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IDG St. Gallen Hub: Promoting Inner Growth for Outer Change

On Thursday, March 28, 2024, a diverse group of around 40 changemakers gathered at SQUARE to kick-off the Inner Development Goals (IDG) St.Gallen Hub. The IDG Hub idea initially emerged in exchanges between team members of the Sustainability Innovation Lab (ITEM), the Responsibility and Sustainability Team and the Competence Center for Social Innovation at the University of St. Gallen, who believe that higher education institutions in the St.Gallen region can contribute to the global movement by:  

  • Bringing researchers, scholars and practitioners together to explore collective action around Sustainability, Innovation and Leadership;
  • Learning, innovating, prototyping, practicing and sharing experiences of projects and application of IDG-inspired tools;
  • Connecting with experts from the private sector, the local community and other cantonal institutions to engage in (or create) local events or programs.

During the kick-off, people from small and large enterprises, NGOs, Think- and Do tanks, start-ups, foundations and academia came together to learn about existing and future activities in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and the world. Mauricio Suarez, co-founder of the Swiss IDG Hub, introduced the Inner Development Framework to the participants. Impact Hub Zurich co-founder Niels Rot presented the web-app Rflect that allows Students to take charge of their learning journeys and to combine it with (peer-) coaching processes. Additional Impulses illustrating promising initiatives were given by Maximilian Palmié, Suzanne Dvorak, Rachel Brooks, Jost Hamschmidt and Johannes Tschiderer. 

What are the Inner Development Goals? 

The Inner Development Goals represent a growing decentralized non-profit, open-source initiative. The IDGs are based on the assessment that progress to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is not happening fast enough, and we urgently need to increase our collective abilities to face and work effectively with complex challenges. 

Mauricio Suarez, stated in his introduction to the IDG’s: “The Inner Development Goals are not just another thing. They combine different schools of thought and are therefore like the sweet filling of the doughnut”. He referred to Kate Raworth’s concept of doughnut economics, which hints to the need to operate within a safe and just space for humanity by fulfilling socio-economic needs while accepting planetary ecological boundaries.  

The kick-off was filled with a vibrant energy for action. A number of concrete ideas for working with the Inner Development Goals were developed. They ranged from contributing to the development of the post-2030 SDGs to integrating inner development practices into university seminars. To keep the momentum going, a core team of the IDGs St. Gallen Hub is being developed to further connect interested stakeholders and regularly inform them about local, regional and global initiatives focused on inner development and transformative learning.  

A big thank you to all the co-founders who made the founding meeting of the IDG St. Gallen Hub a success. Special thanks to Monica Barroso from the ITEM Sustainability Innovation Lab who facilitated the launch event. If you want to collaborate or learn more about the IDG St. Gallen Hub activities to promote inner growth, a sustainable future and impactful change, contact

Author: Lasse van Look

Date: 4. April 2024