INEX – the International Network for Educational Exchange is an Austrian social enterprise, working in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). INEX operates based on a network structure, with a multi-stakeholder Advisory Board, an Ambassador Network and Alumni Association. Partners include Universities, research institutes and think tanks, companies from various industries, supranational organizations, ministries and NGOs. INEX is focusing on the attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and works within the framework of the UNESCO Decade for Education on Sustainable Development.
Field of Work: Education for Sustainable Development
Sustainable development meets the needs of the present generation without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their needs. Education for Sustainable Development is therefore seen as a tool for good governance that promotes informed decision-making and democracy embracing the values of solidarity and mutual respect. It builds the necessary capacity through critical reflection, awareness and empowerment employing new methods and tools that bring about a shift in people’s mindsets towards sustainable lifestyles.
Through a holistic approach it integrates ecological, economic and social perspectives, while referring to a large number of key themes such as poverty alleviation, citizenship, human rights, gender equity, cultural diversity, rural and urban development, production and consumption patterns, corporate responsibility, environmental protection, biodiversity etc. To cover this broad range of sectors and levels it is considered a “life-wide” process addressed through formal and non-formal learning as well as vocational education and training.
With a focus on multiplicator training INEX develops innovative educational programs that evolve around the synergies of formal, non-formal and informal learning. INEX operates on interdisciplinary and participatory approaches, with the integration of the educational setting, the contextual and social learning capacity being the key asset. With a focus on high-impact personal development these learning experiences provide new perspectives, knowledge and practical skills for immediate action.
In the past eight years INEX has built a network of various types of stakeholders. With its short and medium-term learning experiences INEX has educated people from over 20 countries on the European and American continent facilitating a North-South and North-North dialogue for change makers. Furthermore INEX has held a large number of conferences, workshops and trainings on various themes of sustainable development.
Under the patronage of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO and with support from the Federal Ministry of Science and Research INEX has developed the historically first interuniversitary study program on Sustainable Development that strengthens the relationship with stakeholders while promoting ownership for solution based work. Included stakeholders comprised various departments of the city of Vienna, ten private sector organizations (such as large supermarket chains, logistics companies, infrastructure providers, regionally operating businesses) and local authorities.
In 2009 the INEX programs have been awarded by the Austrian Commission for UNESCO for their contribution to the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development. The organization’s founders have received awards of the oikos Foundation for their curricula change impact towards integration of sustainable development into study programs and the Architects of the Future award of the Waldzell Institute.
At the beginning of 2010 INEX has established its representative office in Honduras and is aiming at building a training center focusing on development on an individual and organizational level. Since its foundation in February 2011 INEX is a core member and main contributor to the United Nations’ Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development in Centrope (RCE Vienna).
2013 marked the beginning of a next big step. Following our mission and committing to a network structure that leverages our work we decided to bring our partnership with the RCE Vienna to the next level. Core projects like the Sustainability Challenge and our Green.Building.Solutions. summer university program are still managed by former INEX staff but now running as part of the center’s operations.
Looking into the future there is an incredible amount of work to be done – and we feel very ready to do our share. Stay tuned and come along!