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Transforming the World: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

SDG Academy

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About this Course:

In September 2015, the world’s leaders signed on to a new global sustainable development agenda, an ambitious series of goals known collectively as the “Sustainable Development Goals,” or the “SDGs”. The SDGs are the result of an unprecedented three-year, multi-stakeholder international consultation with the ambition of setting an integrated social, economic, and environmental vision for the planet. The SDGs respond to the recognition of our shared responsibility to current and future generations to be thoughtful stewards of our world, a responsibility that lies with developed countries and developing countries alike.

This mini-series presents and explains the 17 newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. “Transforming Our World: Achieving the SDGs” is a call to action that extends beyond policy makers to civil society, business, and universities, and is led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


Module 1: Introduction and the Big Picture
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Anthropocene
Chapter 2: The Quadruple Squeeze
Chapter 3: The Great Acceleration

Module 2: Welcome to the Anthopocene
Chapter 1: Humanity’s Period of Grace: The Holocene
Chapter 2: Entering the Anthropocene
Chapter 3: Non-linear Thinking in the Anthropocene
Chapter 4: Imagining the Anthropocene
Chapter 5: Making the Case for the Anthropocene

Module 3: Socio-Ecological Systems and Resilience Thinking
Chapter 1: Socio-ecological System
Chapter 2: Feedbacks, Interactions, and Regime shifts
Chapter 3: Ecological Surprises
Chapter 4: Teleconnections and Inconvenient Feedbacks
Chapter 5: Earth Resilience and Cross-Scale Interactions
Chapter 6: Tipping Points

Module 4: Planetary Boundaries Framework—Part 1
Chapter 1: Introducing the Planetary Boundaries Framework
Chapter 2: Justification for Planetary Boundary Selection
Chapter 3: Quantification of the Nine Planetary Boundaries
Chapter 4: Climate Change
Chapter 5: Ocean Acidification
Chapter 6: Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

Module 5: Planetary Boundaries Framework—Part 2
Chapter 1: Biodiversity Loss
Chapter 2: Land and Water Use Change
Chapter 3: Interference with Global N and P Cycles
Chapter 4: Aerosol Loading
Chapter 5: Novel Entities
Chapter 6: Synthesis and Progress on Planetary Boundaries

Module 6: Planetary Boundaries and Global Equity
Chapter 1: Interactions Between Planetary Boundaries
Chapter 2: Issues of Access and Distribution: Peak Everything
Chapter 3: Social Foundations for Planetary Boundaries
Chapter 4: Reconnection Human Development to the Biosphere

Module 7: Moving Towards Global Sustainability within Biophysical and Social Boundaries
Chapter 1: Existing Structures of Global Governance
Chapter 2: New and Emerging Perspectives on Global Governance
Chapter 3: A Shifting Development Paradigm
Chapter 4: Energy—A Promising Pathway
Chapter 5: The Role and Risks of Technology in the Anthropocene
Chapter 6: Cities: Challenges and Opportunities
Chapter 7: Feeding Humanity in an Urban World

Module 8: Conclusions
Chapter 1: Development of the Sustainable Development Goals
Chapter 2: Science in the Anthropocene
Chapter 3: Interviews. Reflections on Taking Action in the Anthropocene
Chapter 4: Key Messages and Final Remarks

Taught by

Jeffrey Sachs

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