Applications now open: Social Transformation Certificate Program--deadline 8 January, 2024
Sustainable Development and Human Prosperity

Explore the profound implications of sustainability for the well-being of humankind from scientific and spiritual perspectives, and build capacity to contribute to an ever-advancing civilization.

Social Transformation
8 weeks
Weekly Study
Oct 25-Dec 19
Register By
October 30, 2023

Our headlong pursuit of economic development since World War II to respond to the needs of a rapidly expanding world population has created great wealth and lifted many out of poverty, but also pillaged the planet's natural resources, polluted the environment and overshot planetary boundaries, while increasing inequality and leaving half the world population struggling to meet basic needs. The UN has called for a fundamental transformation towards sustainable development to assure that future generations can also meet their own needs. The Bahá'í teachings shed useful light on what this alternative should look like and how we might get there. We shall explore the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN. How do these translate into things we can do ourselves and in our local communities to live more sustainably? Combining science and spirituality can help us to work with both our head and our heart to build a more just and sustainable world.

View/Download 2023 Syllabus (PDF)

What will you learn?
You will learn
To explain the concept and issues behind sustainable development, how it evolved, why it is important, and how it affects people today and in the future
To relate sustainability to the issues of economic development, wealth and poverty, social development, and the environment in an integrated systems perspective
To value the relevance of sustainability as a priority for communities, national governments, and the international system
To identify ways you can live more sustainably that are consistent with your own spiritual and ethical values, and to explain your choices to others
To plan ways to educate others about the material and spiritual dimensions of sustainable development
Meet Your Faculty
Laurent Amine Mesbah, PhD

Laurent Mesbah was born and grew up in France in a multicultural background. He did research and teaching in plant genetics at the free university in Amsterdam, the Netherlands where he completed his PhD. In addition Dr. Mesbah completed a certificate of advanced studies in Environmental Diplomacy at the University... See Faculty Bio

Rebecca Teclemariam-Mesbah, PhD
Educational coach and consultant

My main passion is to explore how spirituality, scientific knowledge and creativity can combine to help us develop and experiment building sustainable and plentiful human societies. With roots in Africa and Europe, I am aware that the diversity of voices and inputs is vital to this process. I am a... See Faculty Bio

Christine Muller, Teacher of Music and the Environment
Board Secretary, International Environment Forum

I was interested in environmental issues already at a young age and became a Bahá’í when I was 17, which was the beginning of a life-long study of the Bahá’í Faith. As the environmental crisis was worsening, I began to systematically study climate change at a time when not much... See Faculty Bio

Arthur Dahl, PhD
President, International Environment Forum

I have always been a Bahá’í, loved nature since I was taught about it in children’s classes, and set my goal to become a Bahá’í pioneer at the conference launching the Ten-year Crusade in 1953. I was finishing my Ph.D. in marine biology in 1969 when the Santa Barbara oil... See Faculty Bio

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