Sustainable Development Courses

Discover what we can and must do to ensure our continued survival, protecting the environment and humanity alike, in these sustainable development courses.

11 Courses

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Discover sustainable development

Sustainable development is defined as making decisions and living in a way which takes into consideration the wellbeing of future generations as well as meeting our needs today.

In 2015, the United Nations set 17 sustainable development goals to be met by 2030. Meeting these goals would safeguard the future of humanity, our planet, and the other life with which we share it.

These broad goals cover several different areas, as well as addressing how we must work together to help achieving them.

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  10. Reducing Inequality
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life On Land
  16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

There have been some positive trends. The proportion of those living in poverty fell from 16% in 2010 to 8.6% in 2018, for example - though progress has slowed, making achieving the goal seem more unlikely. Elsewhere, however, in areas like climate change, education, and gender equality, we have a long way still to go.

Courses on sustainable development

FutureLearn offers a range of courses which view key sustainable development topics from different perspectives.

For learners at the point of initial curiosity around sustainable development, introductory courses offer an entry point into this subject area.

Moving on from there, courses focused on the UN SDGs consider how organising for sustainable living can help us make a contribution to achieving these goals by the target date.

Some of the most prominent targets set by the SDGs relate to the battle to address climate change.

Certainly, few in the 21st century cast any doubt on the severity of this challenge, and the need to take appropriate action. In respect of this learners can enrol on courses that address how we can face this existential threat to the planet.

The SDGs are not just about climate change, however - they also touch on equality and fairness for all of humanity. Courses on humanitarian aid and development in African cities consider this aspect of the SDGs.

Both the public and private sectors are responsible for helping us meet the SDGs. Business courses consider how the CSR/ESG goals of HR departments, sustainable logistics, and the construction industry contribute to our wider wellbeing.

Finally, a course considering how sport can contribute to sustainable development demonstrates the huge variety of different forces we can bring to bear to meeting the SDGs.

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