Indicators by themselves tell us little about how well a system is progressing in relation to the goal of sustainability. Especially at the regional level, existing indicator frameworks do not typically permit the inclusion of relevant regionspecific information. Furthermore, they do not provide comprehensive information on overall system sustainability. The real challenge is not to identify indicators–there are hundreds of good lists–but to seek out the best way to put all of them to work. The insure project, carried out in four case-study regions in europe (including the limburg region of the netherlands), attempted to develop an adaptive indicator framework for integrated monitoring of sustainable development. During the project, it became increasingly clear that indicators are not only more meaningful when viewed within the context of the whole system, but also that science and policy play different, but complementary, roles. This article discusses the challenges and the lessons learned during the limburg project.