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Becoming an Agent of Sustainable Change

Wageningen University via edX


Nowadays there is a lot of talk about sustainability, yet it has come to mean many different things in different contexts. Although defining sustainability is complicated, understanding it is crucial in helping us solve urgent global issues. With this free online course, you will not only develop a better understanding of the complexities of sustainability, you will be able to start making sustainable change in your own life, in your own environment, right now.

The newly emerging field of ‘sustainability science’ has identified skills that are critical in analysing and solving sustainability problems. This MOOC introduces you to these essential skills in an applied and interactive way. Through assignments, real-world inspirational cases of sustainable changemakers, self-reflection, and discussions with fellow learners you will sharpen and personalise your skills.

You will directly be able to start making sustainable change by applying your newly acquired skill set to a real-world problem in your own environment. You will work on a personal project of your choice, which can be any sustainability issue in your life - big or small – that you wish to effect and change! For example, starting a weekly community to clean up/reducing food waste in your neighbourhood through raising awareness among your fellow residents.

So, do you want to become a change-agent and a leader in sustainability, and contribute to solving the complex issues our world faces today? Great! Start making a change today, enrol now.


Module 1: Dissecting sustainability

Here you will be introduced to the concept of sustainability and its uses within society. We will also explain the sustainability competencies which are your tools for this MOOC.

Module 2: Understanding Complexity

You will now define problems related to sustainability, identifying the direct and indirect causes and effects. This will be done at different scales, from the political arena, to your community, in order to illustrate how complicated these issues can be. Systems thinking tools shall then be explained as a way of tackling this complexity.

Module 3: Challenging Norms and Values

There are many different cultural understandings of sustainability, and our personal values influence our views and behaviours. You will learn to recognize these differences and biases and how these can influence your understanding.

Module 4: Collaboration for Sustainable Change

In this module, you will see how communication can bring different worldviews together to solve problems related to sustainability.

Module 5: Thinking about the Future

You will now look to the future; how do you envision it? Using forecasting, back casting and scenario development, you will learn about the tools that will help make that future a reality.

Module 6: Making your plan work

Now it’s time to create an action plan for your personal project. You will identify the limitations of action taking and the feasibility of tackling your problem.

Module 7: Wrapping up: Being an Agent of Sustainable Change

This module is about reflecting upon the competencies and understanding how they can help achieve sustainable change. You will also look at how you have integrated them into their personal project.

Taught by

Tossa Harding

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4.6 rating, based on 7 reviews

Start your review of Becoming an Agent of Sustainable Change

  • Profile image for Madalina Mihaltianu
    Madalina Mihaltianu
    This course helped me to sort out my ideas, prioritize them and communicate them. It taught me to know how to form an overview of the problem, to be able to analyze it through the prism of several potential societal actors / stakeholders involved. I...
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course to become more aware of system perspective of sustainable issues.

    I also learned how important communication and collaboration is, as every sustainable problem implies human and social aspects.

    The inspirational cases introduced are remarkably valuable.

    Education should be one of the major and most used tools to achieve greater levels of sustainability. As long as new generations are taught from their youth about the importance of living in harmony and equilibrium with our environment, things could become more easy-flowing. And this course certainly helps to achieve it !
  • Anonymous
    The course itself is important to equip the student with awareness for the betterment of this world’s environment and sustainability. The topics are organized and well thought out. It provides an easier set up and layout, and therefore gives the learner an extensive knowledge about the issues of this world concerning sustainability. I have learned so much through this course and will happily enroll again should they host another program!
  • Anonymous
    Well put together, interesting and informative course. You learn to identify problems in your community, about systems thinking and tools to use for convincing stakeholders of your plan to promote sustainability. You're given a workbook with tasks for every module that helps you along the way to complete a presentation you can use to push your ideas forward.
  • Anonymous
    nice presented, good material. good teachers. will try to implement soon

    recommendable. thanks to the team.
    so important topic.
  • Anonymous
    Great course would recommend! Easy to follow and way to acquire more knowledge on the subject in your own time.
  • Profile image for Prabhpreet Singh
    Prabhpreet Singh
    not so good not so bad it is bassically a recorded course so there is no interaction just watch videos and learn

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