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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsWelcome to achieving sustainable development. My name is Martina Hennessy and I'm a medical doctor and researcher at Trinity College Dublin. Over the next four weeks, our team of researchers from Trinity College Dublin and collaborators from the Trinity International Development Initiative will guide you on a journey to explore sustainable development using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals a universal UN Framework for Global Progress. What does it mean to achieve sustainable development? What are the challenges? What does impact look like? And how do we measure it?

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsWe will examine several of the 17 sustainable development goals as well as the cross-cutting themes that underpin them, such as achieving gender equality, sustaining our environment, and harnessing technology for the collective good of all of us. Through case studies, we will explore the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals on peacekeepers in Colombia, women seeking employment in Uganda, communities in Ireland and India. You will think critically about the goals and about sustainable development. You will consider development from a range of perspectives-- through the eyes of researchers; in health, economics, engineering, and peace studies; and importantly, through the eyes of people impacted by the process of development around the world. You will reflect on your role in achieving sustainable development.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsIn week one, you will first be introduced to the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, and then you will examine goal 16, which focuses on achieving peace. The 16th goal is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, to provide access for justice to all, and to build effective and accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. This course is for anyone interested in the future of our world and how we can improve it. Together, we will discuss how to make the SDGs a reality. Now let's get started.

Welcome to the first week!

Welcome to the first week of this four week course on Achieving Sustainable Development!

As Martina has talked about in her video, this course will look at three main areas related to sustainable development:

  • What does it mean to achieve sustainable development?
  • What is the impact of sustainable development and how do we measure it?
  • What are the challenges to achieving sustainable development?

Throughout these four weeks you will be guided by educators from Trinity College Dublin by looking at case studies that challenge the sustainable development goals. For example:

A table of five sustainable development goals (SDGs) that we will be looking at in the course, SDG 16 peace, justice and strong institutions, SDG 6 clean water and sanitation, SDG 11 sustainable cities and communities, SDG 3  good health and wellbeing, and SDG 5 gender equality.

We will explore how these key themes are intertwined and how they relate to the question of achieving sustainable development.

The five sustainable development goals we will be looking at in the course, intertwined. These are SDG 16 peace, justice and strong institutions, SDG 6 clean water and sanitation, SDG 11 sustainable cities and communities, SDG 3  good health and wellbeing, and SDG 5 gender equality.

We will be looking at these themes across the four weeks. Then, in Week 4, we will look at the impact of sustainable development projects, and how we can measure it. By examining the Inspiring Women project in Uganda, we will explore the ways in which we know that a difference was made.

At the end of this course you will have a greater understanding of the different complex challenges in development, and the various ways that we can work to achieve sustainable development for our world.

Educators will be guiding you through this course from the disciplines of Ecumenics, Engineering, Medicine and Economics at Trinity College Dublin. These educators collaborate on the Trinity International Development Initiative, a college-wide initiative aiming to coordinate and promote research, teaching and outreach on subjects related to international development. Four educators will lead each week, and will be joined by other experts to explore what it means to achieve sustainable development.

Find out more about your lead educators. Follow them by clicking on their profile and clicking on the follow square.

Prof Martina Hennessy
I am an Associate Professor in Medical Education at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at St. James’ Hospital in Dublin. I’m also the Lead Academic on the NOURISH Project.
Dr Martina Hennessy
Prof Gillian Wylie
I am an Assistant Professor in International Peace Studies at Trinity College Dublin, teaching on gender issues in war and peace and civil society in peacebuilding. I also research issues around human trafficking and forced migration.
Professor Gillian Wylie
Prof Carol Newman
I am a Professor in Economics at the Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin and Chair of the Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI).
Dr Carol Newman
Prof Laurence Gill
I am a Professor in Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. My research interests involve studying the fate and transport of both air and water-borne pollutants in the natural & built environment.
Professor Laurence Gill

We will also be joined by Carolyn Neunuebel, Dr Mairead Finn and Sarah Glavey who will be answering your queries.

Dr Silvia Gallagher will be helping you with any technical queries and comments.

Coming up

This week Carol Newman, from the Department of Economics, will talk us through what the sustainable development goals are, and what challenges face us to achieve these.

Gillian Wylie, from the Irish School of Ecumenics will then take up the reigns and explore the sustainable development goal of peace, justice and strong institutions.


Now that we have introduced ourselves, we would like you to introduce yourself to your fellow learners.

  • Click on the comment section below and write where you are from in the world, and share why you are taking this course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Achieving Sustainable Development

Trinity College Dublin