About this Specialization
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 7 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 7 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

how it works

There are 4 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Analysing Complexity

4.8
40 ratings
13 reviews
The first course of the specialization ANALYZING COMPLEXITY will teach you what unifying patterns lie at the core of all complex problems. It advances your knowledge of your own field by teaching you to look at it in new ways. ANALYZING COMPLEXITY is constructed in the following way: Week I. "What is Complexity?" - What is at the core of all complex problems Week II. "Complex Physical Systems" - What complex problems all have in common in the inanimate world Week III. "Complex Adaptive Systems" - What complex problems all have in common in nature Week IV. "Complex Cultural Systems" - What complex problems all have in common in human society Week V. "Complexity, Fragility, and Breakdown" - Why complex problems arise Week VI. "Complexity in the Anthropocene" - What complex problems face us today...
Course2

Evaluating Problems

4.7
11 ratings
2 reviews
The second course of the specialization EVALUATING PROBLEMS will show you how humans think and how to utilize different disciplinary approaches to tackle problems more effectively. It advances your knowledge of your own field by teaching you to look at it in new ways. EVALUATING PROBLEMS is constructed in the following way: Week I. “Thinking about Thinking” – How problem solving evolved in nature, how the mechanics of our brains work, and the psychological biases that can emerge when we think. Week II. “Philosophy, Science, and Problem Solving” – How humans have historically approached problem solving, from ancient times to the present. Week III. “Approaching Problems in the Natural Sciences” – How people in the natural sciences deconstruct problems. Week IV. “Statistics and Problem Solving” – How statistics can be used to evaluate problems and think critically. Week V. “Approaching Problems in the Humanities” – How people in the social sciences and humanities deconstruct problems. Week VI. “Evaluating the Anthropocene” – How to evaluate the problems of the Anthropocene....
Course3

Creating Innovation

4.8
8 ratings
2 reviews
The third course of the specialization CREATING INNOVATION will teach you what is at the core of all innovations that solve complex problems and how to foster methods to make big breakthroughs possible. It advances your knowledge of your own field by teaching you to look at it in new ways. CREATING INNOVATION is constructed in the following way: Week I. “What is Innovation?” – What lies at the core of all innovations. Week II. “The Evolution of Human Creativity” – How humans developed the ability to innovate and think creatively. Week III. “Innovation in a Complex Global Network” – How innovations emerge from human networks. Week IV. “Planning Innovation” – How organisations seek out and create the right conditions for new breakthroughs. Week V. “Market Innovation” – What makes innovations more likely to emerge in a market setting. Week VI. “Innovation in the Anthropocene” – How innovations are crucial to meet the problems of the 21st century....
Course4

Solving Complex Problems Capstone

4.7
3 ratings
1 reviews
From the very start of the specialization, your assignments will be geared toward tackling a complex issue of your choice that you face in your career path, industry, or field. Each phase of the course builds up to a briefing paper that analyzes, evaluates, and attempts to solve a highly complex problem. Not only does this course teach you a skill set, but it puts you further down the road in understanding the problems of your chosen field. It advances your knowledge of your own field by teaching you to look at it in new ways. This is the CAPSTONE where the scaffolding of our problem solving and innovation skills will bear fruit in a series of preparatory assignments to make your briefing paper as effective as possible....

Instructors

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David Baker

Associate Lecturer
Big History Institute
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David Christian

Professor
Big History Institute
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Shawn Ross

Associate Professor
Big History Institute

About Macquarie University

Macquarie is a hub of inspired and unconstrained thinking. Macquarie was founded with a unique purpose: to bring minds together unhindered by tradition. Created to challenge the education establishment, Macquarie has a rich track record of innovation. Macquarie actively shapes the complex issues that define the future of humanity....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • This course is for everyone: from any level of expertise, any field, any industry, any discipline. And for good reason. It teaches skills that enhance your work and endeavours, regardless of who you are. If you want to perform better in your career, to innovate in your field, and to improve your future prospects - take this course!

  • While it is most effective to take the courses in order so that you may scaffold and build a solution to a complex problem in your career or field, you can still derive a great deal of value from the individual courses. Course one teaches you what is at the core of all complex problems, course two teaches you all about what drives critical thinking, and course three teaches you how to innovate more effectively.

  • Turning the crystal allows us to see the same problem refracted in different ways and at different scales. The multi-disciplinary perspective of Big History allows us to do this because it explores familiar problems from different, and often unfamiliar, perspectives. Different perspectives offer new insights, and the synergies between those insights can help us understand familiar problems more deeply.

    You will learn to view problems at multiple scales. The deep problems of our epoch involve long term trends and all the disciplines. These complex problems are more easily understood if explored in a way that does that broad scope and multi-disciplinary perspective justice. Political and financial decisions will be taken by politicians and entrepreneurs thinking of the next election or the next quarterly report. But we must look further ahead. To understand the deep problems of our times, we need to be able to view change on much larger scales. Not just on a short-sighted timescale, not just from the perspective of a single discipline.

    In this specialization, you will see what a mathematician, or a biologist, or a financial analyst brings to a particular problem. How would a mathematician approach the problem? How would a biologist? How would a financial analyst approach things? Or a lawyer? Or a political scientist? And, most crucially, what common points do they all share? A synthesis of the collective learning of all disciplines is crucial to unraveling the complex problems that face us today.

    By teaching you how to Turn the Crystal when facing new problems, this Coursera specialization will equip you with the skills you will need to understand complexity, problem-solving, and innovation, at multiple scales and from multiple perspectives. It will help you achieve a deeper and richer level of understanding of profound aspects of today’s world

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.