15 October 2020: The 21st century has seen unprecedented improvements in human wellbeing and prosperity – but at devastating cost to the world's natural resources.
Now an online green entrepreneurship course has been developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), FaithInvest and other partners that aims to transform the relationship between business and nature.
It also includes – for the first time in a UN course – faith perspectives on business, wealth and the planet drawn from Catholic, Hindu, Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism traditions.
The six-week Green Entrepreneurship course, which goes live on November 2 and is free to anyone to join, offers a step-by-step framework for transforming a green business idea into a viable business plan.
FaithInvest worked with the Vatican's Dicastery for Integral Human Development as well as with Chinese and Hindu partners to develop the course's three faith-based 'lenses': Catholic; Hindu and Chinese traditions (Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism).
They show how the different traditions can contribute to a re-think of business in light of the global climate and biodiversity crises.
Lorna Gold, FaithInvest's Director of Public Engagement and Advocacy, said the new UNDP online programme on green entrepreneurship was a welcome development: "The inclusion of 'faith lenses' from a range of religions in the programme is significant.
"At this juncture in history, with so many crises, every community has a role to play in generating solutions. Because of their values base and local-global reach, faiths have a key role to play. This course really helps bring that connection between faith and green entrepreneurship to life."
The Green Entrepreneurship course will provide the tools needed to generate, test, and refine an idea for a green business, together with successful examples of green entrepreneurs’ paths from business ideas to value-generating, market-fit solutions.
UNDP says the course is needed because while the 21st century has seen unprecedented improvements in human wellbeing, with more than one billion people lifted out of extreme poverty and average life expectancy increased by over 30 years, these gains in economic growth have often been driven by unsustainable levels of production and consumption.
With Co2 levels at their highest for three million years, unprecedented deforestation rates and alarming losses of biodiversity, resulting in 10,000 species going extinct every year, UNDP says it is clear that we are exceeding the planet's capacity to sustain such growth and need a new approach to sustainable business.
The Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) runs from 2 November 2020 to 11 December 2020 on UNDP's Learning for Nature Platform.
It is open to everyone.
Faith communities will be able to create a 'room' in the course to enable groups of people to work together.
There will be an Orientation Week from October 26. The course will run in French and Spanish in early 2021.
Registration link: http://bit.ly/GreenEntrepreneurshipMOOC
Course trailer: http://bit.ly/GreenEntrepreneurshipTrailer
FaithInvest will hold a webinar to introduce the Green Entrepreneurship MOOC:
Wednesday October 28 at 12.00 UK time
Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eXGaNI7JThqmxbDBgrMIAQ