Thursday, January 23, 2014

Free online course in Sustainable Development: take it!!

If you don’t already know about the MOOCs—Massive Open Online Courses-- being offered by platforms such as, get yourself to the site and start learning—it’s free, and the courses are taught by experts in the field.

Your FIRST stop should be a course that started last week—called “Introduction to Sustainable Development.”  It speaks directly to what I’ve been trying to get a handle on in Aceh and “provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development, and draws upon the most recent developments in the social, policy and physical sciences. It describes the complex interactions between the world economy and the Earth's physical environment, and addresses issues of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive development. By the end of this course, students will gain a broad overview of the key challenges and potential solutions to achieve development in the 21st century.”

It’s taught by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of the University of Illinois.  Dr. Sachs “is a world-renowned economics professor, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist. Professor Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, and held the same position under former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as well as co-founder and director of the Millennium Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates, and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable economic development and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more than a quarter century he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy, in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past 7 years: The End of Poverty, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, and The Price of Civilization. His most recent book is To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace."

It's fascinating.  Sign up now, take the course, and we'll talk.

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