The Inner Development Goals –  Skills For Sustainable Development


The Inner Development Goals (IDGs) are a framework designed to cultivate the inner capacities necessary for achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By focusing on personal and collective growth, the IDGs aim to foster qualities such as empathy, resilience, and mindfulness, which are essential for addressing global challenges.


The IDGs framework can be used by individuals, educators, organizations, and communities to:
  • Set intentions for personal growth: Identify areas for inner development and track progress.
  • Design educational programs: Integrate IDG principles into curriculum to promote well-being and sustainability.
  • Build a culture of inner development in organizations and communities.


The Inner Development Goals (IDGs) identify 23 key skills and qualities across 5 dimensions (Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating, and Acting), each encompassing 4-5 specific skills and qualities:
  1. Being (Relationship to Self): Cultivating inner life, presence, self-awareness, and intentionality.
  2. Thinking (Cognitive Skills): Critical thinking, complexity awareness, perspective-taking, and visioning.
  3. Relating (Caring for Others & the World): Empathy, compassion, humility, and connectedness.
  4. Collaborating (Social Skills): Communication, co-creation, inclusive mindset, and trust-building.
  5. Acting (Enabling Change): Courage, creativity, optimism, perseverance, and mobilization skills.
The framework recognizes that these skills and qualities are often properties of systems rather than individuals, and it can be used to explore both individual and collective development needs. It is intended to be adaptable and relevant across diverse cultural and societal contexts.

Sample Activity

Facilitating an IDG Self-Assessment Workshop:
  1. Introduce the IDG framework and its purpose.
  2. Provide participants with a self-assessment tool or questionnaire that evaluates their current proficiency in the 23 IDG skills and qualities.
  3. Guide participants through reflecting on their strengths and areas for growth within each dimension.
  4. Encourage participants to identify 2-3 priority skills or qualities they wish to develop further.
  5. Facilitate group discussions on strategies, resources, and support systems for personal and professional development aligned with the IDGs.
  6. Encourage participants to set specific goals and action plans for their inner development journey.


The Inner Development Goals (IDG) Initiative

Target Audience:

  • Individuals seeking personal and professional growth
  • Educators
  • Leaders
  • HR
  • CSR
  • Community organizers

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