It’s time to transform: inside and out



As thousands of supporters gathered in person and online this week as part of a growing community dedicated to co-creating and disseminating a set of skills and qualities necessary to support sustainable development, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) was pleased to confirm its commitment to this important agenda as a co-founding partner of the Inner Development Goals Foundation.  

Between 11 and 12 October, the Inner Development Goals initiative held its second annual summit in Stockholm, convening 1,500 people in person and close to 7,000 online for a 2-day celebration of the Inner Development Goals (IDGs) as well as a highly interactive exploration of how the power of inner development can be leveraged to address the challenges we face as humanity.

Developed by extensive global research, experience and continuous learning, the IDGs represent a powerful framework made up of five dimensions and 23 skills and qualities that are fundamental to living well and to supporting efforts to realize the ambitions of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs).

This year’s IDG Summit was convened under the theme of “the IDGs in action” and provided a forum for leading global thinkers from a broad range of fields to come together and exchange perspectives on how inner development and sustainable development can be more effectively integrated and how the power of the IDG framework can be harnessed across academic, political and business communities.   

From its side, WBCSD was pleased to participate actively in the summit alongside a number of its member companies, and convened a deep-dive workshop that brought together over 200 attendees to investigate how the IDGs can be meaningfully embedded into corporate practice moving forward.

Discussions during the course of this session underlined how the outer transformation that we need to see across global industry in support of sustainable development will only be possible if it is also supported by inner transformation – the purposeful and persistent development of skills and qualities at the individual level.

As the notion of sustainable development continues to cement itself in the mainstream, and as companies across all sectors make bold commitments to fundamentally transform the way their business gets done, WBCSD members are identifying an urgent corresponding need to develop reskilled leaders and practitioners, trained and equipped to raise ambition, drive action and sharpen accountability around sustainability goals.

While many companies have taken action to create a range of specialized sustainability roles within their organizations in recent years, if genuine transformation is to be realized, virtually all workers will need to have fluency in sustainable development and to be equipped with the right skills to support its realization. This will be essential not only for the long-term success of the business, but also to ensure that the workforces of today and tomorrow are empowered to thrive in the evolving world of work.

At WBCSD, we envision a world in which sustainability is embedded within mainstream business and executive education. Drawing upon over 20 years of experience when it comes to educating business leaders on the knowledge and skills needed to advance sustainable development, we are working to make this vision a reality and to drive learning and capacity building at scale throughout the global business community.

Having identified a clear shared passion and alignment with the IDG initiative for inner development in support of a world where everyone can live well within planetary boundaries, WBCSD was delighted to announce at this year’s IDG summit that it will be coming onboard as a co-founder of a the newly formed IDG Foundation.

In this new capacity, we look forward to further building on our partnership with the IDG initiative and to promoting the potential of the IDG framework as a powerful tool of change for business leaders to leverage in the critical months and years ahead. It’s time to transform – both outside and in.



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