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Sachs’s Sustainable Development MOOC Launches with Support from CCNMTL

Home > News & Updates > Sachs’s Sustainable Development MOOC Launches with Support from CCNMTL

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, has launched his new free, online course on sustainable development. The 14-week course, The Age of Sustainable Development, is the latest massively open online course (MOOC) that Columbia has released on the Coursera platform.

The Age of Sustainable Development gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development - that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. More than 30,000 students have now enrolled in Sachs’s online course, which will run in parallel with his on campus Columbia course. News items about the course have appeared on CNN, the Columbia Spectator, and on the Earth Institute’s website featuring quotes from Professor Sachs, Columbia President Lee Bollinger and Daphne Koller, Coursera CEO.

The Earth Institute and CCNMTL staff have collaborated to produce a course that features:

  • 70 highly produced videos that raise the bar for MOOC offerings (see sample video above)
  • each video will feature 2 or 3 inline-video quizzes to help reinforce student learning
  • 14 weekly quizzes that students can take more than once to ensure mastery of the material
  • extensive list of complementary readings in PDF format
  • chapters from Sachs' coursepack, What Is Sustainable Development, in ePub, Kindle MOBI, and PDF formats
  • numerous Google Hangout sessions in four different languages moderated by course TAs
  • four discussion forums monitored by TAs, CCNMTL, and Coursera staff.

The Age of Sustainable Development is the 10th course released by Columbia on the Coursera platform as part of Columbia's exploration into MOOCs. Since January 2013, close to 500,000 people enrolled in Columbia MOOCs with approximately 250,000 of them viewing videos or taking quizzes from the courses.

To learn more about Columbia's foray into MOOCs, please send email to

To take the The Age of Sustainable Development, visit Coursera.
To follow along, follow Sachs on Twitter: @JeffDSachs