How to Change the World

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Final week of the course, How to Change the World by Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University with origins in Mashable’s “Social Good Summit”. The course examines how we truly can change the world with topics of the Climate Change and Sustainability, Women, Education and Social Change, Social Networks, and Education and Activism.

What do we know? Why should we care? What can we do? The course learning goals were is to have a clearer understanding of global issues and ways we can start working together to address the issues confronting the world today.

Here is the Syllabus from the course with the suggested reading from each week. There were videos with in each chapter to which questions where asked and answered. I didn’t fully complete the homework from it as I really didn’t have the extra time nor not sure how it would bring value to my career. Just being part of it to learn and to support was my main goal.

They asked us to spread the word so I am. We have to change the direction of where we are going as the will not have enough resources to sustain us. If you don’t believe these comments to be true, I triple dog dare you to share compelling information and recourse’s to prove them wrong.

Week 1: What are Social Goods? What is the Commons?

* Introduction: Social Good and Tragedy of the Commons (21:26)
* Genealogy of the Idea of Social Good (23:08)
* Reciprocity and Giving Back to the Commons (19:27)
* From legitimate communal regulation to pressures for exploitation (23:06)
* Fisheries Forests and Sustainable Productivity (22:26)
* Cultures of Trust and Reinforcing the Commons by Practicing Cooperation (21:49)
* Copyright to communities of cooperative practice (16:25)

Reading Links
* Garrett Hardin, “Tragedy of the Commons,”
* Lewis Hyde, “ Interview on the Commons” You may also want to consult Hyde’s Common as Air
* Yochai Benkler, The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest (Crown Press, 2011), chapters 1 and 10
* Tania Singer, “Beyond Homo Economicus

Week 2: Poverty and Development

* Extreme Poverty – Introduction (23:59)
* Varieties of Poverty and Development (22:40)
* Listening to the Poor to Find Out What Works (24:46)
* Multi-Pronged Effort: Private Enterprise, Government and Inclusive Growth (24:56)
* Systematic Efforts to Find Out What Works Best (19:45)
* Breaking out of Cycles of Suffering (23:59)
* Inclusive Economic Growth and a Global Movement to End Poverty (24:50)

Reading Links
* Jeffrey Sachs, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (Penguin 2008), Part Four (chapters 9-11)
* Cohen and W. Easterly, eds. “Introduction to What Works in Development? Thinking Big and Thinking Small. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2009
Pranab Bardhan, “Little, Big: Two Ideas About Fighting Global Poverty”
* Sudeep Jain, “A well-timed nudge” Promoting fertilizer use with a nudge to savings
* Isabel Coleman and Terra Lawson-Remer, “A User’s Guide to Democratic Transitions”
* Angilee Shah,
* Esther Duflo, Sebastian Galiani, Mushfiq Mobarak, “Improving Access to Urban Services for the Poor,”

Week 3: Climate Change and Sustainability

* Completed Climate Change and Sustainability (23:06)
* Global Challenges and Local Responses (23:03)
* Making a Difference and Varied Challenges (17:30)
* Grassroots Politics and Climate Change (1) (22:58)
* Politics and the Disruption of Ecosystems (21:17)
* Conversation with a Climate Economist on Risk Management (21:29)
* Risk, Assessment and Reducing Likelihood of Disaster (16:52)
* Conversation on Energy, Sustainability and Solution Science (32:10)
* Solution Science and What We Can Do (26:23)

Reading Links
* Elizabeth Kolbert, “In the Galapagos”
* Elizabeth Kolbert, “A Reporter’s Field Notes on Coverage of Climate Change”
Elizabeth Kolbert, “U.N. Chief: Talks Are Making Slow, Steady Progress”…
* Elizabeth Kolbert,“At the Edge of Peruvian Andes, Tracking Impacts of Warming”
“Climate Stabilization Targets, Report in Brief”

“Limiting the magnitude of Future Climate Change,” National Academy of Sciences,” PDF
“Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change” National Academy of Sciences,”PDF
“Advancing the Science of Climate Change,” National Academy of Sciences,” PDF
Interview with Dan Kahan on why you believe the climate story that keeps you in your group:
Global Warming Public Engagement Campaigns: Great resource:

Week 4: Disease and Global Health Care

Disease and Global Health – Introduction (22:35)
Democracy, Health and Engagement (20:06)
Major Health Challenges and Responses (1) (27:35)
Major Health Challenges and Responses (2) (31:43)
Testing our Work to Make it Most Effective (25:09)
Care, Organization and Making a Real Difference (38:40)
Motivating Change and Holistic Responses to Poverty (25:15)

Reading Links
* James W. McGuire, Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Chs. 1 & 11. PDF
* Paul Farmer on Rishi Manchanda and the roots of the health care crisis:
* Paul Farmer, “Rich World Poor World: Medical Ethics and Global Inequality” (2006)
* Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009, Ch. 6.

And you may want to consult the World Health Organization’s website:
Global Health Atlas:
Global Health Infobase:
World Conference on the Social Determinants of Health:

Week 5: Women, Education and Social Change

* Introduction and Quiet Violence Against Girls and Women (20:20)
* Social Entrepreneurship and Gender Lens Investing (23:24)
* Education and Risk Taking (21:23)
* Malala and the Courage of Education (1) (20:50)
* Malala and the Courage of Education (2) (30:33)
* Education and Building Human Capacity (27:36)

Reading Links
* (especially though page 20, and 53-55)
* Martha Nussbaum on the capabilities approach, Or, Nussbaum in more detail:
* Amartya Sen, “India’s Women: The Mixed Truth” New York Review of Books (October 10, 2013).

Week 6: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Wesleyan Students Share Their Thoughts about Change (25:41)
Completed Listening to the Local and Practical Idealism (20:03)

Source: Coursera and the How to Change the World MOOC from Wesleyan University.

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