Exploring The Shape of Our World Today

This module explores the basic shape of our world today: it highlights a range of key issues and challenges, how we see them and how others see them; it also explores a number of key debates around these issues. The module is designed to initiate debate and discussion about the issues – it is not exhaustive but is rather designed to stimulate enquiry and debate. The module will be expanded to include a range of additional information and topics over time.

Contents of this module:

4 Worldviews

  • Climate Change & Development
  • Resource Consumption & Development
  • Life Dignity & Development
  • Women’s Rights & Development: The New South Sudan

Positive and Negative Realities

The True Size of Africa

Debating Population

  • Population and sustainability
  • Population growth and women’s rights

Debating World Hunger

  • What does it mean to be hungry?
  • Who are the hungry?
  • Where are the hungry?
  • Some causes of hunger
  • What can be done?

Water and Sanitation

  • Water and sanitation: quick facts
  • The big water debate: to privatise or not to privatise?
  • Case study: Bolivia

Shelter and the Rise of Cities

  • The right to housing: a basic human right
  • Expanding urban growth
  • Some key issues explored
  • Case study: Bangladesh
  • Urbanisation and climate change

Health and Development

  • Maternal health
  • Child health
  • Global health trends
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Malaria
  • Tuberculosis
  • Obesity


  • The benefits of literacy
  • The achievements so far
  • But, we’re not there yet
  • What can be done?

Climate Justice and Climate Change

  • Climate disaster for the Developing World
  • Climate justice

Does Global Inequality Matter?

Wealth and Poverty

  • Worldwide
  • In Ireland
  • What is poverty in Ireland?
  • Why is there poverty in Ireland?
  • Global poverty
  • The Multi-dimensional Poverty Index
  • Wealth facts
  • Child poverty