A development policy which does not consider social, economic and environmental repercussions does not promote a better future but rather depredate it. Sustainable development implies manifold understandings due to its diverse aspects that generate different approaches and answers. The concept of sustainable development results from a growing awareness that environmental concerns and socio-economic issues are related with poverty and global disparity. Sustainable development should therefore be addressed in a holistic program in order to maintain a future sound humanity.

As a foundation and starting point such a program requires the right measurement and set of indicators. In order to address a profound change and promote sustainability that is locally practicable, organizations, decision makers and the civil society need respective indices. To measure and set up indicators is a challenge that has been approached in various ways with the result of drafting different Sustainable Development Indicator Sets (SDI). Hereby a profound method for setting up SDIs is needed, in order to address the fundamental policies and principles of Sustainable Development and to facilitate a respective development program. Thus indicators of the various aspects of development and methods of measurement are needed resulting in a broadly aligned, result oriented program towards Sustainable Development.

Health, prosperity and growth should be thought as a result of a sustainable development that looks at its future implications. Sustainable development unfolds in various fields – ecological, economical and social – that comprise economic growth, protection of the environment and social equity. The interdependence of these dimensions lies at the core of development and, consequently leads to the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach, meanwhile addressing the challenges of human development and well being.

Synonymously and due to its complexity sustainable development tangles various disciplines in such ways that implies pursuing a multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary approach and to foster a profound sustainability comprehension. This multilayered attitude provides a more profound understanding of the cross linked development aspects. This collaboration of disciplines helps – furthermore – in enhancing education and engagement of civil society.

The rigorous consequence of this mutual trust is that the development of humanity should be harmonized with nature protection. The most noteworthy characteristic of this approach is that it really promotes a holistic vision and connects to the various disciplines of science in order to explain the causes and suggest ways to achieve the socio-economic progress of the world.

INEX as a network for educational exchange addresses a multidisciplinary educational approach towards Sustainable Development by providing an exchange platform and network for various stakeholders such as Universities, research institutes and think tanks, companies from various industries, supranational organizations, ministries and NGOs. INEX operates on interdisciplinary and participatory approaches, with the integration of the educational setting, the contextual and social learning capacity being the key asset.

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by Rebekka Kölbl