Systems, Sustainability, and Social Justice

Course Number: SUST6100
Faculty: Nicole Rangel, PhD

What students learn in this course:

  • Understanding of the social, economic, and environmental context of the current issues surrounding sustainability
  • Mastery of systems thinking concepts and tools
  • Intersectoral opportunities that business and government have in solving complex issues like climate change, social inequity, and economic insecurity

About this course:

Students will learn the context within which business and government operate and what is unsustainable about our current practices, policies and mental models. Exploring current events and the complex and intersecting social, environmental, and economic issues facing society, students will develop a deeper understanding of how we arrived at the present state and which strategies will help us move forward.

The course also addresses the global issues surrounding sustainable management and policy, and reviews the significant sustainability frameworks (e.g Natural Capitalism, The Natural Step, Cradle to Cradle and Triple Bottom Line) that provide the scientific foundations and economic and financial principles of how sustainability can help businesses achieve natural competitive advantage and governments support sustainable development.

About the primary assignment:

Students will complete an in-depth study of a particular social, environmental or economic issue of their choice and the system within which it resides. As part of this study, students develop and apply research methods, data analysis, stakeholder engagement strategies, systems thinking and presentation skills.