Designing for Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact

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19 Feb 2019

Starting on 19 February 2019, +Acumen is offering a six-week course on "Designing for Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact." The course is designed for social innovators who want to develop entrepreneurial solutions for environmental conservation and poverty reduction. The course will explore challenges like deforestation, overfishingwaste management, and agriculture, where the environment and livelihoods are sometimes at odds. This is a hands-on, project-based course that consists of weekly readings, videos, and workshops.

In the first week of the course, you will select an environmental challenge to research. In each workshop, you will apply the concepts you learned in the reading to propose solutions to the environmental challenge.

The course features insights from Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy; Vien Truong, CEO of Green for All; and Michael Kobori, Vice President of Sustainability for Levi Strauss & Co. It also shares case studies from social entrepreneurs and conservation organizations around the world. 

What You'll Learn

  • Explore opportunities for collaboration between social entrepreneurs and conservation organizations to promote environmental sustainability and social impact
  • Discover mindsets and methodologies for tackling environmental challenges, including systems thinking, circular design, behavior change, and natural capital
  • Understand how to design products and services that contribute to a circular economy, and how to change behavior to conserve biodiversity
  • Make the case for investing in environmental conservation with lessons from the natural capital movement


  • Team-Based Course: They strongly encourage (but do not require) that you take the course with a team of 2-8 people. They recommend working with friends or colleagues in person.
  • Platform: NovoEd (+Acumen developed the course. They host the course on the NovoEd platform.)
  • Timing: This course will be open for 6 weeks. You can work through the materials at your own pace while the course is open. There are suggested weekly deadlines to help you stay on track. The only firm deadline is the final day of the course.

This course is supported by the MAVA Foundation

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