Global Futures of the Environment – Online Course

Global Futures of the Environment – Online Course

October 2023:  includes current updates on the climate crisis and climate solutions

This is a self-paced course about the environmental challenges we face and what we can do about them.

In brief, the course includes 12 lessons across three themes:

  1. Climate Change
  2. Energy Systems
  3. Ecosystem

Each theme has two lessons addressing the challenges, and two lessons addressing the alternatives.


Please watch this video for an overview of the course, how it is structured, what you can expect to gain, and a bit more about the course designer, Professor Jennifer Gidley, PhD.


The global futures that we face are viewed by many as threatening the existence of humanity and all life on earth. 

This course will introduce you to global futures challenges and alternatives.

This course focuses on our environmental systems and will teach you about such intractable emerging issues as climate crisis, sea level rise, food and water security, and resource depletion. This course will empower you to search for and understand the enormous potential of innovative thinking to create alternative solutions, such as urban and ocean farming, renewable energy, and floating cities. This course will explain how each innovative solution can be aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Identify three major environmental systems challenges and give examples of at least two specific challenges for each.
  2. Reflect on how at least one of these environmental challenges is having a direct impact in their life and that of their community.
  3. Research alternative scenarios for this direct challenge, if possible demonstrating how each alternative aligns to one of more of the UN SDGs.
  4. Design a plan of action to implement some tangible change in their life or community in relation to one of the environmental challenges.

Course Designer

Jennifer M Gidley PhD, is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS), Sydney, Australia. Her Doctorate (2008) was awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence.

She’s been an international futures researcher for over 20 years and was recently included in the Forbes List of the “World’s Top 50 Women Futurists”.

For 8 years she was President of the World Futures Studies Federation, which is a UNESCO partner and the global peak body for futures scholars across 60 countries.

The Global Futures Courses not only draw on her work as an international futurist, but also on her 40 years’ experience as a psychologist, educator and academic.

Jennifer is an experienced Steiner educator, who founded and led the first Steiner school in northern NSW (1984-94). She was a Consultant Research Advisor to the Australian Steiner Curriculum Project. Her numerous academic publications are deeply inspired by Steiner philosophy and pedagogy.

The course also draws on her Oxford book The Future: A Very Short Introduction which is the companion volume to this course, and is required reading in university futures studies courses around the world.


You can enrol in the full course which includes an overview and all three topics: Climate Change, Energy Systems and Ecosystem, for $450 +GST.

Or you can enrol in single topics only for $160 +GST each.

Click the button below to enrol in this course:




Steiner Education Australia would like to thank NGS Super as the sponsor of our online learning program.

01 Feb 2023 - 31 Dec 2023
VENUE: Online - at your own pace