As TEDx organizers, we're big proponents of making evidence-based decisions. As Canadians, we take our quality of life seriously -- it is one of the things that helps define us as a nation, together with the principle that we need need to keep developing those standards for all Canadians.
When it comes to something so seemingly nebulous like "social progress", it can be daunting to try and nail down how to measure that in a meaningful way. It's essential that we do so, however, so that we can hold useful discussions about how to move the needle as a country, or as a region or city within our larger national structure.
Through a great friend of ours (thanks, Camille!) we recently were introduced to the amazing folks at the Social Progress Imperative. Haven't heard of it? Neither had we, but we're eternally grateful for having been introduced. Philosophically, we're very aligned. As they describe their mission:
We dream of a world in which people come first. A world where families are safe, healthy and free. Economic development is important, but strong economies alone do not guarantee strong societies. If people lack the most basic human necessities, the building blocks to improve their quality of life, a healthy environment and the opportunity to reach their full potential, a society is failing no matter what the economic numbers say.
The Social Progress Index is a new way to define the success of our societies. It is a comprehensive measure of real quality of life, independent of economic indicators.
So, where does Canada rank? Right now, we score in the top 10 globally, coming in at a respectable 7th place internationally. As a country, that might not reflect our self-perception of how we're doing, but take a closer look at our scorecard results and let us know what you think:
As Calgarians, we're also very fortunate to have the forward-thinking work of the Calgary Foundation to draw upon, with their annual Vital Signs survey of how we rank our city's current status on a number of dimensions that fit with the categories in the Social Progress Index. Together, we think these two frameworks make for powerful tools to frame our societal discussions on how we're doing, and where we want to make improvements.
Want to see how we're doing at the moment?
Make sure to RSVP for the upcoming Vital City event on October 13 at lunchtime with Eva Friesen, President and CEO, and Murray Laverty, Board Chair, as they present the Calgary Foundation's Report to Community, and guests Marichu Antonio and Elder Casey Eagle Speaker reflect on community change.
Above all, we encourage you to engage in discussion around the social progress frameworks both of these initiatives represent, especially as you interact with your local candidates for municipal elections. And, join us for upcoming events this Fall where we dig deeper on several of these categories with though-provoking talks and dynamic discussions with other participants. Stay tuned for more in our Events section, and on our social channels!