Spring 2022 - SD 481 D100

Sustainability Governance and Leadership (4)

Class Number: 5717

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    HCC 1800, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    One of PLAN 100, REM 100, or SD 281; and 60 units.



Engages students in understanding critical concepts and issues of sustainability at different scales and how they related to policy, management, leadership, and governance in a range of context and across different sectors (thinking about how local movements can come to influence national and international governance). Explores and analyzes the history of sustainability action, how change happens, the role of different levels of governance, current sustainability initiatives, and prospects for how to create change in the future. Students with credit for SCD 401 or REM 401 or REM 481 may not complete this course for further credit.


Engages students in understanding how sustainable development goals are understood, defined, and implemented at national, international, and global scales. Discusses and analyzes how diverse perspectives and social, political, economic, and ecological contexts shape cooperation and sustainable development policy and strategies. Students will also explore the history of development actions, current sustainable development initiatives, and how large-scale change happens, including the role of local communities, governance actors, fields of research, and windows of opportunity.


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

  • Identify and understand key sustainable development approaches and theories of change;
  • Identify and appreciate key historical sustainable development initiatives and their lessons for future policy.  
  • Critically examine current national and global sustainable development initiatives, including their proposed mechanisms and intended goals.
  • Building from an understanding of multiple types of information and perspectives, formulate potential options for sustainable development policy and implementation that reconcile national and global agreements and guidelines with local contexts.


  • Assignments 45%
  • Quizzes 10%
  • Mid-term exam 20%
  • Final essay 25%



Required readings will be provided by instructor

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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this 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 spring 2022 term.