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Living in a Living Universe – for Changemakers

Course Description:

For the past three hundred years or so, science has viewed the universe as essentially non-living at its foundations. A non-living view of the universe has led to rampant materialism and global environmental degradation. To transform our planetary crises we need to move past a paradigm of separation and exploitation and learn to live sustainably on the Earth, in harmony with one another, and in communion with the living universe. This course will explore humanity’s journey to look beyond our many differences, and galvanize our efforts in building a promising future. This foundational course explores three, major questions:

  • Where are we? Are we living within a living system—or a non-living system?
  • Who are we? What is the nature of our identity?
  • Where are we going? As we awaken into aliveness and a more spacious view of our identity, how does that inform our evolutionary journey?

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • understand a broad survey across both science and wisdom traditions and their respective views of the universe, bringing critical thinking into this exploration;
  • see the shift from a non-living to a living universe represents an integral aspect of the “Great Transition” underway in the world;
  • recognize the new skill sets and capacities required for our changing world, and see more clearly the true gifts and great talents that we can each bring to this time of transition;
  • explore a topic or theme of your choice with emphasis on the implications of a living or non-living view of the universe; and,
  • see the key resources needed to deepen your own inquiry into the universe.


Dr. Duane Elgin specialises in speaking and consulting on: 1) global trends and the dynamics of great transition for the human journey; 2) sustainable ways of living, both personal and collective; 3) social media for social change; and 4) the meeting of science and spirituality. Since 2010, he has been the executive director of the “Great Transition Stories” project that offers new narratives to guide us toward a sustainable and meaningful future. He has written a number of books including “The Living Universe,” and “Voluntary Simplicity.” He has an MBA from Wharton (1968) and an MA in economic history from the University of Pennsylvania (1969).

Course Modalities:

Non-Credit Options

Lite Level – This course is delivered on-demand with no faculty interaction and is perfect for lifelong learners who want to go at their own pace and who are not interested in academic credit but still want to experience the course.

Audit-No Credit – If you would like to participate when this course is offered in our Live Virtual Classroom mode, you may attend the live faculty webinars but will not be required to submit assignments for credit.

If you take a few courses and decide you want to officially enroll in a degree program, you can gain academic credit for Lite versions or Audit-No Credit versions by paying the difference between these course fees and a normal academic fee, successfully completing quizzes, submitting your reflection journals, and delivering a Final Creative Assignment that will be graded.

For-Credit Options

Live Virtual Classroom: Study that takes place within Ubiquity University, in which Ubiquity academic coursework is accomplished through attendance in Live Webinars, with faculty and student interaction being a part of the Live Webinar content. To receive academic credit, you must not miss more than 3 live sessions, you must complete the quizzes and submit any other required assignments (if any), and a final creative assignment for grading at the degree level you are enrolled in.

Internal Online Independent Study: Study that takes place within Ubiquity University, in which Ubiquity academic online coursework is engaged in independently on one’s own and does not include faculty interaction. To receive academic credit, you must complete the quizzes and submit your reflection journals and final creative assignment for grading at the degree level you are enrolled in.

The rules guiding our assignment collection and grading process can be found here: Ubiquity University Grading Policy

Our shopping cart is simple and easy to understand. If you do not have a user account, you will be able to create one upon purchase. Save your username and password as you will need it to login to access course materials later. For more detailed, step-by-step instructions you can review our tutorial How to Purchase a Course. Again, if you experience any issues, please email Veronica Saldias at registrar@ubiquityuniversity.org.

Information about how we process refund or cancellation requests can be found here: Refund and Cancellation Policy

We allow students at all academic levels to participate in our online courses. However, those students who are enrolled in MA or PhD programs are expected to offer a more sophisticated analysis on reflection tasks, writing assignments, and in the final creative assignment. You will be graded commensurate with your degree level. Except for the Final Creative Assignment, word counts are offered as guidelines. If you need to exceed the word counts to submit an MA or PhD level response, you may feel free to do so as long as the word count expansion is reasonable and necessary.

Course Contact Information:

Live Virtual Classroom macrocourses are delivered by faculty in live Zoom sessions. You will have a course facilitator who is available to answer questions and offer additional assistance and that information will be provided to you upon registration. Please do not email faculty directly with any technology or registration issues.

For on-demand lite or Internal Online Independent Study versions, click the “Chat” button down on the left-hand side of the screen for any technical issues or questions you may have about the content.

Course Content

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