Thursday, 22 November 2018 13:25

Upskilling... in your spare time... for free!

By Jack Hetherington

I have always been interested in how agricultural R&D has spillover benefits or interactions to other areas of international development, such as human health, gender equity, sustainable resource management, etc.

However, it can be challenging to get a cohesive and current story about how these go together.

Also, having done my university studies focusing on a particular discipline, you don’t always get the fundamental theory and examples of these other areas.

Moreover, I am very much the kind of person that needs a bit of structure and some interaction to get me over the line to learn about new areas.

Luckily, there is a brilliant resource available online called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Academy. It is a massive open online course (MOOC) that has many courses that try to bring together different experts from around the world to address different combinations and relationships of the SDGs.

I enrolled in one about a year ago, and the structure of it worked really well for me. A new module every week or so, which introduces a new topic. The core lectures are pre-recorded, with some basic comprehension questions for each module – which I found to be quite useful because it forced me to really listen to the content. Each module had a live streaming Q&A with the expert to answer any questions and engage in a discussion about the topic, so you had people from all around the world asking questions to a leading expert on an issue.

This is definitely worthwhile for those trying broaden their understanding of current science, learn about some practical approaches towards research and development, and step a little bit outside of their technical discipline.

Here is a breakdown of the key bits and pieces of an upcoming course on Climate Action: Solutions for changing a planet.

The courses are free unless you want to get a verified certificate (costs is about US $50). This is available for some courses and goes towards paying someone to mark your assessment; an optional thing, if you are so inclined.

About SDG Academy

The SDG Academy is the online education platform of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations. Below are some courses that are available in the new year

Upcoming courses:

Human Rights, Human Wrongs
Start Date: Jan 14, 2019
Human Rights, Human Wrongs
How do we ensure rights for all?

Sustainable Cities
Start Date: Jan 28, 2019
Sustainable Cities
Learn how government, the private sector, and other actors can support sustainable urban development.

Climate Action: Solutions for a Changing Planet
Start Date: Jan 28, 2019
Climate Action: Solutions For A Changing Planet
How do we turn commitments to reducing the effects of climate change into action?

Feeding a Hungry Planet
Start Date: Feb 11, 2019
Feeding A Hungry Planet
How do we create a healthy and sustainable diet for the growing world population?

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