Human Evolution

Behavioral Ecology

Sustainability Science

Global ESD works internationally to support sustainability education initiatives that connect concepts in human evolution, behavioral ecology, and sustainability science. By linking scientific perspectives on social change with students and classrooms seeking to make the world a better place, our aim is to foster a more global discussion about where we are going in the light of where we all have come from.

Today's global society faces major challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including sustainable resource use, social equality, and providing access to good education, health and human well-being for all.

What can we learn from the communities of the world, from our evolutionary history, from our everyday behaviors and experiences, and from other living beings about how to master these challenges of cooperation and sustainability?

Research from biology, economics, anthropology, behavioral and sustainability science provides insights into the conditions and principles for the sustainable development of communities across contexts.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals.Image source: UN Department of Public Information (Guidelines)

This is why we work to identify the overarching concepts and transferable principles as well as skills that underpin the work of scientists in these fields, and to develop teaching materials, lessons, units and teacher guidance to help cultivate these skills and transferable understandings in students and teachers across subjects and contexts.

An understanding of the origins and complex dynamics of human social behavior can help students and teachers understand today's challenges of global collaboration and collective problem-solving towards human well-being and sustainability.

The Global ESD Teacher's Guide to Evolution, Behavior, and Sustainability Science

Our teacher's guide provides a free and fun overview of the big ideas, essential questions, and core concepts behind the Global ESD project. It is a great starting point for using the resources and teaching materials on this website.

Academic publications

Darwin's Roadmap to the Curriculum

Co-founders Dustin Eirdosh and Susan Hanisch have written a chapter on the role of evolutionary studies in education for sustainable development in this new edited volume for higher education.

Link to Oxford University Press page

Eirdosh, D. & Hanisch, S. (2019) The Role of Evolutionary Studies in Education for Sustainable Development in Geher, G., Wilson, D. S., Head, H., & Gallup, A. (Eds.). (2019). Darwin's Roadmap to the Curriculum: Evolutionary Studies in Higher Education. Oxford University Press.

GlobalESD Web Intro_linked

Cultural Evolution in the Biology Classroom

Poster Presented at the Inaugural Conference of the Cultural Evolution Society, September 13-15, 2017, Jena, Germany.

Download the poster from ResearchGate