New Module Website

The Global Challenges module has a new website:

Please update your links. This website will not be updated in the future.

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Reading for Seminars 25th/28th Feb 2013

For 25th Feb 2013:
Read Meadows Thinking in Systems pages 66 to 72.
Read Beddington FOOD, ENERGY, WATER AND THE CLIMATE: A PERFECT STORM OF GLOBAL EVENTS? available as PDF download here. Slides of the accompanying talk available for download here.

For 28th Feb 2013:
Read Meadows Thinking in Systems pages 73 to 85.

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Starting work on the group project

In your groups I would like you to draft a project pitch that will give some details of your proposed group project. This project pitch needs to be approved by me because we need to make sure that your group project is both feasible and appropriate for the module.

I would like a first draft of your project pitch by Monday 4th March. Remember, your group project will pick one or more of the global challenges and then communicate them to an audience. So your pitch must include:

  • The global challenge(s) selected
  • The audience (e.g. CEO of large multinational, secondary school pupils)
  • The medium (e.g. YouTube film, presentation, series of posters)
  • Any requirements you have for completing the project (video camera, printing materials)

Please note that you do not need to provide any details about the particular challenges at this stage. We are still learning about them!

You will need to schedule regular group meetings in order to make progress on your projects. I would like your meetings documented. I suggest someone wears the ‘blue hat’ and manages an agenda, with someone else taking notes. Your meeting notes will be submitted along with your group project entry. The meeting notes will not be assessed and do not have to be elaborate. The date of the meeting, who attended, who is currently doing what actions and what actions are planned in the future is all they need to capture.

I have found can really help manage group working. You have to sign up, but it’s free and contains a range of tools that means your group work can all happen in one place. Documents can be created and shared, discussion threads started and saved. You don’t have to use wiggio, or any other application for that matter, but if nothing else please do take a look and feel free to try other applications.

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Reading for Seminar 21st Feb 2013

Read Meadows Thinking in Systems pages 51-66 (this introduces the importance of delays in the operation of a system and the positive and negative feedback loops associated with the exploitation of finite reserves).


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Curriculum Innovation Survey

We are very interested in why you chose this Curriculum Innovation (CI) module and what you hope to get out of it. The CI program is only in its second year, and this is the first time we have ever run the Global Challenges module. Your feedback will help us improve the module and the CI program  Рand this may be possible while you are still taking it. So the benefits of completing this survey available here may be conferred to you as well as future students.

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Reading for Seminar 14th Feb 2013

Watch Climate Change: Lines of Evidence, this is a video produced by the National Academies of Sciences. It serves as a good introduction to the different reasons why we have concluded that the Earth’s climate is changing and how humans are important drivers of this change.

Read Meadows Thinking in Systems pages 35-51 (up to, but not including “A system with delays – business inventory”.

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Reading for Seminar 7th Feb 2013

For the seminar on Thursday 10am 7th February, we will begin to discuss the Global Challenges as a challenge of systems. We will also spend some time reconfiguring some of the groups and begin the process of writing the group project pitches.

Read: Meadows et al Thinking in Systems pages 1-35. Google Books preview available here.

Visit: and view the 15 challenges

Watch: The Overview Effect and Go Somewhere Else! 

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