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Sustainability Futures

Climate change and other sustainability challenges will shape the future of our planet. This module prepares you to navigate the far-reaching implications of sustainability transitions and consider ways organisations might advance ecological boundaries, while providing an equitable foundation for all people to thrive.

Sustainability Futures: Navigating the Sustainability Transition


for eligible students from ATN member universities.

priority enrolment

to students who have completed 3 or more Level 1 Frontiers modules.


All levels of knowledge and experience in this area.

Sustainability challenges will require decades of consistent effort around the world to address successfully. They will shape careers now, and into the future.

This hands-on module uses a six-step transition management cycle to guide identification of practical actions that can help to conserve and restore nature and promote social justice and human well-being. Over three weeks and four live sessions, you’ll learn tools to take into your own work, including system diagramming and the Three Horizons foresighting method.

We will use case studies on the Blue Mountains, energy transition in Western Australia and the circular economy in South Australia will demonstrate what sustainability means in practice for Australia.

Week 1: The Sustainability Challenge

You’ll explore the nature of the sustainability challenges humanity is facing, including climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequity. Using the doughnut model of sustainability, you’ll look at the twin challenge of living within planetary boundaries while ensuring all people have a fair social foundation. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – the agreed international vision for achieving sustainability – are also introduced.

Week 2: Sustainability Transitions

You’ll focus on how we might respond to the challenges covered in Week 1. You’ll look at how to navigate and accelerate sustainability transitions through six practices: system analysis; stakeholder engagement; foresighting; option development and selection; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation.

Week 3: Sustainability in Practice

You’ll explore the ways that future professionals, organisations and sectors are likely to respond to sustainability challenges. You’ll use systems thinking and futures thinking tools to draw out implications and design responses.

Assessment: This module includes an assessment that is due towards the end of Week 3.

Learning hours: Total of approximately 15 hours of learning across 3 weeks. Your learning will consist of approx. 9 hours of asynchronous online learning within the OpenLearning platform + 6 hours of synchronous learning in a series of live online facilitated workshops with your expert facilitators (dates and times in the 2024 Delivery Dates section below).

The live masterclass were good and gave the change to meet and exchange with the other students and facilitators, which is important.

[Student, 2023]

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the sustainability challenges that will shape future societies, sectors and careers
  • Build experience with a six-step method to manage sustainability transitions and specific thinking tools to use at each stage
  • Apply systems and futures thinking to identify responses that individuals, organisations and sectors can take to sustainability challenges

2024 Delivery Dates

4 March – 22 March

Online Workshops
5 March 2024 (3:30 pm – 4:45 pm AEDT)
12 March 2024 (3:30 pm – 4:45 pm AEDT)
14 March 2024 (3:30 pm – 5:45 pm AEDT)
20 March 2024 (3:30 pm – 4:45 pm AEDT)

13 May – 31 May

Online Workshops
14 May 2024 (4:00 pm – 5:15 pm AEST)
22 May 2024 (4:00 pm – 5:15 pm AEST)
23 May 2024 (4:00 pm – 6:15 pm AEST)
29 May 2024 (4:00 pm – 5:15 pm AEST)

12 August – 30 August

Online Workshops
13 August 2024 (4:00 pm – 5:15 pm AEST)
21 August 2024 (4:00 pm – 5:15 pm AEST)
22 August 2024 (4:00 pm – 6:15 pm AEST)
28 August 2024 (4:00 pm – 5:15 pm AEST)

28 October – 15 November

Online Workshops
29 October 2024 (3:30 pm – 4:45 pm AEST)
6 November 2024 (3:30 pm – 4:45 pm AEST)
7 November 2024 (3:30 pm – 5:45 pm AEST)
13 November 2024 (3:30 pm – 4:45 pm AEST)