Measure wellbeing in your local community with the Social Progress Index

At ChangeX we are on a mission to make it easier for people to start proven ideas in their communities, tackling problems they are facing on a local level, improving people’s lives and their wellbeing. We want to equip everyone with the tools needed to make the place where they live better.

But what makes a community, a country and ultimately the world a better place to live? How do various factors add up to an overall wellbeing and how can we measure the improvement?

For more than 80 years we have been relying on one tool to measure progress on a national and global level: The GDP, Gross Domestic Product. But it doesn’t’ tell us much about how satisfied we are, if we have what we need to live a good life by the means of our present standards. It’s not the tool to measure the challenges of the 21st century.

The Social Progress Index, that revealed its second annual ranking this week has found a methodology to measure wellbeing and is becoming well recognised. The European commission recently agreed to use the index to measure a countries success in the EU and as one of many Latin American countries using the index, Paraguay decided to move a step forward and uses it as a guide for national development over the next 15 years.

The index is used in tandem with GDP to provide a holistic assessment of a country’s overall progress and enables countries to evaluate how effectively they translate economic success into social progress, and visa versa. The index uses 52 indicators ranging from healthcare and housing to ecosystem sustainability and freedom from discrimination.

Ireland ranks 12th in this years global ranking and even scores highest looking at the category “Access to Basic Knowledge”.

What hasn’t been discussed a lot so far: The Social Progress Index can also be used to measure progress at a local level. It gives communities a tool to observe their social progress, to find their pain points and to prove how certain initiatives affect the wellbeing of a community.

Here the SPI connects with what we are doing at ChangeX. We would like to make it not just easier for people to start social innovations; we also want to give them a diagnostic tool to see what is needed, to track progress and impact over time and in comparison to other communities.

To make that possible ChangeX became the first local Network Partner of the Social Progress Imperative in Ireland.

Through ChangeX the measurement tool is open to any community, town or city interested in conducting the research. If you are interested in doing it you just need to contact Niamh McKenna ([email protected]) and the journey can begin.

Imagine if we could work together “government, business, civil society, me, you“ and make this century the century of social progress. Michael Green said in his viral TED talk about the Social Progress Index.

Now you can be a part of this. We are looking forward to it.

Watch Michael Green’s TED talk to learn more about the Social Progress Index.

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