CCNMTL (1999-2015) pages for archival purposes only. Please visit

News & Updates Archives

CCNMTL Partner John McArthur Discusses Master's in Development Practice in The Huffington Post

Home > News & Updates > CCNMTL Partner John McArthur Discusses Master's in Development Practice in The Huffington Post

July 14, 2009. For the past year, CCNMTL has worked with the Earth Institute at Columbia University to co-develop and support the pedagogical and technological framework for a new Master's in Development Practice (MDP) graduate program that teaches students the skills and knowledge necessary to address complex global challenges of sustainable development, including poverty, population, health, conservation, climate change, and agricultural productivity.

The MDP program, conceived by the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice and sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, launches at the Earth Institute this fall. The graduate program, which comprises cross-disciplinary classes and field training, will expand upon the successes of the distributed learning course, Global Classroom: Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development, taught for the first time in Spring 2008. Global Classroom, created by CCNMTL and the Earth Institute, organizes and delivers lectures and readings for a master's-level sustainable development course simultaneously taught at a dozen universities around the world. The course offers participating university students the opportunity to conduct synchronous discussion, collaboration, and learning about sustainable development issues. CCNMTL has played an instrumental role in envisioning a curriculum and accompanying educational tools for the Global Classroom that transcend geographical boundaries.

John McArthur, CCNMTL partner and research associate at the Earth Institute, highlights the MDP program and its mission to foster an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development in A New Approach to Global Problem-Solving, published on The Huffington Post yesterday. In the article, McArthur notes the mounting global challenges—macroeconomic coordination, food production, energy, climate change, and disease control—and the corresponding need for multi-sector practitioners skilled in the "four pillars" of sustainable development: natural sciences, health sciences, social sciences, and management. The MDP program, McArthur explains, will train professionals across the four disciplines and will also encourage students to "practice working in networks across borders and time zones as a normal habit, empowered by simple webcams and cheap software."

To meet the cross-border educational aims of the program, CCNMTL has received funding from the MacArthur Foundation to support MDP in fostering an international network of multidisciplinary practitioners. The Center is currently developing digital networking and learning tools that will be accessible to MDP partner institutions and used in the first year of the MDP program, which begins at Columbia University in September 2009 and will expand to nine additional universities in 2010.

Stay tuned for more information about the launch of the MDP program, or learn more about the Global Classroom, a project within CCNMTL's Global Learning Initiative.

Related news:
Mar-10-2011: CCNMTL Attends the Global MDP Summit 2011
Sep-25-2009: New Master's Program Offers Global Classroom
Oct-23-2008: CCNMTL Partners with Earth Institute on New Master's Degree