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An in-depth introduction to global governance for sustainability

Professional Certificate in
Global Sustainability Governance

What you will learn

  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of what the Sustainable Development Goals are, why they are important, and what are the challenges to achieving them.
  • Unravel the complexity of addressing global challenges and understand which international actors and institutions are out there to address global challenges.
  • Become aware of how globalization, international trade and sustainable development are interrelated and appreciate the key importance of international trade in addressing global sustainability challenges.
  • Learn how to assess and analyze global sustainability challenges through a global governance lens.
  • Obtain in-depth knowledge of voluntary sustainability standards (VSS), also called eco-labels or certification schemes, as an important tool for global trade governance for sustainability.

Addressing global challenges such as climate change, the decline of biodiversity and the violation of human rights is high on the agenda of international organizations, universities, non-governmental organizations and companies and stands at the core of the concept of sustainable development. The key importance of sustainable development has also been recognized in the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, which also underlines the tradeoffs between global sustainability goals. Many global governance instruments have been developed and aim to tackle these challenges. In particular, international trade plays an important role both as perpetrator of global sustainability challenges and as a tool to address them.

This program provides an in-depth introduction into the Sustainable Development Goals and the key institutions established to address global sustainability challenges. Through 3 courses, you will learn what the key sustainability challenges are, how they can be addressed, which trade-offs exist in addressing sustainability challenges, which challenges emerge with the implementation of policies to address sustainability challenges and how to analyze the effectiveness of the many global governance instruments that are available to tackle global challenges, with a specific focus on international trade policy instruments.

You will acquire knowledge on these topics, get access to cutting edge reports and other sources such as webinars and hear from leading academics and practitioners. In total, the professional certificate gathers the insights from more than 25 experts. Academic experts come from a wide range of disciplines relevant to addressing sustainability challenges including law, political science, economics and bio-engineering. You will also learn from practitioners and policy-makers from the local to the global level.

The program is designed to empower critical and results-driven thinking that can be applied in the different types of organizations.

This professional certificate will give you a leading edge if you want to pursue a career in sustainable development either as a civil servant or policy advisor in national and international organizations, a campaigner for an NGO, a researcher engaged in sustainability research for a think tank or university or a business professional in the area of corporate social responsibility.

The program was developed by the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, a leading international and interdisciplinary research centre of the University of Leuven. The Centre conducts fundamental academic research but is also involved in sustainability research for a wide range of institutions including UN agencies, European Union institutions, national governments and private actors. It brings together renowned faculty and shares its knowledge through different channels including academic papers, webinars, roundtables and conferences.

Expert instruction
3 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
6 months
2 - 4 hours per week
Discounted price: $132.30
Pre-discounted price: $147USD
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. KULeuvenX's Global Sustainability Governance Professional Certificate

  2. 3–5 hours per week, for 7 weeks

    An interdisciplinary introduction to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)which looks at all SDGs, their progress and challenges.

  3. 2–3 hours per week, for 7 weeks

    Critical introduction to the concept, importance and analysis of global governance. In particular, this course provides an overview of the main actors involved in global governance and how these actors manage current key global challenges.

  4. 2–3 hours per week, for 10 weeks

    Critical interdisciplinary introduction on how to make international trade and global value chains more sustainable from the Global South to the Global North, with a focus on the contribution of voluntary sustainability standards.

    • Jobs in sustainability have grown substantially in recent years and will continue to grow. There is demand for sustainability experts in governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and companies.
    • Career prospects include university researcher, policy analyst in a think tank or non-governmental organization, civil servant, policy expert in international organizations, and a business professional working on corporate sustainability.

Meet your instructors
from KU Leuven (KULeuvenX)

Experts from KULeuvenX committed to teaching online learning

Program endorsements

United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards

The EdX professional certificate on “Global Sustainability Governance” is an excellent educational path on understanding today’s global sustainability challenges such as climate change, human rights, social and economic development. This program allows learners to grasp the importance of global governance and international trade to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The course provider, KU Leuven Center for Global Governance Studies is a leading academic institution in the field of sustainable development. As a United Nations practitioner, I commend this well-rounded course and believe the certificate will distinguish a learner’s capacity to view sustainable development from a global perspective.

Santiago Fernandez De Cordoba , Coordinator of the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards and Chief of the VSS Progam of UNCTAD

Universidad del Pacífico

In a global context of higher risks like climate change, accelerated technological change and others, there are many disparities in development and capabilities for facing these risks by many countries and territories. That´s when the professional certificate on “Global Sustainability Governance” appears: a unique course that can close these disparities, bringing an interesting combination of instruments and practical knowledge to analysts and practitioners that work toward building better cooperation among governments, academia, private sector and civil society. I find quite important that the professional certificate addresses sustainability with the view of fairness among all stakeholders, particularly the Global South. As a former minister of my country, I think this course can be very helpful for public servants in charge of public policies in the intersection of trade, development and environmental and social standards; as a Professor, I consider it helping to build a better understanding of the challenges that globalization creates for sustainability and the new paradigms of global governance needed to address these matters.

Mercedes R. Araoz F , Professor of International Economics, Universidad del Pacífico, Lima Peru. Former Prime Minister and Minister of Trade of Peru

Also in Social Sciences at edX


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