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Building a Sustainable Future with Technology

Explore climate equity, technology, and the relationship between organisations and individuals in building a sustainable future.

508 enrolled on this course

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Building a Sustainable Future with Technology

508 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Understand the impacts of technology on the environment

The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues we face, with technologies playing a huge part in the destruction of our natural environment. We need to take action and move towards more sustainable models for technology.

On this three-week course, you’ll discover critical approaches to technology and sustainability, understanding the role that technologies play within our lives and how it affects our natural environment.

By the end, you’ll learn to view technologies as part of a broader ecosystem of organic life – as tools with life cycles of their own that have a direct impact on our environment.

Explore feminist and decolonial practices

You’ll start by defining sustainability as you explore how community, government, and corporations take different approaches to sustainability.

Next, you’ll unpack exploitation and climate equity as you look to feminist and decolonial practices. Hearing from a variety of experts, you’ll gain a critical lens to explore the problems we face.

Investigate which sustainable practices meet your needs

To help implement sustainability in your everyday life, you’ll delve into different sustainability practices to explore which ones meet your needs.

Next, you’ll consider how you live with technology and experiment with a creative repurposing project of your own.

Explore sustainable investing

Finally, you’ll explore how the tech industry can manage production processes to work towards circular economies. You’ll also explore sustainable investing including within indigenous communities and using alternative materials.

Guided by the experts at UAL’s Creative Computing Institute and across industry, you’ll finish the course with the knowledge of the impacts of technology on the environment and how we can work together for a sustainable future.


  • Week 1

    Approaching technology and sustainability

    • Welcome to the course

      In this introductory activity you’ll be introduced to the experts who will be guiding you through the course as well as having the opportunity to meet other learners and share your thoughts and perspectives.

    • Defining technologies

      During this activity you’ll be looking at definitions of technology as well as some of the broader impacts technologies have on our environment.

    • Defining sustainability

      During this activity you’ll be looking at defining sustainability within the context of the course as well as looking at a variety of approaches.

    • Technologies and ecosystems

      In this activity discover the ways in which technologies intersect with the planets ecosystems.

    • Looking at the impacts

      In the final activity of week 1 we will be looking at the impacts of technologies on both the planet and people.

    • Wrapping up Week 1

      You’ve reached the end of the first week of the course! In this activity, we’ll sum up what you’ve learned, and look ahead to Week 2.

  • Week 2

    Being critical and taking action

    • Current Initiatives

      In the first activity of week 2 we will be looking at current initiatives in place to tackle climate change.

    • Responsibility, accountability, action

      In this activity explore the relationship between responsibility and accountability and how we can take action.

    • Critical Approaches

      In this activity explore a range of different critical approaches to technology that build towards more sustainable futures.

    • Alternative Practices

      In this activity explore a variety of alternative practices for approaching technology and sustainability.

    • Wrapping up week 2

      In this activity read about what you have learnt during week 2 and what you will focus on in the final week of the course.

  • Week 3

    Living differently with technologies

    • Redefining expectations

      In the first activity of week 3 we will be considering how we can redefine our expectations of technologies.

    • Rethinking materials

      In this activity will be re-thinking our relationship to materials, considering waste as a solution and discussing how we can build cultures of repair.

    • The role of economies

      In this activity learn about the role changing our economic systems could play in building towards more sustainable futures.

    • Living with technologies

      in this activity you will take part in your independent learning task, thinking about how you want to live with technologies now and in the future.

    • Final reflections

      In this activity reflect back on the learning of the course and discuss how you will take it forwards.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify a meaningful approach to technology and sustainability
  • Discuss the relationship between technologies and the planet
  • Evaluate the problems present in technology production
  • Reflect on the outcomes and impacts of varying climate agreements
  • Assess a variety of different critical approaches to sustainability
  • Discuss the benefits of moving toward circular and redistributive economies
  • Assess sustainable approaches to waste materials and repair
  • Reflect on our problematic expectations of technology
  • Demonstrate how you can put the learning from the course into practice

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in the impact technologies are having on the planet, and what changes you can make as consumers or creators of technology.

It will be particularly useful for those in the creative industries, architecture and design agencies, the technology sector, small business owners, and students.

Who developed the course?

UAL Creative Computing Institute

The UAL Creative Computing Institute (CCI) offers innovative new courses, research opportunities and a public platform to explore computer science and creative practice.

Feminist Internet

Feminist Internet is a collective of designers, academics and activists that aims to disrupt inequalities in internet products and services by educating and equipping the people who build them and use them. They do this by bringing together technology, intersectional feminism and creative practice to make tools that provide real solutions.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 19 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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