STUDENT LEADERS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE
Project Green Course is an interactive, interdisciplinary virtual course for Undergraduate, Master’s, law and PhD students to explore climate and social justice, sustainability, advocacy, and public health. In the fall of 2021, an inaugural class of emerging leaders from around the world have engaged with and learned from each other, academics, speakers, mentors and innovators throughout this independent study.
The 15-week curriculum broadens perspectives on key environmental and social justice topics, illustrates the intersections vital to this work, and sharpens critical thinking, leadership, communication and professional skills — to propel agents of change with passion, purpose and power. PGCourse facilitates deep discussion, meaningful reflection and solutions-based thinking to activate voices and actualize potential. Participants benefit from a dynamic educational experience, gaining knowledge and skill sets with widespread application and value. These learnings are put into practice through final Climate Action Projects with real world and ongoing impact.
PROJECT GREEN COURSE CURRICULUM
ACADEMIC ADVISORY BOARD
“Access to high quality education moves people from one stage of life to another. Once you can read and write you are empowered to know more, grow and develop an informed perspective of the world.” – Yaw Agyeman Boafo, Ph.D, University of Ghana
“We’re creating this course to inspire and
empower our generation to change the world.”
Tara Holland, Ph.D.
Simon Fraser University
Tara has a Ph.D. in Geography and is a lecturer in Geography and Environmental Science at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. She has multidisciplinary interests that are bound by the common thread of human-environment interactions, and has published research on climate change impacts and adaptation, development impacts on coastal environments, and forest fragmentation patterns in Canada.
Her current research involves assessing the best teaching methods for improving student learning and engagement. Tara's teaching is informed by her interdisciplinary research, and she loves to challenge students to think critically, be engaged and active citizens, and to embrace (and enjoy!) the lifelong process of learning.
Azael Jesus Cortes Capetillo, Ph.D.
Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education
Azael teaches at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. He has a specialization in innovation and innovation management, product development and management, and entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.
Azael has a Ph.D. in Engineering by the University of Leeds, UK (2015). He also has a Master's degree in sustainable design of new products by the University of Leeds, UK (2010), a Master's degree in product design management by the University of Liverpool, UK (2007) and a BSc. in Engineering and Management by UANL, MX (2005).
He has experience as a Technology Innovation Leader in the automotive industry and product development engineer in the HVAC industry in the UK: working on areas of development of new products, incremental design of existing products, disruptive innovation, technology research, development, management, launching new ventures and discovering new business models.
Azael is the current Director of the Innovation GYM at Tec de Monterrey and a research professor on issues of innovation management, product development and technology-based entrepreneurship. He is the National leader in Innovation topics for ITESM. He is also a member of the Nuevo León 4.0 strategy and a strong promoter of Blockchain technology.
Yaw Agyeman Boafo, Ph.D.
University of Ghana
Yaw is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, University of Ghana. He has over 10 years of experience engaging in transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching and research projects in Ghana and beyond. During this period, he has collaborated extensively with partners from the United States, Japan, Canada and several African countries.Yaw’s scientific research work is on sustainability assessment, climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity and ecosystems functioning, disaster risk reduction and resilience, and food and farming systems.
As a social-ecologist, Yaw’s primary goal is to use research to empower vulnerable communities in designing and implementing locally-driven actions to enhance resilience against climate change and ecosystem change impacts. He draws extensively on participatory and collaborative techniques including community-based environmental theatre in his research. Yaw is currently working on two different research projects: namely, (i) Re-Energize Governance of Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience for Sustainable Development and (ii) Coastal Community Resilience to Climate Change and Diarrhoea. Between 2012 and 2015, Yaw studied and worked in Japan at the United Nations University and University of Tokyo, where he spent time studying and appreciating the Japanese Satoyama (a system symbolising a pure integration of environmental, economic, cultural and social links between humans and nature).
Since 2015, Yaw has been actively involved in global biodiversity and ecosystem research network and served as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, published in 2019. Yaw spends most of his free time travelling to ‘ruralscapes’, gardening and encouraging people of all backgrounds to plant a tree.
Emanuele Giorgi, Ph.D.
Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education
Emanuele has been a professor at the School of Architecture, Art and Design at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico since 2017. He develops teaching and research activities on the issues of communities and sustainable territorial development. He has a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and Architecture obtained at the University of Pavia (Italy).
In 2020 he published (with Springer) the book, "The Co-Housing Phenomenon. Environmental Alliance in Times of Changes," which has already been purchased by more than 200 libraries from various prestigious universities such as MIT, Stanford, Princeton and the British Library.
He is director of the “Design for Vulnerables” research project focused on design solutions for Mexican vulnerable communities. Since 2019, he is the national coordinator for the academic community “Research and Architectural Project” of Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Secretary of the Association of Italian Researchers in Mexico.
A reviewer for several journals, he acted as judge for MIT Climate CoLab “Buildings” contest 2018 and currently he is member of the Tecnológico de Monterrey committee for the Earthshot Prize. He has presented his research papers in more than 30 international conferences and published several articles in indexed journals. Since January 2021 he has been part of the MexicanNational System of Researchers, level 1.
Rodolfo Dirzo, Ph.D.
Rodolfo is a professor of Biology at Stanford University in California and a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Wales, as well as an M.Sc. from the University of Wales and a B.Sc in Biology from the University of Morelos, Mexico.
Rodolfo’s work examines the study of species interactions in tropical ecosystems from California, Latin America, and other tropical areas of the world. His recent research highlights include the decline of animal life (“defaunation”), and how this affects ecosystem processes/services (e.g. disease regulation). He teaches ecology, natural history, conservation biology, and biocultural diversity at undergraduate and graduate levels at Stanford, and conducts science education programs with underserved children in the Bay Area and other study sites. His lab includes undergrads, graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scholars from the US, and many other countries.
Rodolfo co-authored the new Framework for K-12 Science Education. He has also won several awards such as the “Outstanding Service Award: Teaching, Organization for Tropical Studies” (2002) and the “Presidential Award in Ecology, Secretary of Environment, Mexico” (2003).
Karen Beardsley, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
Karen Beardsley is a native California who has had the privilege of traveling to and living in several parts of the world. She majored in applied mathematics at UC Davis, and shortly thereafter joined the U.S. Peace Corps, volunteering as a math and science teacher in Kenya in a rural secondary school. From there she began her geographic information systems (GIS) career with the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi using GIS to estimate elephant populations for the African continent. Karen received her M.A at UC Santa Barbara, and later her PhD from UC Davis, in Geography. She has worked at UC Davis more than 20
years as a researcher, geographic information system (GIS) specialist, and project manager with the Information Center for the Environment in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy.
She currently serves as the Director of Global Professional Programs with Global Affairs at UC Davis, focusing on overseeing programs for international scholars and professionals coming to UC Davis on prestigious scholarships, such as the Humphrey Fellowship, Fulbright Scholar programs, and the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Her interests include applications of GIS and other geospatial technologies to biodiversity protection and land use planning, as well as developing international connections and opportunities for UC Davis students, scholars and faculty around the world. In 2015-16, Karen worked as a Fulbright Professor at the Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan. She taught college students about geographic information science and technology, and arranged and delivered short GIS courses for Bhutanese government staff. Karen enjoys playing the violin and flute, traveling locally and globally, and starting every day with an early morning run.
Luca Bertolini, Ph.D.
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Luca is Professor of Urban and Regional planning at the University of Amsterdam. His research and teaching focus is on the integration of transport and urban planning for humane, sustainable and just cities, and concepts and practices to enable transformative urban and mobility change. He is also interested in ways of enhancing collaboration across different academic disciplines and between academia and society.
Luca has published several books, including “Planning the Mobile Metropolis:
Transport for People, Places and the Planet” and “Seeing the City. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Study of the Urban.” He has also been involved with several research projects regarding urban planning and design, mobility, and energy, such as “CODALoop - enabling energy efficient lifestyles,”“CLEAR - City LivEAbility by Redesign“ and “Cyclewalk - supporting the shift to cycling and walking.”
Abdelghani El Asli, Ph.D.
Al Akhawayn University
Abdelghani is a professor within the School of Science and Engineering at Al Akhawayn University. He has a Ph.D. in Biology (Microbiology and Biotechnology) from the University of Abdelmalek Essaadi in Tetouan, Morocco in joint supervision with the Institute of Microbiology, Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet, Dusseldorf, Germany. He has a M.A. in Molecular Biology from the City College of New York, USA.
His research interests include renewable bioenergies, such as the bioproduction of ethanol from lignocellulose (olive cake), biogas from organic waste, and second and third generation biodiesel. They also include green wastewater treatment and environmental chemistry, as well as the circular economy and the science of education. He has been involved with projects such as the design and development of an environmentally friendly pilot unit to convert used cooking oil into biodiesel, and the Competence Center for sustainable resources and energy management - which aims to support sustainable development in Morocco and beyond.
Marianne Falardeau, Ph.D.
Quebec City, Canada
Marianne is a postdoctoral fellow at Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada, with a joint appointment in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and in the Department of Biology. She holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences from McGill University (Montreal, Canada), as well as a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Biology from Université Laval. She studies marine ecosystems in the context of climate change in the Arctic, and the importance of marine resources, especially Arctic Char fisheries, for food security and health in Indigenous coastal communities. Her research further aims to guide sustainable management of Arctic marine ecosystems and resources.
Marianne’s approach to research is transdisciplinary, where different types of knowledge and academic disciplines interweave. Marianne is also an eager science communicator who shares her research through articles, conferences, short films, interactive workshops, and new media. She was named amongst the Top 30 leaders in sustainability under 30 years old of Canada by the Magazine Corporate Knights in 2016, and as a Clean50 Emerging Leader of Canada in 2018, in recognition of her research and science outreach efforts.
Sudhir Chella Rajan, Ph.D.
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Chella teaches at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras. He was formerly Head of the Department (2011-2014) and was Coordinator of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (2010-2016) and Area Coordinator for Land-Use (2016-2020). He obtained an interdisciplinary doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles and has worked in progressively senior positions in government, research consultancies, NGOs and academia. His interests are primarily at the interface of political theory and the environment; in particular, on the new challenges that enter politics within democratic societies in the face of composite social and environmental encounters.
Chella has worked on emergent policy dilemmas in automobile pollution regulation in California, the politics of power sector reform in developing countries, conflicts in relation to energy access and climate change policy, the patterns of social change needed in transport in the United States for fair climate policy, ethical approaches to addressing climate change and sea level rise, new interpretations of the resource curse in resource-rich developing countries, changes to the peri-urban landscape in South India and the shifting meanings of corruption in environmental and everyday discourse. His latest book is A Social History of Corruption: Notes from the Indian Subcontinent.
Iokiñe Rodríguez Fernandez, Ph.D.
University of East Anglia
Iokiñe teaches at the University of East Anglia, UK, where she is a Senior Lecturer at the School of International Development and a Research Group Member for Global Environmental Justice. She is a Venezuelan sociologist with an M.Phil. in Environment and Development from the University of Cambridge, UK, as well as a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of Sussex, UK. She has a post-doctorate from the Centre of Social Studies of Science at the Venezuela Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC).
Iokiñe uses local environmental knowledge and participatory action research to help resolve environmental conflicts and achieve environmental justice in Latin America. Her work on environmental conflict transformation focuses on issues of local history, local knowledge, power, environmental justice, equity and intercultural dialogue. This has led to her building local and institutional capacity to transform environmental conflicts in Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia. Iokiñe is also co-founder of ‘Grupo Confluencias’, a consortium of Latin American conflict resolution practitioners, researchers and institutions who develop processes for environmental conflict transformation.
Leah Temper, Ph.D.
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Leah is a political ecologist and ecological economist based at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (AUB) in Spain and McGill University in Canada. She holds a Ph.D in environmental science, with further expertise in the fields of environmental justice and economic history.
Leah is a researcher, activist, and filmmaker who has done fieldwork in Israel, Kenya, Ecuador and India, studying conflicts related to land use, mining and energy. As an environmental journalist and video artist, she has used her experience to facilitate learning and communication between scientific and civil groups. Leah is the co-editor of the book “Ecological Economics from the Ground Up” and has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals.
Leah is the founder and co-director of the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice, an initiative which maps and informs about global ecological conflicts, environmental issues, and spaces of resistance. She is also a Principal Investigator of the ACKnowl-EJ project (Activist-academic Co production of Knowledge for Environmental Justice) and a Research Associate for the Leadership for the Ecozoic project.
Dr Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada
Southampton Business School
Jagannadha is an award-winning business economist specialising in interdisciplinary entrepreneurship and strategy research. He is currently working as an Associate Professor at the Southampton Business School where he also serves as the Deputy Director for Impact and Collaboration at the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. He is a co-founder of iPowerz, the global digital ecosystem for fast-tracking microentrepreneurship and small businesses growth, and a steward at the Council for Inclusive Capitalism.
He has a PhD from the University of Goettingen and the Max Planck Institute for Economics. For his doctoral thesis on entrepreneurship in developing countries, he was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society and the Inaugural Best Dissertation Award of the Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics (DRUID).
Dr Pawan is an alumnus Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and Narendrapur Rama Krishna Mission, two revered Indian institutions founded on the ancient Advaita philosophy. He is a Universalist committed to advancing the cause of societal wellbeing through his endeavours, and is a founding trustee of three registered charities in England. He is married with three children and lives near Southampton, UK.
“Humanity is waiting for paradigm shifting innovations that advance universal education, empowerment and environmental resilience.” JP Tamvada