A new indicator of human well-being and potential delivered, the Social Progress Index for 2014, uses non-economic data to map the nations of the world and to determine their relative rank in achieving social progress. Discover it on-line here.
A recent article and the latest RSA Short focus on the issues of economic growth and how there are omissions in the singular pursuit of economic growth, as a proxy for the development of the human condition.
It is an interesting idea that there should be a non-economic proxy for human well-being, regularly and cogently calculated, which serves as a measurer of human development. The pursuit of which leavens the aggressive one-sidedness of capital by pivoting economic activity into a pursuit for human happiness.
Could the Social Progress Index be the proxy long awaited?
Poorer countries are often compared using to the UN’s Human Development Index, though this tends to be highly-correlated with GDP, with all the limitations that implies. One of the strengths of the SPI is that, by only using social and environmental indicators and excluding all economic measures, it is easier to compare how countries with similar GDP are doing relative to each other.
Matthew Bishop – The Economist
In this 2014 analysis the United Kingdom ranks 13th in the world in terms of the values subscribed to by the index. The top three world nations are New Zealand, Switzerland and Iceland.
The data clusters used for the index are divided across three main headings – basic human needs, the foundations of well-being and opportunity. The U.K. does well in global terms with regard to water and waste infrastructure for example, as to be expected, and has a good score on the opportunities available for individuals to change their lives. We do poorly on rankings around equality and inclusion.
This short video compares and contrasts Gross Domestic Product outcomes with the SPI…
The new index is fostered by the Social Progress Imperative. A movement that subscribes to the goal of developing and guiding access to social investment ‘…which creates a shared language and common goals to align different organizations and achieve greater social impact’. Find the Imperative on-line here.