Foundations of Sustainability and Development: Grand Challenges
This course will cover challenges in multiple dimensions of sustainability and development rather than focusing only on environmental, economic, or social aspects. This course will focus on three grand challenges to the possibility of sustainability and development. 1. Climate change, its impacts, and attempts to mitigate emissions and adapt to climate impacts. 2. Unprecedented, rapid biodiversity loss and the erosion of ecosystem services that threaten to take the biological systems of the planet into more homogenized directions. 3. Poverty and inequality – interrelated with each other as also with climate change and biodiversity loss that have locked hundreds of millions of households into untold misery. For each of these multiplex problem fields, the course will review the scale and nature of issues related to the challenge, examine some of the mechanisms that decision makers at different political and institutional levels have used to address them and assess their effectiveness. Coursework will involve class participation, short presentations, work on sustainability and development cases, and quizzes.