World Economic Forum WEF 2014


Social Progress Imperative

Deloitte's strategic partnership with SPI

A robust and prosperous society requires effective growth to include both economic progress and social progress. The complexity of the big societal challenges demands collaboration. But no one sector, including business, can do it alone. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) and its member firms (Deloitte), Social Progress Imperative (SPI) and leaders from academia and other organizations are working together to drive cross-sector collaboration and highlight barriers to achieving true progress.

Social Progress at the Regional Level

On August 25th 2014, a new Social Progress Index for the Brazilian Amazon was released. The report, which measured the well-being of 24 million people, found that social progress in the resource and nature rich region was considerably lower than in the rest of Brazil. A lack of opportunity was found to be the most pressing problem Amazon residents faced. The report will be used to focus discussion around the social and environmental issues facing the region and may be used as a compass to guide management and public policies for the Amazon. The work was led by a research institute, Imazon, and supported by Deloitte Brazil through their leadership role in the Brazilian Partner Network, #ProgressoSocialBrazil.


You can read more about the methodology and the findings here.

"Studies like this one are essential for leaders across public, private, and civil sectors to gain a deep understanding of the challenges for regions, like the Brazilian Amazon"


Steve Almond 

Global Chairman, Deloitte Global

Business and Society are linked

Deloitte believes that business has the power and responsibility to help build a robust and prosperous society.

Business serves human needs and desires, creating vital products and services, which drive social and economic development. Thus, a sustainable and prosperous society needs thriving businesses – and for business to thrive over a sustained period, it needs to operate in a prosperous society. Progress in one invariably drives progress in the other.

The Deloitte network does this every day through client service work, corporate responsibility programs and strategic partnerships. These provide the opportunity for Deloitte people to use their expertise and insights, and engage their networks, to address issues that matter most to society.

To create growth and competitiveness business needs to help tackle the big issues facing society and drive progress through innovative ideas and products. 

"There is a powerful connection between economic and social development. Trying to separate the two is big mistake"


Michael Porter

Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

Social Progress Imperative

To truly drive progress, we have to be able to measure what we seek to improve.

This is why Deloitte has entered into a strategic partnership with Social Progress Imperative (SPI), an organization driving the global debate on how to really measure progress. 

Social Progress Imperative’s mission is to improve the lives of people around the world, particularly the least well off, by advancing global social progress through:

  • The provision of a robust, holistic and innovative measurement tool: the Social Progress Index
  • Fostering research and knowledge-sharing
  • Equipping leaders and changemakers in business, government and civil society with new tools to guide policies and programs.

“Deloitte is collaborating with the Social Progress Imperative and others because we believe business has a role to play in helping solve the world’s critical issues and the Index is a tool that can ignite collective action from business, government and society.”


Steve Almond

Global Chairman, Deloitte Global

The Social Progress Index

For 80 years, GDP has been the gold standard for measuring a county's economic progress, but limiting a country’s measure of growth and competitiveness to just economic indicators creates an incomplete picture.

To address this, in 2013 Social Progress Imperative teamed with leading experts across sectors to develop the Social Progress Index. This index provides an authoritative view of a country’s social and environmental strengths and weaknesses, on the issues that matter most. Designed to complement GDP, the index will help illustrate the whole picture. 

The measurements are grouped through three basic indicators:

  • Basic Human Needs (such as water, nutrition and shelter); 
  • Foundations of Wellbeing (such as health, sustainability, and access to communications); and
  • Opportunity (such as political freedoms, tolerance, and access to higher education).

By highlighting the most pressing issues that prevent progress, the Index acts as a focal point for convening and platform building - bringing together the right players from different sectors to identify innovative solutions. 

Insights from this analysis – and the actions they ignite – have the power to shift thinking for the better. Countries will be able to drive sustainable, and faster, growth through increased collaborations, more effective policies and focused funding. 

For business, identifying the areas that are hindering a particular country’s progress relative to their peers can serve as a country specific guide helping them determine where to leverage their skills and expertise to greatest effect.

Learn more about the Social Progress Index and download the 2014 report.

“It is our hope that just as GDP is the de facto measure of economic growth, so too the Social Progress Index will gain recognition as the de facto measure of social progress".


Michael Green

Executive Director, Social Progress Imperative

Social Progress Networks

Business has an important role to play in driving true growth, but they cannot, and should not, do it alone. The complexity of the big societal challenges demands collaboration. Private, public and civil sectors must work together to drive social progress.

The Social Progress Index can act as a catalyst. At the national and local level, the Index’s results are bringing together business, government and civil society to find innovative solutions to societal challenges.

Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of a symbiotic relationship with social progress and are keen to collaborate with governments and NGOs to address societal challenges. Social Progress Networks now exist in Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Paraguay.

"It is a great honor for Deloitte to contribute to the efforts involving Social Progress Imperative in Brazil. More than mature economies, emerging countries demand new ways to measure their social development standards.”


Juarez Lopes de Araújo

CEO, Deloitte Brazil

Social Progress Index 2014 Deloitte Launch

On 8 April 2014, Deloitte held a breakfast briefing to celebrate the launch of the 2014 Social Progress Index. Attended by influential individuals from the private sector, government and civil society, and available to all online, guests watched a key note address by Professor Michael E. Porter on the connection between social and economic progress. This was followed by a panel discussion on how the Index can be used to galvanize collective action to unlock true growth and progress. The event was hosted at our Deloitte London offices by our Deloitte UK CEO, David Sproul.

A copy of Professor Porter’s presentation is available for download and the event can be watched again here. 

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