Michigan Selected As First U.S. State For Deployment Of New Social Progress Index

May 27, 2015, 11:30 ET from Deloitte from ,Social Progress Imperative

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich., May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Mark Davidoff, Michigan managing partner at Deloitte LLP and this year's Mackinac Policy Conference chair, alongside the Director of the Michigan Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives Harvey Hollins and Social Progress Imperative representative Justin Edwards, announced the deployment of a new social wellbeing measurement tool in Michigan called the Social Progress Index (SPI).

The Social Progress Index, developed by the Social Progress Imperative, measures social and environmental outcomes – such as access to basic human needs, health and education, and the ability for people to improve their own lives – and serves as a complementary measure to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Michigan will serve as the first state for deployment of the Social Progress Index in the United States.

"To achieve sustainable growth, we, as a society, should consider looking beyond GDP as the sole measurement of progress and success in policy and financial governance," said Davidoff. "We have the power and responsibility to create a positive impact on society by bringing together private, public and civil sectors for collaboration that drives social change. That notion is at the root of this year's Mackinac Policy Conference as we guide the region in moving forward with 'One Michigan Voice.'"

Earlier this year, the state of Michigan entered into an agreement with Social Progress Imperative to align the framework of the State's Urban Agenda with the framework of Social Progress Index. The initiative is collaboratively supported by Deloitte LLP, the University of Detroit Mercy, and Passion in Philanthropy.

"Governor Rick Snyder began his first term in 2011 with a 10-point plan to 'Reinvent Michigan.' One of the points in his 10-point plan is restore cities," said Hollins. "While the creation of jobs and businesses is critical to catalyze the restoration of cities, it can be challenged by other factors such as transportation, healthcare, crime, daycare and education.  Effective growth strategies for all residents in a city require both economic and social indicators to create a better picture to solve problems. The Social Progress Index brings opportunity for leaders to systematically identify and prioritize issues to develop and deploy meaningful solutions which enhance efforts to restore Michigan cities." 

"This network is the first of its kind in the United States, made possible by the strong political leadership and support of the business community, social entrepreneurs, academics and civil society institutions across Michigan," said Michael Green, CEO of Social Progress Imperative. "Together, these organizations will use the existing Social Progress Index framework to compile data and develop a template relevant for Michigan's citizens, and serve as a model of collaboration for other states and cities in the United States."

Earlier this year, the Social Progress Index was launched globally, measuring 99 percent of the world's population across 52 indicators of social and economic outcomes. In total, 131 countries were ranked according to these findings. While the United States ranks first according to GDP, the country ranks 16th on the 2015 Social Progress Index.

"The Social Progress Index framework will help businesses articulate exactly how their services benefit society – and in the process, gain credibility among social impact-minded customers," said Alicia Douglas, founder and CEO of Passion in Philanthropy. "The Index brings opportunity for a common language to be shared with the network and empowers leaders to convene with the right local actors and experts, enabling them to develop and deploy meaningful solutions to the region's most prominent issues."

The Index's methodology allows communities to measure indicators specific to their region, including those that directly impact government policy and areas where local businesses and civil society can better engage in activities that promote the health and wellness of its citizens.

 "The Social Progress Index has been tested and trusted in many countries around the world as a way to clearly indicate that all people are benefiting from the decisions that are being made in our everyday lives," said Dan Pitera, executive director at University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture Detroit Collaborative Design Center. "It is exciting to be one of the first U.S. cities that will test this method at the state and city level."

A full report on the Social Progress Index findings in Michigan will be available to the public later this year.

About Deloitte
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About the Social Progress Index
The Social Progress Index 2015 is designed as a complement to GDP and other economic indicators to provide a more holistic understanding of countries' overall performance. It is the world's most comprehensive framework developed for measuring social progress, and the first to measure social progress independently of GDP. It provides detailed insight into whether citizens have access to a wide range of progress measures including basic services, opportunities, healthcare, education, housing, decent policing, rights and freedom from discrimination. 

Social Progress Index 2015 Executive Summary can be found at http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/publications.

About the Social Progress Imperative 
The Social Progress Imperative envisions a world in which social progress sits alongside economic prosperity as a measure of a sustainable society. Its mission is to improve the lives of people around the world, particularly the least well off, by advancing global social progress by: providing a robust, holistic and innovative measurement tool—the Social Progress Index (SPI); fostering research and knowledge-sharing on social progress; and equipping leaders and change-makers in business, government and civil society with new tools to guide policies and programs. 

The Social Progress Imperative is registered as a nonprofit organization in the US, and is grateful to the following organizations for their financial support: Cisco, Compartamos Banco, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. (Deloitte Global), Fundación Avina, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation. 

For more information, visit http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/.

SOURCE Deloitte; Social Progress Imperative