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Landscape restoration is an established and powerful approach to enabling the recovery of degraded landscapes, and for encouraging the return of a functioning ecosystem. A new massive open online course (MOOC) has been launched that teaches the entrepreneurial skills and competencies that are needed for a holistic approach to sustainable landscape restoration. It has been developed by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM),  Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and Commonland.

The free course, Entrepreneurial Competencies for Landscape Restoration, encourages an entrepreneurial mindset and develops the skills that underpin sustainable landscape restoration initiatives. It’s aimed at farmers, landscape professionals, entrepreneurs, and people working in governments, NGOs, landscape partnerships and businesses. The course is suitable for anyone working to revitalise and restore landscapes anywhere in the world, and it’s one of a range of MOOCs offered by RSM.

Defence against extreme weather events

Large-scale landscape restoration is one of the most promising techniques that can improve defences against extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, extreme rainfall, landslides, and loss of biodiversity. The consequences of these events are mass migration, hunger, and poverty as homes and livelihoods are destroyed. Entrepreneurial activities that are aimed at regeneration can bring all ecosystems back to a thriving state: the natural environment, the social structure, and the economic system.

With around 50 hours of study, participants can learn what is needed for a holistic business approach to landscape restoration initiatives and other related activities. Entrepreneurial skills and business tools and techniques can elevate the process of landscape restoration and unlock its potential so that it can bring opportunities for long-term business resilience and healthy ecosystems. Topics include sustaining and validating the original idea, and finding and using business models. The course will be useful for a broad spectrum of professionals in landscape restoration and regeneration who want to get things moving – it includes how to prepare plans so that they attract investment.

RSM’s online course effectively combines entrepreneurial insights with a holistic approach to landscape restoration.

Logical next step

The newest course ‘Entrepreneurial Competencies for Landscape Restoration’ complements two other MOOCs from RSM (both available on the Coursera platform):

“It was a logical next step to expand the existing collaboration between RSM, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and Commonland for a new course focusing on entrepreneurial competencies for landscape restoration,” says Eva Rood, Director of the Positive Change Initiative at RSM. She worked with Dr Ferdinand Jaspers, Adjunct Professor of Innovation Excellence & Entrepreneurship at RSM and Programme Director at the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Dr Simon Moolenaar, Director Knowledge, education and Innovation at Commonland, a non-profit organisation that has developed the 4 Returns Framework as a holistic approach to restore landscapes with a business approach. Commonland continuously supports initiatives and builds partnerships to restore landscapes globally, thus providing hope and inspiration.

The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship empowers startups, SMEs, and corporates to turn ideas into innovations by bringing business and academia together. It aims to make positive societal impact by fostering entrepreneurial competencies and driving innovation through high-quality research and education, locally and globally.

Dr Simon Moolenaar commented: “After developing two MOOCs with the ENABLE consortium about business models and innovation for landscape restoration, we noted that we could help environmental professionals even further by offering them entrepreneurial competencies. So we sought collaboration with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship.

“We are thrilled about the course and looking forward to getting feedback from our first participants. After this, we will continue with developing knowledge and education on the crossroads of economy and ecology.”

Launch day 10 October 2023

The MOOC launched on the Coursera platform on 10 October, which is also national sustainability day for education in the Netherlands, when thousands of schools and higher education institutes participate in a sustainable action.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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