Fall 2021 - SD 281 OL01

Introduction to Sustainability (3)

Class Number: 7127

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:




Introduces the challenges and opportunities for developing sustainable communities and a sustainable world, through the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and alternative perspectives around sustainability (e.g. Indigenous, just sustainabilities etc.). Students will also learn from the practical experience of diverse experts and sustainability professionals. Conventional approaches to sustainable development will be critiqued to ensure considerations for equity and social justice. Highlights will be showcased from the Global North and Global South. Students with credit for SCD 201 or REM 201 or REM 281 may not complete this course for further credit. Breadth-Social Sciences.


Every week students will go on a journey through one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explore exciting solutions from Canada and beyond. Students will virtually meet relevant experts in our weekly “Meet the Expert” episodes who will introduce them to some of the challenges and opportunities for developing sustainable communities and a sustainable world.  These experts will share their own journey through the path of sustainable development and provide practical lessons learned, and examples of how their projects helped address one of the SDGs. Whether students are interested in food security, water scarcity, gender equity, climate change mitigation, sustainable cities and planning, marine biodiversity, conservation, and more, they will find that the goal of developing sustainable communities and a sustainable world will require an interdisciplinary and systemic approach. This course will also challenge dominant approaches to development and promote an emphasis on cooperation and partnership. Case studies will highlight examples from the Global North and the Global South.  This course will help prepare students to connect the dots and move from the classroom, into real world action.

SD 281 is an asynchronous online course.


At the end of the course, students should be able to: 

  • Understand the interconnectedness of sustainable development goals.
  • Identify a range of strategies and approaches to sustainable development and how these strategies can contribute towards sustainable communities and a sustainable world.
  • Apply key frameworks for analyzing sustainability practice.
  • Design and apply innovative strategies to promote sustainable development.
  • Understand the personal attributes, skills and ethical foundations needed for sustainability practice and planning.
  • Perform a critical analysis to hone critical thinking and critical writing.


  • Written Assignments 100%



Access to computer and internet.


Required readings available on-line (Canvas), through library, or will be emailed to students via the course email list. Students are not required to purchase a textbook.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.