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

2,507 ratings
887 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

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.

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.

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76 - 100 of 867 Reviews for The Age of Sustainable Development

By Lucy J

Aug 10, 2017

One of the few courses I have taken that presents a detailed overview of the "super wicked" problem of balancing growth and development with curbing climate change. So many people focus on the role of governments and business, whilst this gives individuals history and hope. Sachs finishes by quoting JFK and demonstrating how the power of ideas to change the world and throwing down the guantlet for us all to pick up of taking action to save our precious planet and preserve our children's future. We all have to act, taking this course is an excellent start.

By SOW,Amadou

Apr 14, 2018

Simply one of the best courses I have had so far. The approach used is almost playful, it's like going back in time since the invention of the steam engine and until now ... This was also for me, an excellent opportunity in combine this course and literature review related to my Doctorat in Business Administration ... I hope that Prof Sachs, in the coming years will be able to update this course, with the latest developments on SGDs and other major development agendas, like ADB's 5 five, AU agenda agenda 2063 ... Excellent course that I highly recommend!

By C. T S

Jun 13, 2021

T​his was a fantastic course and a great introduction to the complexities of Sustainable Development - the many challenges and potential solutions we hold in our grasp. I came away with immense respect for Jeffrey Sachs and the holistic perspective he brings to the study. Definitely recommend purchasing the book - the videos are almost verbatim but it was helpful for me to read the materials. Fair warning though: Many of the quiz questions rely on outdated links so it requires some digging (and occasional guesswork) to find the data being referenced.

By kartik k

Jul 29, 2020

Brilliant and insightful, this course is an eye-opener to the concept of sustainable development and associated domains. Prof.Sachs masterfully navigates through this course not only imparting knowledge and sharing his wisdom but inspiring and motivating action towards sustainable development. He wades through complicated topics in a way that is simple for novices to understand. I count myself extremely fortunate to have been a student of this course and definitely recommend it to anyone with even the slightest interest in sustainability

By Valeriya Y

Jun 30, 2020

This course of The Age of Sustainable Development was very interesting. I have found out a lot of new economic worldwide facts, statistics data, and info about a huge work done by the UN for the World development! It was amazing time of learning. Big thanks to Professor Jeffrey Sachs, his interesting way of reading lectures with personal examples based on his own experiences is highly appreciated. Thank you very much for the opportunity to improve the knowledge for free! All the best to all who took part in creation of this course!

By Maria K

Jan 27, 2018

This course has been covering a wide range of topics and went into appropriate depth on each of them, introducing the student to a wide range of concepts relating to Sustainable Development. Prof. Sachs is explaining all concepts understandably and in an interesting way, his enthusiasm is very contractible and motivates to read and research more on the topic. I also liked that he incorporated his own opinions, but did discuss other reasonings as well. All in all this has been a very informative and well-organised online course!

By preeti

Feb 22, 2016

Course provided me great insight regarding different dimension of development and what is the appropriate definition of 'development'. The least developed countries of today will achieve the status of 'most developed countries' however, the cost that environment has paid for the present 'most developed countries' need to be taken care of with a balanced approach. The shackles of poverty can only be removed by social inclusion and creating good public policy. This course has added a new perspective about sustainable development.

By Jason S

Sep 30, 2015

Overall, the course is outstanding, bringing together diverse threads of Global Health, Climate Change, Economics, International Politics/Relations and more into a cohesive explanation of our current world challenges standing in the way of living together on this planet for a long time to come without our current inequalities and threats to life itself. I've recommended it to all my friends and colleagues and I recommend it to anyone who reads my review. It's a time investment, but well worth every second I spent.

By Darryll M

Oct 17, 2016

I think Prof Sachs is an excellent lecturer and his course was both broad and deep enough to give me the grounding I want in sustainability. I love the fact that throughout the course he is so professional yet at the end he gets choked up with passion about the future of the planet. It will be my privilege to pass on what I have learnt.

I would suggest that he takes a more than occasional swig of water so that the vocal chords remain in good condition to talk without coughing. All up - excellent grade from me!!

By Ricardo R C

May 21, 2018

Excellent introduction to sustainable development! My girlfriend and I have always been interested in sustainability, but despite our good intentions we really had no clear idea of the various dimensions of this complex topic. Professor Sachs outlines all the topics very clearly and concisely, in a way that is very accessible to anyone. I highly recommend this course for anyone with a general interest in sustainable development, and even more so for anyone with a background in social or physical sciences.

By Linda B

Sep 26, 2016

This was an amazing course on improving the planet world wide by improving core standards for all people, such as safe drinking water, health care, maternal and baby care, education, etc. If countries that are meeting these core standards, contribute to the countries where people live in extreme poverty, then everyone on the planet will have a life that meets the basic standards and helps these poorer countries become sustainable themselves. The whole world benefits from every country being sustainable.

By Djordje S

May 15, 2017

Fantastic course. Prof. Sasch is probably one of the best thinkers in the world nowadays. His ideas make this place better. Simultaneously with the course I read the book with the same title. Such approach tremendously improved my understanding of the subject. The book is like encyclopaedia with lot of data and figures.

Thank you Professor very much and please keep going and working on these life important issues.

I hope that we will have opportunity to attend another Sasch’s course very soon.


By Abdul Q

Jun 13, 2020

This is one of the best course on Coursera about Sustainable Development , which gives you knowledge from the scratches and understanding the importance of SD and its history, events, dynamics and role of government, individuals and different aspects. Moreover, Prof. Sachs has breadth and depth of knowledge and first hand experience of working with UN and being the custodian of MDGs &SDGs, which make it very relevant to learn from him. Thank you Prof. Sachs for your great work and contribution.

By Paul B

Nov 30, 2015

The Age of Sustainable Development is by far the most informative course I have encountered on the complex and pertinent subject of sustainable development. Professor Sachs takes the time to fully explore many of the key themes that form the foundations of sustainable development and simplifies sophisticated topics into digestible pieces of insight. This course is a must for anyone involved in sustainable development and should be prescribed viewing for politicians, CEOs and future leaders.

By Tereza Z

Sep 22, 2019

The course itself is amazing! However, the tests are outdated - many of the links don't work anymore and the data can't be found, so in many instances it was necessary to guess the answer of the data/graph analysis questions. It would be great if this could be improved.

I would definitely recommend the course to anyone (not just those interested in sustainability) because the course introduces all the main aspects in a very clear and interesting manner. Thank you for creating this!

By Ritu Y

Feb 26, 2017

Having always had a keen interest in issues pertaining to the MDGs and the SDGs, I thought the course would give me greater insight into problems and solutions therein impacting our world today and was not deceived by the content. I particularly appreciate Professor Sachs personal interpretations and opinions on certain issues; Coming from him, issues have become more credible for me.

Highly recommend the topics to not only course takers but anyone interested in the Earth's health.

By Marthe v L

Sep 18, 2015

Jeffrey Sachs is a great professor who talks in a very clear and concise way. The terminology and even the math parts are all really understandable. The exercises are really useful because they introduce you to a range of tools on the web such as World Bank data and the Human Development Index, AND teaches you how to use it. This course helps you to get a really well-rounded, complete picture of what Sustainable Development contains and looks at it from multiple perspectives.

By Omar M

Sep 29, 2020

The course was very informative about historical events. It also puts the spot lite on the main problems we face a species and the burden humanity puts on our ecosystem and the environment. This course highlight the importance of SDGs and the importance for everyone to incorporate them into their lives in order to guaranty a future for us and future generation to come. I have learned so much from this course and I'm very interested in pursuing a career in sustainability.

By Cara E

Sep 6, 2015

This course is wonderfully and engagingly taught by the great Jeffrey Sachs, with a lot of food for thought, excellent visual aids, relevant data and statistics, and supplementary readings which add a lot to the course. The quizzes not only test the knowledge found in the lectures, but ask the students to analyze other data from sources such as the UN and World Bank. Overall, a holistic and information-packed introduction to the field of sustainable development.

By Carlo C

May 16, 2017

Very nice course and very informative. It helped my learn and broaden my view of the changes in the world and what we can do to mitigate, as well as prepare individually and as a country to these changes that are happening.

It informed of the things that I felt oblivious to, such as the Carbon concentrations in the atmosphere, and aquatic dead zones. These are the things that we need to consider with whatever Sustainable Development-related activities we do.

By Heidi C

Mar 27, 2020

I love this course, it is a great overview for all import topics in related to sustainability development and how Professor Sachs was humorous yet clear to the point presentation made the whole course flow into life. I wished that I could able to get a certification of taking this course as it is certainly not easy with unit tests that requires a lot of research on different sites. It took me almost 6 months to complete it, but it is really worth it.

By César A V G

Nov 3, 2015

Excelente curso, es impresionante saber lo crítico de la situación en el mundo y que tan frágiles somos. Entender por qué debemos cambiar nuestros hábitos de producción y consumo para no acabar con nuestros recursos ni con la calidad del aire. Gracias a este curso ahora estoy más comprometido a cambiar y ser agente de cambio para que otros sean conscientes de lo irresponsables que hemos sido en los últimos 100 años de constante contaminación ambiental.

By onawole a

Aug 28, 2017

This opened up my mind and strengthened my passion and support for good governance and sustainable development like never before. I had access to a lot of information and facts about the issues that interest me and were I want to make impact. To be be honest this is the best online course i have taken very intensive and engaging it was really worth it. Many thanks to Prof Jeff Sachs and all those who contributed to the success of this mooc.

By Victoria A

Oct 4, 2018

Great course! All of the supplemental materials are awesome as well. The only thing is that some of the links in the assessments are broken or outdated; you need these links to answer some of the questions, as they contain graphical/informational content relevant to the specific question. That should be an easy update anyways, so that aside, I really enjoyed it and found it to be valuable for increasing my knowledge of the subject!

By Daniel F M

Nov 6, 2016

This course should be taught in all schools in order to develop an awareness and a common goal around sustainable development. I really enjoyed the talks and Prof. Sachs is an incredible lecturer, engaging and knowledgeable. It would be good if it was a bit more updated and keeping the tabs on recent developments but overall i learned a huge amount and wouldn't doubt recommending this course to every individual in this world we share.