• Deakin University

Global Challenges, Local Communities: the Arts of Changing the World

Drive change within local communities by tackling global challenges with newfound critical problem-solving strategies.

Group of people wearing green holding up a globe made of recycled plastic

Global Challenges, Local Communities: the Arts of Changing the World

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Become an innovative change-maker for your community

Resolving complex issues can feel daunting when facing them on a global scale. But often the most impactful way to handle such challenges begins within our local communities.

On this three-week course from Deakin University, discover how you can be a catalyst for change right where you are.

Explore practical strategies and gain valuable insights to address pressing global issues at the grassroots level.

Utilise systems thinking to organise local change

At the start of this course, learn more about global challenges affecting local communities, from climate change to socioeconomic inequality.

Gain the tools to identify the most pressing problems impacting your organisation or community and respond with innovative strategies. Using holistic approaches to problem-solving, you’ll drive agency and inspire collaborative action towards sustainable solutions.

Empower advocacy and collaborative action to create social and environmental change

In three weeks, you’ll learn to complete organisational analyses and apply collaborative techniques to build (inter)communal and (inter)organisational relationships that facilitate meaningful progress.

Further your learning with Deakin University

This program is a part of the Global Challenges and Collaborative Action programme at Deakin University. You’ll be supported by a team of experts from Deakin’s School of Communication and Creative Arts (SCCA) who’ll guide you through an immersive digital learning experience.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to put your knowledge into action by collaborating with the community to tackle real-world global challenges. You’ll also be able to grow professionally in community and economic development, government services, and organisational management.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds LUKE HEEMSBERGEN: Our course is set on the arts of changing the world. We look at global challenges, like climate change and inequality or identity-based politics when living in a post-truth world, and consider how communities might respond. Our claim is that to develop useful organisational strategies for dealing with local impacts of global challenges, we must consider how systems that we live amidst can be changed in ways unique to and led through community collaboration. Change isn’t easy. And we don’t have all the answers. But in the next three weeks, you’ll engage with how to ask the right questions with the right types of partnerships to make the right types of difference.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds While the challenges we look at are global, we start the unit with the very local, a review of you.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 seconds DAVID GILES: We consider what identity is, and how it comes to be. Your identity and those you identify with matter. There’s power in knowing identities. And even more in constructing them. Today’s pertinent social and political question is as much, who is being constructed and by whom? As it is, what is to be done?

Skip to 1 minute and 32 seconds LUKE HEEMSBERGEN: We hope you enjoy this introduction to the content and are confronted with how difficult the task ahead of us is. The organisational implications of ongoing global challenges require new strategies for collaboration. By the end of our three weeks together, we’ll have some insight to how we might go about this.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to global challenges – and what to do about them

    • Let's get started

      Meet your teaching team and other learners, and find key information about this course, including useful tips and links to help you get the most out of your learning.

    • Self

      Identity and ideology; intersectionality; agency; autonomy.

    • Systems

      Systems thinking; Sand Talk; ways of framing.

    • Service-subversion

      Change; wicked problems; the ballot or the bullet.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on the key ideas presented this week and find out what's coming up in Week 2.

  • Week 2

    How to think (with partners about problems)

    • The master’s tools

      Audre Lorde; the struggle to find alternative tools; example of the master’s tools.

    • What would it take to change the system?

      Coming to terms with complexity; applying knowledge of systems to urban planning; mapping with communities.

    • Thinking with partners about problems

      White papers; alternative modes of work; map and survey activity.

    • Your maps and surveys (Action required!)

      Reflect on the key ideas presented this week and find out what is coming up in Week 3.

  • Week 3

    Identifying an invested community

    • Invested challenges

      Mapping empathy; understanding impacts.

    • Instructions and examples

      Detailed instructions for mapping; examples from others.

    • Weekly wrap

      Summarise the week and check your understanding.

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

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 8 Jul 2024 - 27 Sep 2024

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...

  • Practice systems-thinking techniques
  • Identify implications of global challenges for organisations and organising
  • Create community-based strategies for collaboration
  • Develop (inter)communal and (inter)organisational relationships for collaborative action

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for individuals interested in gaining critical problem-solving and collaboration skills to tackle global challenges from a local perspective and for Deakin University students from the series, The Arts of Changing the World (AGC).

Who will you learn with?

Luke (Deakin University, Australia) teaches in Communications and researches at ADI and an ARC Centre of Excellence. He focuses on how emerging technologies socialise us and how we socialise them

Who developed the course?

Deakin University

Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Ways to learn

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one 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
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • 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
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 11 Jul 2024

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

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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