Sustainable Development and Human Prosperity

Explore the profound implications for sustainability of our higher human purpose, and the scientific and spiritual principles to ensure the future prosperity of all humankind.

Social Transformation
11 weeks
Weekly Study
Sep 10-Nov 25
Register By
September 10, 2020
Fee: $95 (discounts available)

View/Download 2020 Syllabus (PDF)

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.

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 discuss the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals as the present global framework for action
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
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

Christine Muller, Piano Teacher
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

Laurent Amine Mesbah, PhD
Research & Development Director, Bloom Earth School, Sarajevo

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 certificated of advanced studies in Environmental Diplomacy at the University... See Faculty Bio

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