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News Stories · Sustainability - Diversity and Equity and Inclusion - Leadership

IMD joins forces with the IDGs Foundation

As it looks to enhance leadership development for a more sustainable future, IMD becomes a co-founding partner of the Inner Development Goals initiative.
October 2023

IMD has become a co-founding partner of the Inner Development Goals (IDGs) Foundation as part of the institute’s ongoing commitment to contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive world.  

With slower than expected progress toward the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the IDGs initiative posits that external goals must be coupled with inner leadership capability development to confront the climate crisis, eradicate poverty, and achieve other key objectives.  

“This partnership operates the intersection of two things that we care deeply about: leadership and sustainability,” said David Bach, Professor of Strategy and Political Economy and Dean of Innovation and Programs. “Helping leaders and organizations drive the transformation of business toward greater sustainability and inclusivity has become central to our teaching, research, and outreach.” 

The IDGs Foundation brings together researchers and leaders from government, business, and civil society to evolve the framework and to craft initiatives for leadership development consistent with it. The IDGs framework consists of five dimensions and 23 transformational skills that are critical for leaders to drive necessary change. A key element of this effort is a global survey that aims to reach 100,000 sustainability leaders over the next months.  

Jan Artem Henriksson, Executive Director of  of Inner Development Goals - IMD Business School
<em>Jan Artem Henriksson Executive Director of of Inner Development Goals<em>


Natalia Olynec, IMD’s Chief Sustainability Officer, attended the survey’s official launch in Stockholm, which also marked the official start of the IMD-IDGs partnership. As part of the collaboration, IMD will incorporate the IDGs into its leadership programs. In addition, IMD will soon launch an executive program anchored on the IDGs specifically focused on developing the leadership competencies of sustainability champions within organizations. Susan Goldsworthy OLY, Affiliate Professor of Leadership, Communications, and Organizational Change, is spearheading this effort.  

Halfway to the deadline for achieving the SDGs, we are not just falling short but are on a trajectory to achieve none. We are summoned not merely to change, but to evolve. To really make a difference requires a consciousness shift – a cultural and spiritual transformation. This is why the Inner Development Goals (IDGs) are so important,” she said, as she explained the urgent need for fresh thinking. 

Jan Artem Henriksson, Executive Director of  of Inner Development Goals, added, “I am very happy to welcome IMD as the co-founders of the IDGs Foundation. Their strong commitment to bring innovation, thought leadership, and lifelong learning to current and future leaders can and will contribute to society and the planet in positive ways.” To contribute to this important initiative, IMD and the IDGs Foundation invite everyone to respond to the One BIG Question survey.  

For more information about IMD’s sustainability initiative, visit Center for Sustainable and Inclusive Business page.