Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis Learning Module

The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities brings together environmental scientists and economists, urban planners and policy experts, students, faculty, and community members, and sustainability visionaries and elected officials to collaboratively pursue and promote sustainable communities. In 2016, the Shi Institute created this easy-to-use, easy-to-modify learning module to introduce Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis (FCA) to classes and research conversations. Furman University has a long standing and deep commitment to sustainability, and has particularly focused its efforts on innovative curriculum creation and engaged learning. Its work in engage learning supports student development through curricular, co-curricular, and community partnerships that provide distinctive and meaningful experiential education.

Sustainability, in its most fundamental sense, involves balancing the relationships among complex systems – environmental, political, economic, social and ethical. These systems together generate questions of value. Sustainability Science is an academic discipline that focuses on the critical linkages between global environmental, human, and social systems and emphasizes complex systems analysis focusing on understanding sustainability related problems and assessing potential solutions. The challenge of sustainability is becoming ever more urgent as human transformations of the earth have overstepped critical planetary resource boundaries. Addressing this challenge requires examining complex problems from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and crafting holistic solutions.

One approach to addressing these challenges is Full Cost Analysis. Full Cost Analysis (FCA) is a method of problem solving which uses systems thinking to account for the economic, societal, and environmental costs of a problem, to the fullest extent possible.

This Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis Learning module contains Video Primers and Case Studies as well as additional materials needed to teach the concepts of Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have generously funded the development of these Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis pedagogical framework and materials. The vision of the AVD Foundations has been integral in supporting the proliferation of more opportunities for faculty to train their students in cutting edge techniques like FCA.


Browse the Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis Learning Module Collections:

Sustainability & FCA Primer

Case Studies

Additional Materials