Thanks for 12 Months of Progress

In 2017 the Social Progress Imperative celebrated its fifth birthday and we enjoyed an amazing acceleration in our reach and impact. This is down to the hard work of our small, dedicated team and the wonderful network of friends and partners who are working with us to redefine what it means to be a successful society.

Global index

The 2017 Social Progress Index attracted double the media coverage of the year before, reaching 85 countries, and including top tier media outlets such as the Washington Post and Bloomberg. This year’s report also reached over 2.8 million people through social media. Thank you to everyone who liked, commented and shared to help get the message out.

This year we added new time series analysis and expanded geographic coverage to the report. We also built a new data to host the Social Progress Index results, with improved functionality and streamlined navigation, which has had great feedback. Thanks to everyone who shared their ideas to help us develop this new tool. We want to get better, so keep the ideas coming.

A thriving network

Our global network now extends to 38 countries and includes 24 subnational indexes. Welcome to our new network partners from Argentina, Iceland, Mexico, Thailand and Uruguay.

In our biggest project so far we launched the Social Progress Index: States of India with our partner the Institute for Competitiveness India in October. This data will shape policy and inform investment decisions in 28 states and one territory in a country that is home to 1.3 billion people, one-sixth of the world population. This is just the start of a multi-stage effort, working with government think tank NITI Aayog, to measure social progress in India’s 562 districts, along with 50 major cities, to enable government, business and civil society to work together to make even faster progress.

We hosted the second annual What Works conference in Iceland, bringing together nearly 200 leaders from all sectors of society and all around the world to forge new partnerships, share best practices and have a frank discussion of the challenges facing our world – all rooted in the social progress framework.

Sustained impact

2017 was also a good year for our existing partnerships, which continue to gather momentum and drive action:

  • The Social Progress Index for the regions of the EU was included in the 2017 Cohesion Report on the state of Europe’s regions, and the European Commission has committed to update the index with new calculations in 2019.
  • A number of countries, including Iceland, are looking to replicate Costa Rica’s Social Progress Index for Tourism Destinations. The Costa Rica Tourism Board was also honored at the UN World Tourism Organization awards in January for their innovative use of the index to pinpoint the most socially beneficial tourism enterprises.
  • 2017 saw the release of the first ever binational Social Progress Index, measuring quality of life for residents of 26 regions of Peru and 24 departments of Colombia.
  • The Social Progress Index for the city of Rio de Janeiro was officially adopted by the municipal government as a tool to help reduce social inequities across different areas of the city.
  • In September we joined our friends at Skoll Foundation, UN Foundation and TED for the We the Future conference in New York during UN General Assembly Week, as part of our commitment to support implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These are just a few highlights of the incredible work that is led and driven by our fantastic partners around the world. We are grateful to each and every one of them.

The year ahead

We have already put a lot of work into a 50-state Social Progress Index for the US, which we will release in early 2018. The index will underpin a broader initiative to unite leaders from across American society to address the country’s underwhelming social outcomes. Also watch out for the Youth Progress Index, our first measurement of progress for a specific demographic, and for more growth in our network and impact in Latin America, Europe and Asia as we turn index into action and impact. We’ll also be launching a major new initiative to support the SDGs.

All of these achievements in the year now ending rest on the generosity of our supporters and champions. As we look ahead to 2018 and build on these successes we thank you and ask for your continued support. Your gift will help more countries and communities to redefine how they measure success and how they use their resources, to put people and planet first.