CDEV3500/ CDEV6500 Future Leader Lab

In this leadership development course you will work in interdisciplinary teams to tackle UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Study Space Electrical Engineering

Future Leader Lab is a leadership development course where students build their leadership skills through learning how technology, innovation and entrepreneurship interact with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities. It is offered as an undergraduate curriculum course via CDEV3500 and as a postgraduate course via CDEV6500.

The course aims to address today’s challenges in making our cities and communities sustainable through developing and applying innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to new knowledge in circular economies, clean energy, and renewable transport. A fourth learning theme is digital literacy and the role of technology in supporting innovative and entrepreneurial solutions. Students will have the opportunity to learn about personal and organisational leadership and how these might lead to change in the future, and they will be empowered as future leaders for change in the community, government and industry sectors, by addressing contemporary issues through the lens of circular economies, clean energy, renewable transport and immersive technology solutions.

Course details

  • Involves problem-based learning (PBL) whereby students work in interdisciplinary teams (though are assessed individually) to consider how individual and organisational (community, government, and industry) leadership can use technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship to solve challenging, real-world problems for sustainable cities and communities. New knowledge themes include circular economies, clean energy, and sustainable transport while digital literacy will be developed through engaging with immersive technologies.
  • Students will learn about theories and applications of leadership, undertake a field trip to see a circular economy in action, and explore immersive technology solutions that contribute to sustainable cities and sustainable transport.
  • Students will also explore the economic drivers for innovation and design solutions for recycling and clean energy.
  • The course culminates with students pitching a leadership solution to a complex sustainable cities/communities problem.
  • This course is 6UOC as a general education/free elective course.



You are eligible to apply if you:

  • are an undergraduate student with good academic standing
  • have 6UoC available in your degree, for undergraduates: 
    • as a general education (available to all faculties); or free elective for some degrees; or as BCom Final Year Synthesis course (UNSW Business School)
    • have completed 30UoC by course commencement Term 2C 2024.

You are eligible to apply if you:

  • are a postgraduate student at UNSW with good academic standing
  • can be taken as a free elective in some postgraduate degrees.

Enquire here

Social impact

More and more customers are prioritising a business' commitment to better their community. With this course you will focus on developing skills in leadership by addressing sustainable development goals that will benefit businesses by:

  • building trust with the community
  • keeping employers engaged
  • attracting loyal customers
  • creating meaningful change
  • ensuring sustainability 
  • telling a story people care about.

Term 2C 2024

Schedule and location

The course will include seminars and workshops at UNSW, Kensington Campus in Term 2C 2024. The course will run at 9am to 5pm from 12 August until 6 September, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The course will also include a day trip to the Shoalhaven City Council’s recycling MICROfactorieTM in Nowra, south of Sydney, in partnership with Kandui Technologies.

Application dates

Applications close 11.59pm Thursday 13 June 2024.


To enable your participation in CDEV3500/CDEV6500 in Term 2C 2024, students should ensure that enrolment in this course fits within your degree and follow the UNSW requirement which allows a maximum of two other courses during Term 2 2024.

Please note CDEV3500 and CDEV6500 are not self-enrolled.

Once successful, students will be enrolled by the WIL Central Team.

"Future Leader Lab gave me multiple opportunities to practice speaking to an audience, but also provided tips and techniques to communicate more effectively, whilst enhancing audience engagement.
Bachelor of Bioinformatic Engineering & Science

Students share their experience

UNSW Employability
UNSW Employability

“I really enjoyed all the different presentations by industry leaders, and having the opportunity to learn about sustainability, particularly in Greater Sydney. I found the process of developing a solution and pitching to potential investors very useful.

"The course consists of just a small group of people, which means we were given plenty of opportunity to connect with fellow students, course leaders and guest speakers.”

Clara, Bachelor of Bioinformatic Engineering & Science

UNSW Employability
UNSW Employability

“Future Leader Lab’s presentations and discussions were invaluable in enhancing my communication and active listening skills. Overall, it equipped me to act more authentically and to build on my existing competencies.

"In my team project I had the opportunity to collaborate with a student from Finance, contrasting with my Computer Science background. The disciplinary diversity in perspectives enriched our final pitch. Our discussions thrived on our unique viewpoints on the matter, allowing us to integrate both technological and financial insights to address the project issue comprehensively."

Yskak, Bachelor of Computer Science & Finance

UNSW Employability
UNSW Employability

"Future Leader Lab really sought to show us the importance of leadership in achieving common goals needed to influence change, whilst providing us with strategies to lead more effectively into the future. I was taught the importance of developing confidence when presenting and leading. Public speaking is something I haven’t always been comfortable with, but Future Leader Lab not only gave me multiple opportunities to practice speaking to an audience, but also provided tips and techniques to communicate more effectively, whilst enhancing audience engagement.”

Monique, Bachelor of Advanced Science