This one-of-a-kind course by Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is designed for anyone who wants to leave a mark on the world, make a difference and learn a few secrets about how to live a happier, healthier and more meaningful life. Along the way, you will learn about issues that afflict the world: Why some of us do not reach our potential, why some end up in poverty, how others are left out or brutalized because of their gender. You’ll learn about some of the people who have discovered ways to have strong impact around the world--and about how you can do so yourself.
You’ll also be inspired by social entrepreneurs who are making progress to help those struggling in life, whether because of poverty, disease, lack of education, or simply bad luck.
Beyond understanding the issues, though, you’ll discover how to make a difference in your own world and how you can reach out to lend a hand in your own community or halfway around the world. Helping people is harder than it looks, but with the tools gained from this course, you’ll be able to join the movement toward change. There is an emerging science of how to make a difference, and that’s the focus of this course.
Understand the Challenges Facing People at Home and Abroad
Make a Positive Impact and Help Improve the Lives of Others
This course is ideal for those who wish to become informed global citizens, and who yearn to find greater fulfilment but aren’t quite sure how to accomplish that or where to begin.
Through lectures filled with incredible stories, you’ll gain valuable insights that Kristof and WuDunn collected in their reporting at home and abroad, as they saw people devise creative solutions to solve social problems around the world.
There are many issues, from sex trafficking to a lack of quality education, that impact people all over the world. There are no silver bullets, but Kristof and WuDunn talk about “silver buckshot” that collectively make a powerful difference.
This course will teach you about these problems, while also sharing actionable solutions and the names of organizations on the front line of social progress--organizations you can support as a donor, volunteer, or advocate.
Contents and Overview
You’ll begin this course with a self-reflection exercise that will guide you to the issues that you care about most.
To ensure you can make the biggest impact with your altruism, you’ll learn that not all charitable organizations are created equal, and you’ll also gain insight into how you can try to distinguish an effective charity from one that may only seem to be effective.
You’ll then learn how early childhood experiences and education impact an individual’s ability to overcome poverty or be successful. You’ll gain insights into the rich-poor achievement gap, the effects of teen pregnancy, and the evidence that nurturing character traits may help create success for those who face the greatest struggles.
After being introduced to programs that seek to educate and support youth in poor communities, you’ll discover the importance of education, particularly for girls around the world, and what you can do to help.
Sex trafficking--at its extreme, a modern form of slavery--is more common than most people realize both at home and abroad. In addition to learning how this issue affects women around the world, you’ll gain an understanding of what steps work best to curb such exploitation and what communities can do to uproot it.
Other issues that you’ll cover include maternal mortality and reproductive health around the world. As with all of the other sections in this course, you’ll learn about the many things that you can do to help join the movement to advocate against these injustices.
Finally, you’ll learn about the growing science about the difference that hope can make, what you can do to spread hope, and the physiology of altruism and why helping others can make you feel good.
By the end of this course, you’ll have a deeper knowledge of issues that affect people globally, and you’ll know what needs to be done to uplift others next door or in distant countries. There are no magic wands to be waved, but we do have growing evidence of what works to empower people and make a difference.
Rather than feeling helpless about these problems, you’ll learn how you can get involved, and what you can do to make a difference to expand opportunity and equality.
Students who enroll now will be able to participate in an upcoming live, private Q&A with Nicholas and Sheryl!
Learn about the work that Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have accomplished, why they created this course, and what you can expect to learn from it.
This self-reflection exercise will guide you through your initial thoughts about global issues so you can pinpoint the problems that you care about most.
This lecture introduces you to the importance of expanding opportunity, fairness in society, and the "veil of ignorance."
This lecture teaches you about the "Girl Effect," which proved that by empowering women, infant mortality decreases, economic productivity increases, and all of society benefits.
This lectures teaches you the benefits of altruism, how giving to others can help your own health and wellbeing, and how you can make a difference with more than just donations.
This lecture teaches you that small donations really do make a big difference, despite common misconceptions.
This lecture teaches you that not all charitable organizations use their donations to benefit those in need, so you can learn how to donate to charities that truly make an impact.
This lecture teaches you about effective altruism as a means to ensure your donation goes to a charity that truly makes an impact, and it uses GiveWell.org as an example of this movement.
This lecture teaches you what you can do to make a difference, and how to go about making smart donations that will benefit the most people.
This lecture tells you the story of a child named Johnny Weethee and explains how adverse childhood experiences affect a person later in life.
This lecture teaches you about the Nurse-Family Partnership and its work coaching parents through their children's first years of life.
This lecture teaches you about the rich-poor achievement gap, as well as the vital importance of early childhood education.
This lecture teaches you about the early intervention work of Perry Preschool and Head Start.
This lecture teaches you what grit is, and why a person's character plays a major role in their ability to escape poverty.
This lecture teaches you about the negative outcomes of teen pregnancy, and the positive impact of coaching teens in high school to help them get into college and become employed.
This lecture teaches you the various ways that you can make a difference for young children and teens who are struggling to escape the cycle of poverty.
This lecture teaches you about the benefits of investing in girls' education to fight global poverty.
This lecture teaches you how improving the education of girls and empowering them can help decrease violence.
This lecture teaches you the story of Ann and Angeline so you can understand the struggles of girls who wish to go to school, and the people who are making a difference.
This lecture teaches you about female sex slavery, trafficking, and prostitution around the world, and what needs to be done to stop it.
In this lecture, Nick shares the story of Srey Neth and Srey Momm to highlight the ambiguities of trafficked women who are free versus enslaved.
This lecture teaches you about the struggles involved with solving the prostitution problem and about the solutions that are most likely to work to liberate women across the globe.
This lecture teaches you about sex slavery in the US, and what is being done to address the issue.
This lecture teaches you the ways that you can help defeat modern slavery in the US and around the globe.
This lecture teaches you about female genital cutting around the world, including where it occurs and how often it occurs.
This lecture teaches you about cultural imperialism and, through the example of Chinese foot binding, you'll learn how it can bring about change in societies around the world.
This lecture teaches you Molly Melching’s story to describe how grassroots efforts are working to end female genital cutting through education.
This lecture teaches you what you can do to combat female genital cutting.
This lecture shares Mahabouba’s incredible story: she suffered fistulas during childbirth, survived, and was helped by rural medical services.
This lecture teaches you about global maternal mortality rates and its causes, including fistulas and a lack of access to quality medical care.
This lecture shares the story of Prudence, a woman who died while suffering from obstructed labor in a hospital that refused to give her proper emergency treatment.
This lecture teaches you the main reasons why women around the globe die during childbirth.
This lecture teaches you the steps that you can take to help reduce maternal mortality and give women the health care that they need. This includes promoting education, making family planning more available, and donating to hospitals that are helping women.
This lecture teaches you about the reason that those living in poverty may engage in self-destructive behaviors, and the interventions that can break negative those patterns to create hope.
This lecture teaches you the steps you can take to spread hope and help people help themselves.
This lecture teaches you about how altruism survived evolution, as well as the genetic markers of compassion, the biochemistry of altruism, competitive altruism, and how giving affects the brain and your life.
This lecture teaches you about the effect of wealth on giving and altruism.
This lecture teaches you about study that found that altruists live longer and feel happier, as well as the effects of generosity on the human brain.
This lecture teaches you about social contagion's effect on giving, and the fact that generosity is contagious.
This lecture teaches you what you can do to be more generous and help others, such as making giving a social activity rather than a solitary one.
This lecture teaches you how to incorporate giving into your daily life, how to stop viewing giving as a sacrifice, and how to stay positive by focusing on the progress being made around the world.
This lecture concludes the course and teaches you how to set yourself on a path towards helping others and alleviating poverty.
Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times since 2001, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who writes op-ed columns that appear twice a week.
Mr. Kristof grew up on a sheep and cherry farm near Yamhill, Oregon. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and then studied law at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with first class honors. He later studied Arabic in Cairo and Chinese in Taipei. Mr. Kristof has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to more than 150 countries, plus all 50 states, every Chinese province and every main Japanese island. During his travels, he has had unpleasant experiences with malaria, mobs and an African airplane crash.
After joining The New York Times in 1984, initially covering economics, he served as a Times correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. He also covered presidential politics and is the author of the chapter on President George W. Bush in the reference book "The Presidents." He later was Associate Managing Editor of the Times for Sunday editions.
In 1990 Mr. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, then also a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China's Tiananmen Square democracy movement. They were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer for journalism. Mr. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006, for commentary for what the judges called "his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world." He has also won other prizes including the George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club award, the Michael Kelly award, the Online News Association award and the American Society of Newspaper Editors award. Mr. Kristof was the first blogger on The New York Times Web site and the first to contribute a video to The Times site. He has more Twitter followers than any other print reporter worldwide, and he also has large followings on Facebook and Google+ as well as a channel on YouTube. A documentary about him, "Reporter," executive produced by Ben Affleck, aired on HBO in 2010.
In his column, Mr. Kristof was an early opponent of the Iraq war, and among the first to warn that we were losing ground to the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. He was among the first to raise doubts about WMD in Iraq. His columns have often focused on global health and poverty and he has also written often about human trafficking.
Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn are authors of the best-selling books “A Path Appears,” “Half the Sky,” “Thunder from the East,” and "China Wakes.” Mr. Kristof is a member of the boards of Harvard University and The American Association of Rhodes Scholars. He and Ms. WuDunn are the parents of Gregory, Geoffrey and Caroline. Mr. Kristof enjoys running, backpacking, and having his Chinese and Japanese corrected by his children.
Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, is currently a senior managing director at Mid-Market Securities, a small banking boutique helping growth companies. She is also co-founder of FullSky Capital, where she advises socially driven for-profit ventures, along with ventures in education, healthcare, new media technology, among other fields.
Previously, WuDunn has been vice president in the investment management division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and has worked at The New York Times both as a journalist and an executive. She was a project director in The Times’s Strategic Planning Department, and she ran a department in circulation for readers under 30. She was a foreign correspondent based in China for The Times and is co-author with her husband, Nicholas D. Kristof, of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity (Knopf, September 2014), Half the Sky, China Wakes and Thunder from the East.
Ms. WuDunn also helped develop a multi-platform digital project for Half the Sky and helped raise $8 million for the multi-platform endeavor, which included a PBS Documentary (Fall 2012) that reached millions of viewers, a Facebook game (Spring 2013) that reached #9 in its first two weeks, mobile games and educational videos. In 2012, WuDunn was selected as one of 60 notable members of the League of Extraordinary Women by Fast Company magazine. In 2013, she was included as one of the “leading women who make America” in the PBS documentary, “The Makers.” She was also featured in a 2013 Harvard Business School film about prominent women who graduated from HBS.
Ms. WuDunn has an M.B.A. from Harvard, an M.P.A. from Princeton University and a B.A. from Cornell University. She is currently on the Board of Trustees at Princeton, and is a former Board Trustee at Cornell.