Inner Development Goals

In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals provided us with a comprehensive plan for a sustainable world by 2030. The seventeen goals cover a wide range of issues that involve people with different needs, values, and convictions.

But progress is slow. How can we accelerate this moonshot for humanity? What can we as individuals and organizations do to be more effective in the work towards greater sustainability and well-being?

Project type
Design + Activation

An idea is born

In the summer of 2019, Hannah Boman and Jakob Trollbäck from The New Division met Erik Fernholm, founder of 29k. They discussed developments in society and their shared concerns about declining mental well-being. Erik and 29k were just about to launch their app for mental health, and we were working intensely with strategic communication for the Global Goals. Discussions about potential collaborations between 29k and The New Division began.

Later in 2019, Jakob and Hannah met Erik from 29k again to talk about what they could create together. After a lengthy discussion, we landed on the simple truth that personal development is necessary for societal change. From there, the decision was both obvious and hugely inspiring — to explore the creation of a set of goals for inner development. This meeting in late 2019 marks the birth of the idea of creating a set of Inner Global Goals.

Shared beliefs on change

On a parallel track, scholars on adult development, thought leaders from organizations, and business representatives met on Ekskäret Island in the Stockholm archipelago. Together, they wrote the Growth that Matters Manifesto, stating the urgent need to work systematically with human growth in adults to better meet the accelerating complexity of societal challenges.

At the beginning of 2020, TND, Ekskäret Foundation and 29k met at Jakob Trollbäck’s house to further discuss the growing potential of their ideas and what they could create together. The Growth that Matters manifesto and the vision of the Inner Global Goals were merged into a collaboration between The New Division, 29k, and Ekskäret Foundation. This was the moment when the initiative was officially founded.

From idea to reality

The Inner Global Goals was publicly mentioned for the first time at the MindShift Digital Conference at Stockholm School of Economics in May 2020. The name of the initiative changed from Inner Global Goals to Inner Development Goals during the same period.

In work leading up to the Sustainable Development Goals, over seven million people and experts were asked what issues they found most important. Inspired by this inclusive process, formulating key survey questions began. We wanted to collect as much input as possible on which skills and qualities are the most important to effectively work toward Sustainable Development Goals.

A year later, the first survey was launched and became the foundation of the first draft of the Inner Development Goals framework. Feedback was collected from a digital gathering to revise formulations and suggest category names.

The New Division used our knowledge of communication and design to ensure that the Inner Development Goals would be accessible and easy to understand. We want to make the Inner Development Goals as famous as the Global Goals.

An Accelerator for the Global Goals

The driving force behind the project comes from the realization that the world is not changing quickly enough to fulfill the 17 Global Goals. Since the world is a reflection of us, the most important work begins with ourselves. What has been missing is an inventory of the inner skills and capacities that encourage us to grow.

We want to bring the power of inner development to all global challenges faced by humanity. Our aim is to educate, inspire and empower people to be a positive force for change in society and find a more purposeful way to look at our lives.

The Inner Development Goals is an accelerator to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and create a prosperous future for all of humanity. In all we do, we have to epitomize the idea behind the project: openness, learning, collaboration, hope, etc.

Today’s action is Tomorrow’s Future

On April 29, 2022, the first-ever Inner Development Goals summit took place, uniting more than 4000 participants from 60 countries - making this a global movement. By collecting thought leaders and world-leading experts from the academic world and the business sector, an interactive dialogue on what inner development means and how the IDGs can help accelerate the Global Goals, transpired.

The Inner Development Goals represent crowd-sourced wisdom of all ages and all cultures. We research, collect, and communicate science-based skills and qualities that help us live purposeful, sustainable, and productive lives. Our ambition is to spread the tools worldwide and make them as famous as the Global Goals. Find out more here!

Become a Co-Creator of the Inner Development Goals

The Inner Development Goal brings the power of inner development to all your organizational, societal, and global challenges. As a co-creator and partner, you will:

  • Get access to tools and methods that advance creativity and collaboration within your organization.
  • Get exposure and collaborate with a network of progressive companies and organizations that prioritizes inner growth and sustainability.
  • Accelerate the work towards the Sustainable Development Goals and create engagement for your organization’s sustainability work through human growth.
  • Learn and work with some of the world’s most famous thought leaders and scientists. Participate at the Inner Development Goals event.
  • Co-create the IDG field kit to promote human development and sustainability.