Pearson Collaboration

The Resilience By Design Lab (RbD) and Royal Roads Professional and Continuing Studies are joining with Pearson College UWC to offer two undergraduate courses to their students enrolled in the new Climate Action Leadership Diploma. The first of these courses provides a foundation in climate science, impacts and risks; the second bookends the program and supports students developing their professional portfolios and leadership profiles as climate action leaders in their communities and nations.


Pearson Colleges’ Climate Action Leadership Diploma will include two 300-level courses developed by Royal Roads and based on similar courses offered in the Master of Arts in Climate Action Leadership program. These courses and the Diploma program as a whole, are informed by the Climate Adaptation Competency Framework, designed by the RbD as part of the Adaptation Learning Network project. These two courses  will provide undergraduate credit courses to Pearson students enrolled in the diploma program, and will be the basis for other learning opportunities offered to undergraduate students through Royal Roads. These courses will support students developing competencies related to climate change science and the principles and practices of effective climate action leadership as follows. 

Climate Science and Impacts course

This foundational course cultivates competencies related to climate science and policy. Students will be introduced to core climate science concepts and theories,  explore climate risks, hazards, climate mitigation and adaptation,  and complex systems thinking approaches to addressing human-caused global warming. Experiential, solution oriented, and place-based  learning opportunities will support students examining the root causes and  impacts of climate change on human and ecological systems. An emphasis is placed on understanding local, regional, and global challenges associated with a warming  climate, such as sea-level change, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss.  

Course topics include:

  1. Climate systems
  2. Socio-ecological systems
  3. Global biodiversity
  4. Global climate scenarios
  5. Climate data and models
  6. Methods for assessing regional climate change

These topics will be approached from an interdisciplinary and complex systems perspective. Students will  focus on the strengths and limitations of climate science and other sciences (e.g., Indigenous science, citizen science) and how to work with the methodologies and outputs of these sciences to effect and lead change.  

Climate Action Leadership course

In this course, students will hone the skills and mindsets required for emerging leaders to take on climate action leadership roles. Students will examine the theory and practice of personal leadership from multiple perspectives and develop their own leadership profiles and leadership development plans.  The course will explore topics that focus on the key traits of authentic, resilient leadership, collaborative leadership, and transition leadership. Learners will have opportunities to reflect on and enhance their personal leadership strengths and competencies. Students will draw upon their passions, interests and experiences to develop a personal theory of change unique to them, and grounded in the core competencies of effective leadership.

Students will graduate from this course with a professional e-portfolio that reflects their climate action leadership learning and competency profile. 


Development of these two new undergraduate courses draws from the design and focus of the Master in Climate Action Leadership graduate program and courses, specifically the Climate Science, Impacts and Services course (CALS 500) and the Leading Climate Action in Society course (CALS 601). The curriculum will be designed for an undergraduate learner, and delivered through the on-campus semester-based Climate Action Leadership Diploma program, providing Pearson students with undergraduate credit from Royal Roads University as part of the International Baccalaureate.


This partnership continues an ongoing relationship between the RbD and Pearson, the goal of which is to empower and enable youth as climate action leaders in their home communities and nations. Pearson’s Climate Action Leadership Diploma graduates will forge lasting climate solutions based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as entrepreneurs and scientists, change-makers in the financial and resource sectors, innovators in tech and global health, and collaborators in the policymaking, private, and public sectors.