MOOC on Living Heritage and Sustainable Development:

How is intangible cultural heritage – or ‘living heritage’ – related to sustainable development? How is it relevant for addressing today’s development challenges in areas such as health, education, gender, natural disasters and conflict? Why is it important to keep this heritage alive? If you are interested in finding out the answers, UNESCO’s innovative and free MOOC on Living heritage and sustainable development helps to understand the connections between the two.

By taking this course, you will be exploring examples and experiences of communities from around the world. It will allow you to gain a better understanding of intangible cultural heritage and its relationships with sustainable development in an instructive manner. Indeed, there are many areas of sustainable development where intangible cultural heritage safeguarding is pertinent, such as gender equality, cultural diversity and creativity, education, health, income generation and natural disasters and peacebuilding.

This six-weeks course is self-paced, which means that everybody can progress at its his or her own speed, and it is free for everybody to join. Anyone can enroll and start the MOOC experience as of 24 January 2022 when the course opens with the first of six modules to run until 31 August 2022.

This course is for:

  • Anyone new to the concept of intangible cultural heritage who wants to understand what intangible cultural heritage is, why it is important to people’s wellbeing and what role it plays in the lives of people, including young people;
  • Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students interested in the key concepts and practices of sustainability and global issues;
  • Key actors engaged in the field of sustainable development at a local, regional or international level , including those who work in corporate sustainability and responsibility and who want to understand the relationship between intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development;
  • Practitioners and professionals engaged in living heritage safeguarding , who want to refresh their knowledge on the key concepts of safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and want to learn more about the relationship between living heritage and sustainable development.

This MOOC was developed by UNESCO in collaboration with the International Information and Networking Centre in Asia and the Pacific under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHCAP) and the SDG Academy. It brings together a diverse group of lead experts in the field of intangible cultural heritage and development who collaborated closely with the UNESCO Chair for Research on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diversity of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) as lead faculty to develop the content of this course. The course draws on their longstanding expertise, the experiences of communities engaged in transmitting their living heritage and ten years of implementing UNESCO’s global capacity building programme for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.