. Sustainable development is the most urgent challenge facing humanity. The fundamental question is how the world economy can continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. The course describes the complex interactions between the world economy and the Earth's physical environment.

Course Syllabus

Lecture 1: What is Sustainable Development?

Lecture 2: Economic Development - How we measure it, how it varies around the world

Lecture 3: A Short History of Economic Development

Lecture 4: Why Did Some Countries Advance While Others Remained in Poverty?

Lecture 5: The MDGs and the End of Extreme Poverty

Lecture 6: Growth within Planetary Boundaries

Lecture 7: Human Rights and Gender Equality

Lecture 8: Education

Lecture 9: Universal Health Coverage

Lecture 10: Sustainable Food Supply and the End of Hunger

Lecture 11: Sustainable Cities

Lecture 12: Curbing Climate Change

Lecture 13: Saving Biodiversity

Lecture 14: The Sustainable Development Goals


The course is open to all interested students.

Course Sessions

September 9, 2014 - December 5, 2014

For further information, click here.

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