Sustainability related MOOCs starting September and Beyond (part 1)

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 5.41.24 PMSeptember has arrived, which means the start to a new school year for many students around the world. It also means the start of a range of new MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) available for free online, presented by Universities across the world. These courses are open to anyone with an interest in the topic, last between three and fourteen weeks, and take from three to eight hours of time per week to complete. Many of them also provide a certificate upon completion.

Here is a selection of fifteen MOOCs (seven in part 1 of the blog) beginning in the coming weeks, which cover a range of topics from social entrepreneurship, to ethical decision making, greening the economy and sustainability more broadly.

  1. Copenhagen Business School is organising a 12-week course on Social Entrepreneurship starting on the 3rd of September. The course will teach students how to create societal impact through social entrepreneurship, how to identify an opportunity and how to make it a reality. During the course students will form groups with other students online to identify an opportunity to create social change, develop a business model, and outline ideas in a business plan, which they will submit in the end to possibly receive start-up funding.
  2. The University of Exeter has an 8-week course starting on the 8th of September on Discovering Business in Society. This introductory course taught in conjunction with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) looks at how businesses function and interact with the wider socio-economic environment, including tensions brought about by competition for resources, the legal and moral framework for business activity, and the complexities of knowledge management in organisations. The course will require 5 hours of work per week and at the end students can pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment.
  3. The Age of Sustainability is a 14-week course organised by Columbia University and presented by Jeffrey Sachs. The course gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainability development drawing on the most recent developments in the social, policy, and physical sciences.
  4. University of Illinois has an 8-week Introduction to Sustainability course that started on the 25th of August. The course explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation, and resource limitation. The course will focus on sustainability theory and practices including population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history.
  5. The University of Leiden is organising a course called Configuring the World: A Critical Political Economy Approach starting September 1st, which looks at the influences that shape the world in which we live today, including globalisation, diversity, governance, international institutions, and economic development and social change. The course lasts 8 weeks and students can earn a Certificate of Completion.
  6. The University of Lausanne has a course on Unethical Decision Making in Companies starting on the 22nd of September and lasting seven weeks. The course aims to empower students to analyse the risks of unethical or illegal behaviour that might be triggered by strong organisational contexts. It will draw from various disciplines such as management, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and literature in order to learn what these disciplines contribute to a better understanding of unethical behaviour. The course is free and students can receive a Certificate of Completion.
  7. The University of Maryland’s course on Making Better Groups Decisions: Voting, Judgement Aggregation and Fair Division is a 7-week course that starts on September 1st. The course explores different decision making methods and the problems that arise when a group of people need to make a decision. It examines the question “Can we and how do we find a choice that is fair”?

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