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Taking on the Climate Crisis with Social Change

Explore the reasons and solutions for the climate crisis, equipping you to create a better today and tomorrow.

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Taking on the Climate Crisis with Social Change

Discover how social transformation can help us tackle the climate crisis

The harsh realities of global warming and climate change often make people feel helpless, but there is a lot that can be done. This three-week course will open your eyes to the actions you can take.

You’ll learn how to drive the social change that is fundamentally required for an effective response to climate change so that humanity can build a sustainable future.

Create social change to tackle the climate crisis

This is more than a course in how to tackle the climate crisis; it gives you real insight into how climate works and how humans are perturbing it.

To start with, you’ll get an in-depth exploration of our current situation and of how it happened, by people separating themselves from nature. From there you’ll learn climate basics, explaining global warming and how human beings are contributing to it.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready for the course’s final stage which focuses on what we can do to combat the climate crisis, both now and in the future. Special attention is paid to stopping climate change through social change, and transforming how society responds to this issue.

Gain balanced insights into the climate and environmental crisis

The course is structured around nine activities, which makes for a very dynamic learning experience. Each topic is carefully curated to show you how Earth’s climate works, how nature and culture are entwined, how to repair the damage that we have done to the climate, and how to live in a way that prevents future climate change and harm.

Explore climate crisis solutions from every angle

The Stockholm University scholars convening this course come from multiple disciplines, which all influence their balanced approach to global warming. Learn how to tackle the climate crisis with a team that is truly passionate about the issue.


  • Week 1

    The Anthropocene and the Climate Crisis

    • Introduction

      Welcome to Taking on the Climate Crisis with Social Change. In this course we will work together to find solutions to the climate crisis.

    • The Anthropocene

      This activity concerns how humans have become a major geological actor and that human action is driving climate change.

    • Nature Cultures

      This activity concerns how nature and culture are entangled with each other.

    • Earth's Climate

      This activity builds from the ideas of the enlightenment to present day understanding of Earth's climate as a geological system operating on multiple timescales.

  • Week 2

    Earth's Cycles and a Safe Operating Space for Humans

    • Earth's Cycles

      This activity concerns the natural cycles of carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen which humans both depend on and are irrevocably perturbing.

    • Human Perturbations

      This activity concerns how humans are perturbing Earth's natural cycles, viewed at the planetary level in the framework of the “Great Acceleration” and at the individual level with the question: “Where was I for breakfast?”

    • Tipping Points

      This activity concerns how how human-induced perturbations of Earth’s cycles can cause natural systems to "flip" to a less desirable states.

  • Week 3

    Repairing the Damage and Building a Better Future

    • Planetary Boundaries

      This activity concerns the "planetary boundaries" and an economic model which together set upper and lower limits to a safe and just operating space so humans can live in harmony with the planet and face a better future.

    • Repairing the Damage

      This activity concerns climate change solutions such as emissions reductions, natural climate solutions and carbon dioxide removal and how such actions can be implemented safely within the framework of the planetary boundaries.

    • Building a Better Future

      This activity concerns how we can build a better future founded on care between generations. We take a “deep time” perspective in which we consider examples of longer cycles of cause and effect.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. 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:

  • 4 Oct 2021 - 24 Oct 2021

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...

  • Reflect on the role of humans in the Anthropocene.
  • Describe how nature and culture are entwined.
  • Explain how Earth's climate works.
  • Assess the damage humans are causing to Earth's present and future climate.
  • Identify a safe operating space for humans in the Anthropocene.
  • Present solutions to the climate crisis.
  • Create better futures by becoming a better ancestor.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who is concerned about the current climate crisis and its underlying social causes, and wants to do something about it.

Who will you learn with?

I am Professor of Geochemistry and Petrology at Stockholm University. I research on and teach about climate change from a geological perspective and about the ongoing climate crisis.

I am an Associate Professor in Archaeology at Stockholm University. Since 2012 I have worked with the emergent field of the Environmental Humanities, with an interest in deep time & matters of care.

Miriam is a researcher and educator in Sustainability Science at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.

Who developed the course?

Stockholm University

Stockholm University is an international focal point for multidisciplinary research, teaching and communication about climate change.

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  • Access to this course for 5 weeks



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Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • 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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