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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Age of Sustainable Development by Columbia University

2,490 ratings
876 reviews

About the Course

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....

Top reviews

Jun 1, 2020

Very informative and detailed. Prof. Sachs covers all aspects of sustainable development in detail. Though the course was designed in 2013 hence does not cover the latest development to SDGs to date.

May 18, 2017

This course was perfect for those wanting to explore the world of development, broad enough to include all interlinked themes, with sufficient reading materials to spark one's specializing interests.

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26 - 50 of 854 Reviews for The Age of Sustainable Development

By Vierah H

May 13, 2021

Comprehensive and informative. Professor Sachs presents historical and current trends in sustainable development in cohesively, going to great lengths to simplify complex concepts. I am ending this course feeling more insightful of the trajectory of development as well as the MDGs and SDGs.


May 8, 2021

That course describes the challenges of society, economy and environment face and provides solutions through the sustainable development .

By Michael H

Apr 13, 2021

Amazing course and an amazing professor. I have learned a lot and I wanted to continue To a degree field.

By Shayda M

Mar 26, 2019

A broad and informative course. A great introduction to the topic.

By Julian R

Dec 30, 2018

Thorough. Deep. Brilliant!

By Paul S d S

Dec 19, 2018

Learnt so much!

By Jaime S

Jan 2, 2019

Muy bueno !

By Ghee K K

Feb 1, 2020

Wonderful course conducted by Professor Sachs! The problems and potential solutions are well elaborated, yet put simply across for students new to politics or economics. I do firmly believe knowledge in the area of sustainable development is very crucial to understanding today's major crises and priorities, and am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from this course. However, some updating is required as many links within the quizzes are no longer relevant, or the webpages are non-existent.

By Viktoria V

Oct 27, 2017

Excellent content - I already had a good basis knowledge about sustainable development, but I must say I have learnt a lot. However, there are a few little improvements if I may suggest: (1) make the videos a little more interesting, with more images, graphs, etc. (2) update the course, especially the links (in the quizzes) - a lot has happened in the last few years, including the Paris agreement, the SDGs coming to life, etc so it would be great to get a perspective on these too.

By Ulf S

May 5, 2021

So much old material and such imortant areas such as UN SDG not covered more than a pln while the old MDG were in focus. Broken links. During 7 years and with 101' students starting this course there should be incentive and time to update.

By faisal s

Apr 13, 2021

I am not sure if i will be given certificate for completion. Also needs a review based on new data, and also few of the times links are not working. Overall the course is very addictive and useful for those who really want to practice.


May 16, 2021

An open window on the world + cool content + a wonderful teacher = It was a very cool and learning experience even if some updates (we are in 2020) would be useful during the weekly tests

By Fernando Z F

May 16, 2021

Ótimo curso que nos permite ter uma ótima introdução ao desenvolvimento sustentável. Porém, o conteúdo e diversos links nos exames estão desatualizados.

By Md Y A

Mar 21, 2021

While siting for exam it is found that some links cannot be reached. Other than that the course was fantastic.

By Steven L

Jan 10, 2017

I thought most of the discussions were "____ needs to do this, _____ needs to learn to do this." Yet doesn't provide a lot of concrete answers that helpful to solve x. And I understand some situations are complex with a lot of variables, but it seems as though a lot of "environmental proponents" just talk about stuff and don't give examples of what they are doing to change the world. I think Jadav Payeng ("the forest man of india") has done more for the environment than all the attendees at all of these environmental conferences do. Courses like these highlight all the problems (and there are a fuck ton of problems) but contain fewer answers. So it just leaves the "graduate" overwhelmed and kind of spinning in a circle. I think I'd rather have a course that asks, why do we wear what we do when its made on the other side of the globe, is that the best for the environment? We need to wholesale changes in how we think about our society if we want it to be sustainable; not, we have problems over here and here and here, and if we put this bandaid on it, that might fix it for a while. I was just very unimpressed and skipped through the program as quickly as I could /rant

By Katrin S

Oct 3, 2016

Good course, but outdated. The SDGs were agreed upon in 2015 and there are already ajor efforts ongoing to implement them. The course only mentioned the draft SDGs, which changed considerably later on. Therefore, the course is useful for Background Information on SDGs, but not to get up-to-date with the SDG process.

By Erik T

Apr 30, 2021

The subject is extreme relevant and the lectures super interesting. The tests are complete nonsense as it only requires an ability to read graphs. Moreover the majority of hyperlinks are outdated hence required some serious guestimates.

By Ben B

May 16, 2019

This class is informative however, it is dated and has errors on quizzes.

By Sasha R

Feb 21, 2016

Excellent course content but very poorly designed quizzes. More clarity is needed in formulating questions, since different pages have different values for the same data sets (even on the same website such as the World Bank indicator datasets) and it will be difficult for students to get the right answers.

By Thomas B D M

Jul 22, 2019

Great speaker and great introductory course to sustainable development thematics, but content is becoming more and more outdated (2014) and quizzes refer to broken links, making it difficult to answer. I would not advise this course before it gets a significant refresh.

By Matthew J

May 15, 2020


Questions in the quiz's are not kept to to date, therefor making it impossible to find answers from the links that YOU supplied.

I strongly suggest taking this down or updating the course, before you get even more comaplaints.

By Ann M H

Mar 31, 2017

I initially came to this course looking for more environmental science knowledge, but I was surprised (in a good way) when the professor spent most of the time giving historical and economic context to the current environmental situation. He really helped me consider the "macro" of how we got to where we are, and how we can continue to move forward sustainably. He has incredible professional background in the subject matter, and it was exciting to hear about his personal involvement in creating international agreements. I've never thought so much about international relations before, and I'm happy I learned more than I expected to!

I would recommend this course for anyone who wants to learn more about international relations, politics, economics, world history, environmental science, healthcare, or international development. He really covers a lot! There's something for everyone, whether you have no previous knowledge or have already taken a few similar classes.

I loved how everything was in a predictable format of five 10-25 minute videos in each section with a 10-question quiz at the end. The videos were very engaging because they had interesting b-roll and even music! It felt like a documentary in a way. (Of course, you can also speed them up by making them play 1.25-1.5 speed.)

My only suggestion for improvement is for the TAs (or whomever) to go back through the quiz website links and update them. I ran into more than a few that were outdated and I had to hunt down the answer somewhere else, or just guess. This wasn't a major burden, though.

Thanks for an amazing course! I'm starting my next Coursera class right away!

By Zekria D

Oct 14, 2016

I learned about the secrete of sustainable development. Actually, I didn't know the Golden rules of sustainable development in such a details. I learned about social economic growth, the threats of poverty as well as environmental protection topic in such a beautiful ways that I never had chance to learn before. Furthermore, Rural and Urban relationship and the issues of income and comparison of wellbeing between the two segregated groups of people who are living for 1000s of years. In addition to that, I learned how important is the relationship between culture, education, and gender issues in the rural area and how strongly it impact the human being (negative or Positively ) life the community. Moreover, I learned about the environmental changes and threatening of Global Food Security system and Global Food Supply . Sustainable Cities and the patterns of the urbanization were another important part in these lectures. Climate Changes and its impact on Global Security and Future threats were very important topics which drew my attention.

Very outstanding program which I had chance through Coursera Program to learn and add to my knowledge. I will definitely share all these information in my family, community, network and in my career life and will voluntarily advocate for the SDG goals for our future generation.

I love DrJeffrey Sachs. I respect him and respect his knowledge and the job he has been doing to our generation and our grand kids.

Thanks everyone who helped, managed, and developed such a amazing program .


Zekria Danishyar

By Enamul H

Oct 31, 2016

Indeed it has been a Great course and truly inspiring! The course helped to learn about sustainable development, its dimensions, planetary boundary & challenges and the possible solutions. The course has given me new areas to think about development and sustainable development. This is really an eye opening course. It has helped me to develop insight and foresight to look at some of the areas in our business. The material of this course was so easy for me to follow because of how relevant and interesting the videos lectures are. Professor Jeffrey Sachs has presented every topics in a very superb and professional ways. He has given a good number of useful links which are highly informative and relevant to understand international development dynamics. The fellow learners has made a great contribution to make the course easier and successful for me. The course made me more optimistic & confident regarding my role in my organization and society. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks to Professor Jeffrey Sachs you truly rocked my world. Your presentation incredibly inspired me to learn more. Thank you for being one of the few great teachers out there. Thanks to Colombia University and Coursera for giving me the privilege to learn the course. Hope to learn more about the sustainable development & related courses in future.

By Ed W

Sep 22, 2016

Outstanding. I found Professor Sachs course immensely valuable in building a deeper understanding of humanity's most urgent treats and possible ways forward in the Antropocene age. To effect the desire outcomes, the course should be compulsory for policy makers, corporate board members, educators, students, change-agents, as well as citizens at large. However, it can be strongly argued if sustainable development goals are collectively feasible or a paradox when economic models and growth metrics used by most economies continue to ignore environmental impacts, Earth's finite resources, and systemic economic inequality. A systems approach to restructuring economic models is needed. We need an economic system that protects our shared commons and promotes better corporate governance - that includes comprehensive accounting of the biocapacity of the planet and our environmental impacts, and, a broader metric of human well-being (vs. GDP) that reduces economic inequality and internalizes externalities. In short, a new economic paradigm must be in place. As a next step, I would welcome a serious discourse and examination of current economic models and how they can be enhanced to drive sustainable development.

Respectfully submitted,

Ed Wong