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Wesleyan University

How to Change the World

Wesleyan University via Coursera


How can we use the things we share in common to address some of the most challenging problems facing the world? This course examines issues concerning poverty, the environment, technology, health care, gender, education and activism to help us understand better how to initiate positive change.


  • What are Social Goods? From the Commons to Moral Revolutions
    • Discussion about what our social good is, how we define it and how it can be sustainably used.
  • Poverty and Development
    • Discussion about poverty and the relationship of poverty to philanthropy and to foreign aid, actions taken to mitigate the effects of poverty, of major theorists and economists working in this area and , also, a new approach to this subject through randomized experimentation.
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
    • Discussion about political and economic ramifications of climate change, including how to think big about sustainability
  • Disease and Global Health Care
    • Discussion about health care and poverty, considering major challenges that disease presents around the world and the global role of healthcare
  • Women, Education and Social Change
    • Discussion of gender issues and the upward mobility of women, across business and education.
  • Looking Back, Looking Foward
    • Reflections on where we have been and where we are going

Taught by

Michael Roth


4.3 rating, based on 6 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 256 ratings

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  • The course materials, and readings, were in themselves fascinating, and I regret having to drop the course.

    However, I dropped the course because a student with clear mental health issues (but who had paid for the signature path) was allowed to run rampant over the forums, filling them with conspiracy theories and attacks on other students (who were ignorant and sociopaths and part of the problem etc.). As a result, intelligent discussion on the forums, a vital part of this kind of subject, was completely smothered.

    This would be a much more effective course if the runners actively moderated the forums appropriately to keep them as a safe space for all students.

  • Recommended course focused in very imprtant issues for all of us who think of ourselves as citizens of the world.
  • Mariano
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    Roberto Fray Da Silva

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