Sustainability, Society and You

27 May 2014 11:42:37.717

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If you want to learn about how you can help to shape the future of the planet, then the latest online course from The University of Nottingham might be for you.

Sustainability is one of the big global issues of our time. It is crucial that we all play our part in protecting our world for current and future generations. ‘Sustainability, Society and You’ is a free online course being offered by the University through FutureLearn – an online platform offering free course content from the UK’s top universities.

Sustainability, Society and You, explores sustainability from multiple angles and perspectives, with a focus upon equipping people to make informed choices in their daily lives. It looks at energy, water, food and waste, but also our moral obligations towards future generations and the links between climate change and poverty.

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Encouraging sustainability

The course is led by Dr Sarah Speight, archaeologist, educator and The University of Nottingham’s academic lead on Sustainability. It features contributions from academics across a variety of disciplines, supported by expert facilitators.

Through videos, readings and discussions, participants will be able to explore different perspectives on sustainability. You will be encouraged to look at your own behaviours, to audit your water footprint and domestic waste, and to critically assess the sustainability strategies of the big corporations

Dr Speight said: “In the past the world has undergone unprecedented change. Agricultural revolutions have been followed by industrial revolutions and populations have expanded across the globe. With these expansions have come greater inequalities in our societies. In this course, we look at some of these inequalities from a historical perspective as well as at the present time and we think about the actions we take and the decisions that we make and how these impact on the environment and upon our communities.

Assessing our environmental impact

“In the 21st Century, we are increasingly concerned about our environmental impact. Here at Nottingham we have eco-houses on campus designed by academics, with the purpose of exploring different energy solutions for our living needs. We might say that the eco houses are the human face of sustainability, as not only do they use science and engineering to come up with creative and innovative ideas for energy, but they also use psychology to consider the way we interact with and take up these new technologies.

“This course is about sustainability from economic, social, technological, political and environmental angles. It’s about exploring those different dimensions and thinking about what it means on both a global and an individual level. It’s about thinking about the contributions we make to society and how we can ensure these contributions are positive. It’s about the small steps we can all make, and it’s about whether or not those small steps can add up to something really rather significant.”

For more information on the course, or to sign up, visit thewebsite.

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Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our new Globelynx fixed camera facility at the University. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

For more information please contact Dr Sarah Speight, or, Charlotte Anscombe in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 7484 417,

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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