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Human intelligence : an introduction

Updated: Mar 11

While Artificial Intelligence is on everyone's lips, we often forget and at great cost its counterpart and predecessor: HUMAN intelligence!

How can we define it?

Here is my definition: human intelligence is the set of skills that we possess, as humans, allowing us to function in complex systems and to adapt to constantly changing environments.

And concretely, what are these skills? One very good intent at defining them by experts is in the context of the INNER DEVELOPMENT GOALS (IDG).

This project, started in 2020 by a group of researchers and business people in Sweden, now has a network of contributors spread across all continents who want to define, understand, and develop the 17 competencies identified as fundamental to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

The IDGs are above all, an ecosystem of people who want to create in a participatory and open source, seeking to draw on the best of human wisdom and scientific research to help us create a meaningful world and sustainable development. In my words, it's a group of passionate people asking themselves:

"What if, to create magic in the world, we started by changing ourselves?"

The organization emphasizes, however, that it has not invented anything in terms of new skills or methods; it simply seeks to create an open-source learning framework where we engage in a quest, listen, and investigate, in a continuous momentum of co-creation among many participants.

Here is a video that effectively exposes and summarizes the key ideas conveyed by the IDGs:

In essence, the conclusion is precisely this: to achieve the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, we must first start by changing ourselves from within.

Everyone agrees that to find innovative solutions to the world's major challenges, we need to:

  • Be connected to what is happening within ourselves;

  • Observe our environment;

  • Work in teams and demonstrate creativity;

  • Have the courage to do things differently.

And to be able to do all that, we need to develop skills that we all possess, but that we have somewhat neglected, such as self-awareness, courage, critical thinking, understanding of systems, and not least... humility!

I have the priviledge to to regularly facilitate discussions in an international group of professionals who use the IDGs in their daily lives, and to contribute directly to the group, which greatly accelerates my evolution and deepens my own personnal growth.

Some interesting aspects about the project:

  • It brings together people from diverse backgrounds, including researchers and authors whom I greatly admire (such as Peter Senge, Otto Sharmer, and others), universities (including Stockholm University, Harvard), organizations (such as the European Community and the IDRC in Canada), and companies (Spotify, Google, HowSpace, Ikea).

  • It is not a training program, nor something dogmatic that provides all the answers; it is a community of people who believe that to change the world, we need to develop different skills together than the ones we are accustomed to.

  • This project, which is in full swing, is described as an open-source project, meaning that it is developed in a participatory manner.


It's as much a community that tests, tries, and experiments as it is about defining and providing tools to develop skills.

And why would this interest people who may not necessarily aim for sustainable development goals?

Because these skills are necessary to find creative solutions to complex problems. In fact, the IDGs closely overlap with the skills that the Davos Forum defines as those of the future.


You live in the same world as I do: a world that is becoming increasingly complex, accelerating rapidly, evolving at a breakneck pace, and constantly bubbling with infinite possibilities.

In this context, it's so human to feel overwhelmed or plagued by doubt! And that's precisely where the development of HUMAN INTELLIGENCE comes in to change everything.

It's time to think about it when – not if – you wonder how to:

  • Achieve something CONCRETE;

  • Dare to do things DIFFERENTLY;

  • Finally BREAK free from the status quo;

  • Raise awareness about qualities that are more human, more positive.

You're not sure where to start? Good question. It's a very rich universe in which one can quickly get lost.

Here's a suggestion:

💌 If you wish to receive this information in bite-sized portions, accompanied by my insights, tips, and practical exercises – always timely according to the season and what's happening in the world – in my newsletter "Odyssea" will undoubtedly steer you in the right direction!

In my opinion view, the Inner Development Goals are modern and in tune with the times, and I firmly believe in my gut that these are THE skills of the future.

What would the world of tomorrow look like if each of us developed our human intelligence to its full potential? What would your own future look like if you decided to invest time and energy into developing your human skills?


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