2018 Highlights

2018 was a year filled with incredible innovation in providing new insight to support more equitable policymaking and guiding investments that work better for people and planet. Our 2018 Social Progress Index demonstrates that social progress is improving across the world. However, personal rights and inclusion have regressed. As we look forward to continue advancing global social progress, we would first like to thank 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. Below are just a few year end highlights.

Youth Progress Index


In May 2018, we partnered with European Youth Forum, Deloitte, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and International Organization of Employers (IOE) for a joint initiative to address the lack of reliable data on young people internationally. The Youth Progress Index identifies and prioritizes the most pressing needs of the largest and most at-risk generation ever. The Youth Progress Index allows us to see a much clearer picture of young people’s wellbeing and countries’ performance in areas such as education, healthcare, housing and environmental sustainability. Through identifying patterns and relationships on different aspects of young people’s lives, this will guide policy priorities and implementation globally. Click here to learn more about the Youth Progress Index.

US Initiative

The Social Progress Index for the US 50 states confirms that the country’s growing economy is not working for millions of Americans who face stagnant or declining living standards. To provide a more granular and actionable view of the challenges facing communities across the country, we are working with mayors, investors, business and non-profit leaders to develop local Social Progress Indexes as a powerful tool in supporting a more inclusive and balanced approach to investing, policymaking and community action. We have launched a bold initiative to make a local Social Progress Index available for every community across the US by 2022. Check out the 50 states index, and the city pilots initiative here.

Sustainable Development Goals

Michael Green speaks at We The Future, presented by TED, the Skoll Foundation, and the United Nations Foundation at the TED World Theater, September 25, 2018, New York, NY. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

New research based on the Social Progress Index assesses progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The overall picture isn’t pretty. It finds that, at the current pace, the world will hit the SDG targets not by 2030 but by 2094. However, there are also reasons to be hopeful as the world zeros in on basic healthcare, water and sanitation targets.

Watch CEO Michael Green’s latest Ted Talk: “Global Goals we have made progress on, and those we have not” here.

In July 2018, the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development took place in New York City, where several national and local governments shared their experiences and learning from using the Social Progress Index to drive actions, create impact and achieve a positive systemic change in public policy, private investments and societal behavior.

The Social Progress Index was also featured in the most recent T-20 Summit in Argentina. The T-20 is a network of research institutes and think tanks from the G20 countries. The T-20 provides research-based policy advice to the G20, facilitates interaction among its members and the policy community, and communicates with the broader public about issues of global importance. Our Global Network Director, Franklin Murillo, participated on a high-level panel called: “Global and local implementation of the 2030 Agenda.” The discussion focused on the influence of the decisions and actions of the G20 and its members on the success of the 2030 agenda around the globe.

New sub-national indexes

Using the Social Progress Index, Barking and Dagenham Council launched an innovative new online platform allowing residents, community groups, and government officials to access and analyze a vast array of data about their borough, which will help in planning and delivering critical services to the community. Learn more about the exciting online platform here. Additionally, other subnational indexes such as: Province of Salta, Argentina; Municipality of Kopavogur, Iceland; Puebla State, Mexico; and Buenos Aires, Argentina were also launched providing leaders with insights in order to foster dialogue, improve accountability, and develop evidence-based policies that address the real needs of residents.



Social Progress Index used in India

Following last year’s state level index, the new district of India Index provides an even deeper insight on what it’s like to live in India, and how quality of life varies across more than 600 districts. Both indices are assisting national and local government leaders that track performance towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Click here for the Districts of India Index findings.

Looking ahead to 2019…


We are preparing for the What Works Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 1-3, 2019. The three day summit of powerful learning on advancing social progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals will unite leaders, and change makers from business, government, and civil society. Through focused case studies, debate and interactive workshops, participants will leave with new tools and innovative solutions, along with a strengthened network and prospective partners to help drive social change. To learn more, click here. If you would like to apply to this incredible summit, please submit your application. Don’t miss the January 14th deadline! Applicants will be notified of their status by January 31st.

Stay tuned for more exciting news coming soon!

All of these achievements in the year now ending rest on the generosity of our supporters and champions. As we look ahead to 2019, and build on these successes, we want to thank you and ask for your continued support. Your gift will help more countries and communities redefine how they measure success and how they use their resources, in order to put people and planet first.


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