Socio-Ecological Systems Core Academic Requirement

Socio-Ecological Systems Core Academic Requirement

Solve Tomorrow’s Problems Today

Humans are a part of, not apart from, nature. Everything is connected, systems are integrated, and yet, there is widespread structural injustice in the world.

As you dive into your sophomore year, taking a Socio-Ecological Systems course is a requirement where you’ll learn about the intersections among social, ecological, and economic systems that provide a full definition of the integrated sustainability challenges facing our future.

Learn the Skills to Create Sustainable Value

Prepare to explore the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—a blueprint for achieving a more sustainable future. The problem is clear: scientific evidence shows that human actions are the main driver of global environmental change. We’ll look to understand what decisions and activities have driven climate change, and focus on the opportunities that lie in the multiple solutions to slowing, adapting, and addressing this global crisis.

The Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) requirement helps you learn integrated sustainability and systems thinking (think interconnections and feedback, not linear events) and develop the problem-solving skills you need to be an effective global leader who imagines sustainable solutions to real-world challenges. Your leadership takeaways from this course will include structures of justice, support and include diverse communities, address critical issues of declining natural resources and climate change, and discover new paths to build flourishing and resilient communities.

A New Curriculum for a Changing World

Leading the Charge on Integrated Sustainability

Scientist and Babson Associate Professor and Faculty Director of Integrated Sustainability David Blodgett works with many Babson faculty to co-design the Socio-Ecological Systems curriculum, and, together with staff from multiple departments, tracks and assesses Babson’s sustainability goals and climate action plan.

The Socio-Ecological Systems Core Requirement

The required SES course is Socio-Ecological Systems. This multifaceted course blends the social sciences, humanities, and ecological sciences to teach integrated sustainability. Numerous electives are offered each semester to build on this foundation.

  • Must be completed in your sophomore or junior year
  • Two professors in the classroom: One natural scientist such as an ecologist or biologist, and one social scientist such as a historian, economist, political scientist, or sociologist
  • Blends the social sciences, humanities, and ecological sciences
  • 4 credits
  • Urban Development
  • Natural Disasters
  • Feeding the Modern United States

The Academic Experience

Studying Science at a Business School

Studying Science at a Business School

Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Joanna Carey asked students to express their vision for a better future. Why? Because she believes as Babson students, they can ignite change.

Presidential Scholar Sets Sights on Solving Climate Change

One Student’s Mission to Solve Climate Change

Ela Gokcigdem ’24 was looking for a college that emphasized sustainability. She attended Summer Study here on campus, and was drawn to the Babson Social Innovation Lab.

Reflecting on a Trip to the Top of the World

Tough Choices for Economics in the Arctic

Professor Michael Goldstein’s course examines the Arctic’s climate, policy, and economy. See how his students experienced firsthand the tough choices facing the region.

Preserving the Planet, One House at a Time

Preserving the Planet, One House at a Time

Have you ever done a home energy audit? Through this hands-on experience, students in Introduction to Sustainability learn a philosophical, social, and practical framework for the study of sustainability.

Linking Science and Liberal Arts to Create a Unique Experience for Students and Faculty

Linking Science and Liberal Arts

The course Feeding the Modern United States is a mashup between two professors who specialize in U.S. labor history, science, and share a love of the country’s greenest state, Vermont.

The Australia Fires and Our Future

The Australia Fires and Our Future

Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Joanna Carey brings the headlines into the classroom, underscoring climate change’s impact on every aspect of our lives.

Babson Social Innovation Lab

If you’re a changemaker, the Babson Social Innovation Lab is your home away from home. With resources, networking experiences, and a constant stream of business and sustainability conversations called The Uncommon Table, it’s a hub of inspiration for those dreaming of changing the world.

Good Business Fridays

What does it means to lead a “good business” in any role or sector?

Meaningful Business 100

How are entrepreneurial leaders driving meaningful business?

Community Table

Conversations for eaters and food entrepreneurs of all kinds.

Teens Unmuted

Conversations created by and for youth changemakers.

Sustainability On and Around Campus

What does it mean to be a green campus? For decades, we have been working to reduce our impact on the environment and the climate. Every day, in ways great and small, we are doing our part to live sustainably. From sourcing local food in the dining halls to slashing the emissions from campus building energy use, we live the values we teach.

Our Alumni In Action

Power for the People

Power for the People

One is the CEO of Eversource. Another is LPR Energy’s CFO. Still more have founded energy startups. See how a handful of Babson alumni are working on the cutting edge of renewable energy.

More Than Profits: The Importance of Integrated Sustainability

More Than Profits

Andrew Liddington ’18 is a senior analyst at Sustainable Energy Advantage, a renewable energy consulting firm. His passion for sustainability work was nurtured at Babson.