Systems Thinking and Sustainability

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Systems Thinking and Sustainability

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Studies, Environmental Sustainability

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course provides the student with an introduction to systems thinking within the context of sustainable development and specifically causal feedback loops and the need for a change of perspectives in a globalized, post-pandemic world facing climate change. It examines systems thinking theory in a fun and dynamic manner with practical examples taken from everyday life to gain a greater understanding of systems dynamics. The student will learn to discover, understand and appreciate the systems of which we are part, how we function (or don’t) within them as individuals and as a society, and hone our skills so our involvement in systems dynamics – whether at the personal, international or global levels – can contribute to more positive outcomes over time. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015 at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly provide the backdrop to the course.


    Part 1: Introduction to systems theory with reference to today’s SD challenges

    Theme/Module 1: Sustainable development and systems thinking

    Theme/Module 2: System structures and behaviors 

    Theme/Module 3: Systems and us

    Theme/Module 4: Systems and sustainability in practice 

    Part 2: Shifting perspectives

    Theme/Module 5: From the parts to the whole

    Part 3: Systems thinking in practice (project development)

    Theme/Module 6: Facing challenges 

    Theme/Module 7: Collective impact 

    Theme/Module 8: Final project

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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