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Michael Green has created the Social Progress Index, a standard to rank societies based on how they meet the needs of citizens.

2021 Social Progress Index - Creating the future we want Video


The Social Progress Imperative (SPI) is changing the way we solve the world’s most pressing challenges by redefining how the world measures success and putting the things that matter to people’s lives at the top of the agenda.

The Social Progress Index revolutionizes the solving of societal problems by enabling leaders to systematically identify and prioritize issues. The Social Progress Imperative’s network empowers leaders to convene all the right local actors, global partners, and subject-matter experts necessary to develop and deploy meaningful solutions. Together, the index and the network empower local actors to both identify shortcomings and deliver the solutions to improve them.


The Orange County Equity Map (OC Equity Map) is a data platform that spotlights social and health disparities in Orange County neighborhoods across multiple dimensions with a specific focus on the impact from COVID-19. This interactive map visualizes Orange County into 580 census tracts and displays the scores from the Social Progress Index (SPI), CDC Health Indicators, and population demographic data as well as overlays additional information that can be customized for a variety of different use cases.

The Social Progress Imperative is  a global nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that looks at a Social Progress Index (SPI) to measure well-being in a comprehensive way,

The Social Progress Imperative is a global nonprofit based in Washington, DC, providing decision-makers and everyday citizens with the very best data on the social and environmental health of their societies and helping them prioritize actions that accelerate social progress.

Since it first launched in 2014, the Social Progress Index has been embraced by innovative leaders from London to India to the rainforests of Brazil. They are applying its rigorous framework to navigate today’s social challenges and accelerate efforts to drive equitable, inclusive and thriving societies.


Index to Action to Impact

We provide decision-makers and everyday citizens with the very best data on the social and environmental health of their societies and help them prioritize actions that accelerate social progress.

Why Well-Being Should Drive Growth Strategies

The 2015 Sustainable Economic Development Assessment


Government leaders increasingly speak of boosting the well-being of citizens—rather than bolstering GDP growth—as their primary mission. But the conventional yardsticks of per capita GDP and growth are too narrow to evaluate the full measure of well-being. What’s needed is a broad diagnostic tool designed specifically to help governments set priorities and formulate development strategies.

How Governance Drives Well-Being

An Interview with Nobel Laureate A. Michael Spence

Personal well-being user guidance

Personal well-being (PWB) is part of the wider Measuring National Well-being (MNW) Programme at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which aims to provide accepted and trusted measures of the nation’s well-being. The MNW work is part of an initiative, both in the UK and internationally, to look beyond traditional headline economic growth figures to establish progress on how we are doing as individuals, as communities and as a nation, and how sustainable this is for the future. The measures include both standard objective measures, such as income and health, and people’s own views about their lives.

How using a Social Progress Index could boost quality of life in Philly (Philadelphia Citizen) 

In the early days of the pandemic in Philadelphia, city officials scrambled to grapple with a tragic effect of Covid-19: That poor Black and Brown residents were disproportionately getting severely ill and dying from the virus. It was, as cities around the country came to recognize, the effect of decades of limited access to good health care, lower air quality and the effects of poverty.

The Happy Planet Index 

The Happy Planet Index measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all. It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.

Wealthy Western countries, often seen as the standard of success, do not rank highly on the Happy Planet Index.  Instead, several countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region lead the way by achieving high life expectancy and wellbeing with much smaller Ecological Footprints.

The Happy Planet Index provides a compass to guide nations, and shows that it is possible to live good lives without costing the Earth.



Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness 

The Center is designed to serve as a central hub to advance science through primary research and promote collaboration among investigators from across Harvard and beyond. The Center’s scope spans multiple disciplines—including health communications, psychology, nutrition, exercise physiology, basic biology, epidemiology, and population sciences. The Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness offers great potential to improve the lives and health of people everywhere.



Martin Seligman 'Flourishing - a new understanding of wellbeing' at Happiness & Its Causes 2012

Is happiness enough for a fulfilled life? What does the research say about positive psychology in the treatment and prevention of depression? Positive education, positive health and the economics of wellbeing

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