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SOS-Foundations of Sustainability (badge credential)- ALUMNI


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Full course description




6 Hours






What you'll learn:

Students will learn about sustainability’s three pillars (economy, society and environment), modern sustainability challenges and practical examples of how organizations are applying sustainability strategies for long-term success.

Learning objectives:

After completing this course's module presentations, assignments, and knowledge checks, you should have a working knowledge of:

  • Sustainability definition principles and pillars.
  • Why addressing sustainability issues are so challenging.
  • How incorporating sustainability in organizational strategy can positively impact revenue and reduce risk.
  • Sustainability strategy opportunities in your organization.


1. Sustainability Visionary – Ray Anderson
Introduces sustainability leader Ray Anderson. Explores how his sustainability legacy at Interface continues today.
2. What is Sustainability?
Considers principles fundamental to defining sustainability.
3. Sustainability Perceptions and Realities
Covers beliefs and evidence about global sustainability and natural resources.
4. Why Sustainability Ideas are so Challenging
Explores the concept of wicked problems and factors influencing human behavior. Discusses the interconnectedness of the three pillars of sustainability – economy, society, and environment.
5. Organizational Sustainability in the 21st Century
Discusses how the modern era of organization sustainability evolved into a new discipline. Explores the role of public awareness, natural disasters, and regulation in the field of sustainability.
6. How Sustainability Grew Within Organization Strategy
Presents motivations for businesses and organizations to implement sustainability operationally.
7. Getting Started With Sustainability in Your Organization
Introduces steps to take as a change agent for sustainability in your organization – including figuring out what sustainability means in the context of your organization and establishing the business case.
8. Questions, Opportunities and Moving Forward
Pivots from the idea of sustainability as a set of challenges, to sustainability as a set of opportunities. Global Sustainable Development Goals are introduced.
9. Sustainability Competencies

Introduces the five sustainability competencies:

  1. Systems Thinking
  2. Anticipatory/Futures Thinking
  3. Normative/Values Thinking
  4. Strategic Thinking
  5. Interpersonal/Collaborative Competence

Who this sustainability course is for:

This course is designed for busy professionals who are in or aspire to sustainability or corporate social responsibility roles.

What you'll receive:

Students will receive a badge for completing this course. Not interested in a digital badge? Students have the option of take the course without this credential here.

What is a badge?

A badge is an official digital micro-credential issued by ASU for acquiring knowledge through a short course or program to improve professional practice. Micro-credentials are an increasingly popular way to digitally represent an accomplishment or skill achieved that constitute less than a degree. Micro-credentials follow learners, often are displayed and on platforms such as on Linkedin, and are verifiable by employers through the issuing organization.


Ryan Johnson

Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability Executive Director, Executive and Professional Education, School of Sustainability Instructor, School of Sustainability

Ryan Johnson is the executive director of professional sustainability education and training in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University – the first degree-granting school of sustainability in the U.S. In this role, Ryan helps organizations and individuals meet their sustainability goals through custom training programs, open-enrollment (non-degree) programs and partnerships. Prior to joining ASU, Ryan spent more than a decade at Arizona-based WorldatWork, an organization that delivers HR certifications and trainings to professionals worldwide. His last position at WorldatWork was Vice President and Executive Editor. Earlier in his career, Ryan was a client-facing consultant with both the Institute for Strategy Development (ISD) in Washington DC, and with Creative Healthcare Solutions (CHS), of Columbus, Ohio. In the early 1990s, Ryan completed a graduate degree at ASU and subsequently spent seven years at ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Ryan began his career on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business.