News.

Aug 1, 2017

Start a Business, Fight Climate Change with a New Duke Online Course

Courtney Lockemer

Want to do something about global climate change? Try starting a business.


That’s the advice from Chris Wedding, a Duke University faculty member who teaches a new online course, Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship.

Good for the Earth—and Business

According to Wedding, the need for carbon-reducing solutions presents a dual opportunity for entrepreneurs: fight climate change, and take advantage of the $1.4 trillion global energy economy.

“My hope is this course helps tens of thousands of you around the world generate and refine new business ideas…” Wedding says in a promotional video for the course. “This content can literally change your life.”

In the course, Wedding teaches how to take real world first steps towards launching a new business or corporate initiative in the energy, finance, real estate, design, engineering, or environmental sectors. Wedding draws on a 20-year career as a eco entrepreneur and college instructor, during which he has started IronOak Energy, a renewable energy financial advisory firm, and The Invest for Impact Academy, an education and coaching platform focused on impact-driven business and finance.

The three-week course is offered through the online platform Coursera, and anyone in the world can enroll now.

#LearnActImpact: Courses to Inspire Social Change

Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship is one of 14 new courses in Coursera’s new #LearnActImpact initiative. #LearnActImpact aims to help people around the world learn skills they need to be drivers of social change. The initiative launched this summer with courses on topics like social justice, diversity, and global challenges.

#LearnActImpact builds on programs like Coursera for Refugees, which launched in 2016 to provide online education at no cost to refugees around the world. Duke participates in the program, which means refugees can take any of its 50 Coursera courses and three Specializations for free.

In one year, Coursera for Refugees provided more than 5,000 refugees with access to Coursera courses. Refugee learners earned more than 1,300 Course Certificates through the program.