Inner Development and Human Flourishing Ecosystems to Accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals
TWCF Number
Project Duration
August 31 / 2023
- March 1 / 2025
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
Amount Awarded

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Åsa Jarskog
Institution IDG Inner Development Goals AB (svb)

Fredrik Lindencrona
Institution IDG Inner Development Goals AB (svb)

Our world is in the grip of multiple sustainability crises. Up to two billion people live in extreme poverty, hunger, or unsanitary conditions. Progress towards sustainable development has been limited, in part by inattention to the human inner capacities required to meet collective global challenges. The Inner Development Goals (IDGs) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire and equip individuals, organizations and governments to make a significant difference to sustainable development through cultivating inner capabilities. 

The hypothesis underpinning this project is that since the world’s dominant culture focuses on outer resources for societal flourishing, particularly when it comes to human development, investment in supporting and integrating inner development with leaders and influencers has the potential to be an important catalyst to addressing global challenges and to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

An increasing amount of research has demonstrated how development of individual and collective capabilities are crucial factors in achieving a sustainable future. These capabilities include systems-thinking, futures-thinking, values-thinking, and strategies-thinking, as well as skills that emphasize implementation, interpersonal and intra-personal relations and integration, and wellbeing. Evidence is showing the need for individuals to develop these competencies in order to become effective change agents for social transformations towards sustainability.

The IDGs have developed a framework of inner capacities for developing these qualities and achieving the SDGs. The IDG group structures these capacities under the 5 domains of Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating, Acting. These articulate the inner abilities needed to flourish, to generate agency and therefore achieve the SDGs.

This project is to close the loop on a pilot program that is developing and evaluating a global online inner capacity building program with leaders in 6 countries: Albania, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Rwanda and Zambia. The project is advancing and addressing the link between IDGs, human flourishing, and SDGs by creating toolboxes of psychological interventions that draw on systems thinking (such as Theory U), developing communities of practice (ecosystems) and ensuring contextual integrity by working with in-country actors.

The aim with this project is to create a specialized policy community (sustainable ecosystem) directed towards policy makers in 8 countries; the 6 countries in the original project and an additional 2 – Mexico and the UK. They also plan to translate the training program into Spanish and work with partners in Latin America to promote it.

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