Age of Sustainable Development

My Review

The Age of Sustainable Development, an online course by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, is a wonderful introduction and overview of WHY we need the sixth Kondratiev Wave to be a wave of sustainable technologies. In Prof. Sachs words, we need to find ways to produce energy, ways to mobilize energy, ways to transport ourselves and transport goods that take the massive pressure and the destructive forces off of our ecosystems. This is the great challenge ahead of us, and this course is an amazing way to better understand this challenge!

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About edX

edX is a trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is home to more than 20 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access, and fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms.

SDG Academy

The SDG Academy creates and curates graduate-level courses on sustainable development for learners around the world. From sustainable cities to human rights to climate action, each of their courses addresses the fundamental challenge facing our world today.

Age of Sustainable Development – Online Course

Sustainable development is the most urgent challenge facing humanity. Its fundamental question is: How can the world economy continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable? This course provides a broad overview of the interactions between the economy and our environment and humanity, from the constraints of finite resources, to the activities that drive climate change, to equality for all.

  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
  • Price: FREE
  • Length: 14 weeks
  • Time: 4-6 hours per week
  • Course Type: Self-paced on your time

Additional Resources

Kondratiev Waves – Will Sustainable Technologies be Next?

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)

This is a great explainer video by The Conservation Fund on land-based fish farming.  90% of US seafood is currently imported and 2x the current supply will be needed by 2050, so there is a growing need for new ways to provide high-quality, local fish without putting more pressure on our oceans.  Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) is one solution, and this is a very informative 2-minutes!

  • Land-based RAS is a sustainable, local way to farm healthy fish.
  • It uses tanks where water is continuously filtered and recycled and waste can be used as fertilizer for farmers.
  • It provides a controlled and traceable environment, without the use of antibiotics or hormones.
  • It can be used anywhere, so fish can always be locally grown, helping local economies and providing a fresher product.
  • Land-based RAS has minimal impact on the environment, with 1/2 the carbon footprint of imports, and is water efficient, using 99% recycled water + it recycles nutrients and by-products, and conserves wild fish 
  • Additionally, RAS fish are fed sustainable feeds that don’t require wild caught fish to be used in their feeds, providing a 0% fish-in / fish-out ratio.
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Artifishal: The Fight to Save Wild Salmon

ARTIFISHAL is a Patagonia film about man’s disastrous approach to Nature, including river dams & open-water fish-farms, that are leading to the weakening and extinction of species.  By focusing on the missteps of our past, the film offers some hope IF we heed the warnings, and embrace the power of Nature to heal. As Yvon Chouinard says at the end, “It’s more than just our relationship with fish, it’s how we’re trying to control Nature rather than work with Nature.” The film’s closing scene = “Text PROTECT to 40649 to stop hatcheries, remove dams, restore rivers and change how we harvest fish.”  I believe that Sustainable Fish Farms are one of the important steps needed to protect our wild fish!

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Artifishal – The Trailer (2:19)

Artifishal – The Full Movie (1h 20m)

The Ivory Game

The Ivory Game is an undercover documentary by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions that exposes the ugly world of ivory trading. I first saw African elephants in 1983 in Kenya and was moved by their majestic presence. Even today I try to pay my respect to their plight by honoring them within my logo. This film will disgust and outrage you, but it also provides hope that we can protect the elephants from extinction. This is a movie worth watching and talking about! You can find the trailer on YouTube and watch the movie on Netflix.

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