Sustainable Development – Measuring Progress

Course Description:

This course looks beyond the traditional indicators of progress to consider indicators that take into account the environmental and social aspects of progress. These indicators will be studied across a range of disciplines and will help provide the basis for identifying strengths, weaknesses and long terms implications of current decisions and behaviors.

What must we measure to assess progress? The traditional measure for assessing economic development has been Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but a broader set of indicators that take into account the environmental and social aspects of progress are increasingly being relied upon to understand development. Appropriate indicators establish baseline conditions and trends which help provide a basis for identifying strengths and weaknesses to evaluate the longer-term implications of current decisions and behaviors. They can also be used to illustrate to policymakers and the wider public the connections and trade-offs between economic, environmental, and social values. These indicators can help us all understand where adjustments are needed. This course provides an overview of the different indicators across a range of disciplines and explores the local, national, and multilateral frameworks currently in place and in development.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • Design a comprehensive performance measurement system for your organization / community including sustainability indicators.
  • Assess your organization and/or community using a range of sustainability indicators.
  • Evaluate the design and implementation of an existing set of sustainability indicators in your context.


Azadeh Ardakani As a strategic sustainability professional, Azadeh has over 10 years of experience launching strategic impact-driven initiatives through partnerships, campaigns, annual reporting, conferences, and education. She has completed her postgraduate degree in Corporate Social Responsibility. As the founder of Planet First Collective, Azadeh collaborates with purpose-driven leaders in need of strategic campaign development, execution, research and analysis, course design, impact assessment and reporting. Azadeh is driven by her core values and spends her free time in nature with her dog. Azadeh is a co-contributor of The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise and an arts book about the challenges of the 21st century.

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


  • BA Level: $300
  • MA Level: $600
  • PhD Level: $900
  • Audit-No Credit: $240 (only if offered in Live Virtual Classroom Mode)
  • Lite: $50 (no credit, access to course materials only)

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.

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.

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