Tag: Measure of America Rocks

22
Nov

Portrait of LA County Published

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Arriving Next Week!

Interested in Data-Driven Journalism? Next in its series of pioneering societal sensemaking publications Measure of America has wrapped up it’s Portrait of Los Angles County. It will be published and launched next week!

ABOUT THIS REPORT

“This report is the culmination of a nearly two-year collaboration project involving over one hundred Angelenos from all corners of the county. sectors and walks of life. Portrait of Los Angeles County is an exploration of how LA County residents are faring. It examines well-being and access to opportunity using the human development framework and index, presenting American Human Development Index scores for LA County places and demographic groups and examining a range of critical issues, including health, education, living standards, environmental justice, housing, homelessness, violence, and inequality.”

Humantific has been working in partnership with Measure of America since its first publication in 2008. Other publications include Portrait of Louisiana, Portrait of California and the national Measure of America Report. From the outset we loved the idea of this important data-driven work informing much needed policy level societal changemaking in the United States.

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ABOUT MEASURE OF AMERICA

“Measure of America is a nonpartisan project of the Social Science Research Council. It creates easy-to-use yet methodologically sound tools for understanding well-being and opportunity in America and stimulates fact-based dialogue about these issues. Through hard copy and online reports, interactive maps, and custom-built dashboards, Measure of America works closely with partners to breathe life into numbers, using data to identify areas of need, pinpoint levers for change, and track progress over time. Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps are co-founders of Measure of America and co-authors of The Measure of America series of national, state, and county reports. They both previously worked on human development issues in countries around the world.”

To download the Portrait of Los Angles County (next week) go here:

Previous Measure of America reports can be found here:

06
Sep

Portrait of Los Angeles Coming Soon

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Breathing Life into Numbers!

Continuing our ten year collaboration with Measure of America, Humantific Understandinglab is at work designing the upcoming Portrait of Los Angeles.

For those readers who might not know: Since 2007 the Measure of America team has been publishing an incredibly important series of societal sensemaking reports focused on explaining the complex state of well-being in the United States. Their deep expertise has become internationally recognized by many.

We are delighted to partner and work with Measure of America accross many projects in part because this involves much more than just data visualization. We love all forms of sensemaking that helps to drive constructive changemaking!

“Measure of America provides easy-to-use yet methodologically sound tools for understanding the distribution of well-being and opportunity in America and stimulating fact-based dialogue about issues we all care about: health, education, and living standards.

The hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, an alternative to GDP and other money metrics that tells the story of how ordinary Americans are faring and empowers communities with a tool to track progress over time. The Index is comprised of health, education, and income indicators and allows for well-being rankings of the 50 states, 436 congressional districts, county groups within states, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups.

Through national and state reports, thematic briefs, and interactive websites such as DATA2GO.NYC, Measure of America aims to breathe life into numbers, using data to create compelling narratives that foster greater understanding of our shared challenges and greater support for people-centered policies. The Project was founded in 2006, and became an initiative of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in 2008.”

Previous Reports Include:

Portait of California

Portrait of Sonoma County

Portrait of Louisiana

About Human Development:

“Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live.”

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“Measure of America has been supported by many institutions through a combination of grants and commissioned work that all focus on our core objective: to better illustrate and address disparities in well-being and opportunity within the United States.”

If your organization is interested in participating in the support for Measure of America initiative go here:

 

27
Oct

DATA2GO.NYC | Visualization Challenge


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There is a new way to measure what matters in New York City! Measure of America and Humantific are delighted to announce the DATA2GO.NYC | Visualization Challenge.

In this challenge we invite specialists in the exploding information design and data visualization fields to use the unique dataset made available through the just launched DATA2GO.NYC website. The goal is to create informative and beautiful visualizations that help to illuminate strengths or challenges in New York City neighborhoods and how they shape the lives, choices, and opportunities of the people who live there.

Continue Reading..

29
Apr

Is GDP Deadsville?

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We were delighted to see Georgia Levenson Keohane’s “Is GDP Dead? post in the “Weekly Wonk” on April 16, 2015 as it very much reflects the paradym shift of focus that has been front and center in the Measure of America series since its first publication in 2008.

Measure of America pioneered shifting the focus in the United States from asking the old Gross Domestic Product (GDP) oriented question of “How is the economy doing?”  to the more relevant human centered question of today: “How are people doing?”.  Authored by Sara Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis Measure of America is widely recognized as a ground-breaking initiative.

Momentum continues to build around many dimensions of the social changemaking movement and its great to see others picking up on and extending this significant human centered paradym shift around how we look and see societies today.

Of course using more human centered viewing lenses tends to change the picture of how well the United States is really doing. That data-driven change of perspective will hopefully continue to help drive change at the level of city, state and federal governments.

From the Humantific perspective, what is often missing from articles such as “Is GDP Dead?” is mention of what happens after the new data-driven sensemaking pictures have been created. After significant challenges have been unearthed how are they to be addessed? We know from our real-world experience that simply putting new data-driven pictures in front of leaders is, most often, not by itself enough to drive real change that sticks.

As part of this movement leaders are beginning to realize that “Asking the right questions” is useful but no where near robust enough. Awareness is rising in the social change arena that without cocreated changemaking the best of data-driven intentions will often fall short. Linked together SenseMaking and ChangeMaking can provide the robust , adaptable and learnable tools to get the job done.

Today the goal of the data-driven social progress movement has many permuations but generally drives towards creating a more human-centered, life-centered world in the present and for future generations. It is a SenseMaking and ChangeMaking movement that Humantific is happy to be part of…:-)

Ten Key Quotes from Is “GDP Dead?”:

The Old Way of Seeing:

1. “Gross Domestic Product (GDP); what has become the official, if flawed, measure of a nation’s standing in the global economy.”

2. “By focusing exclusively on economic growth, GDP misses – or worse still, externalizes –the costs and value of a number of critical elements of well-being…”

The New Way of Seeing:

3. “a new trove of data offer[s] a holistic snapshot of the health of societies across the world.”

4. “…the [Social Progress Index] SPI offers a rigorous, granular and more meaningful alternative to the gospel that is Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

5. “The United States, the world’s wealthiest country in GDP terms, ranks 16th in “social progress.” Compared to our economic peers, we underperform on a number of dimensions, particularly those related to health: life expectancy, premature deaths from diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular and respiratory failure, fatal car accidents, and even maternal and infant mortality rates.”

6. “This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first UN Human Development Report, created by Mahbub ul Haq and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and informed by Sen’s work on human capabilities and positive freedom.”

7. The HDI has also laid the groundwork for a number of different approaches to measuring quality of life, among them, the OECD Better Life Index, gauges of happiness, and important assessments sustainability, among them the Sustainable Society Index.

8. “…it is important to note that “social progress” does not always correlate with higher GDP—sometimes even when we get richer, things can get worse.”

9. “The SPI is a measure of inclusivity and distribution; as with other alternative indices, a country cannot improve its progress score by simply boosting GDP.”

10. “The SPI is also part of a larger revolution – across business, civil society, and government – to measure what matters. Asking the right questions is a critical step towards getting us to better answers and social outcomes, which would be progress indeed.”

Related:

Humantific at Gates Foundation

Civic Innovation Today/ Tomorrow

Portrait of Marin

 

 

 

 

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19
Nov

A Portrait of California 2014-2015

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Humantific for Good is delighted to announce the publication of A Portrait of California 2014-2015. This amazing series from Measure of America is transforming the role that data informed visual sensemaking and insight creation are playing in policy making and change making.

Since 2006 Humantific for Good has been working with Measure of America, an initiative of the Social Science Research Council.

“Portrait of California 2014-2015 brings together data, innovative analysis, the American HD Index and visual sensemaking to enable engaging “apples-to-apples” comparisons of California’s counties, major cities, 265 Census Bureau–defined areas, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups.”

Created by authors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis, A Portrait of California 2014-2015 is part of Measure of America social sensemaking book series as well as related conversations and interactive tools.

CONSORTIUM OF FUNDERS

Blue Shield of California Foundation
California Community Foundation
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Humantific For Good
The California Endowment
The James Irvine Foundation
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
United Ways of California
Weingart Foundation

Key Findings in A Portrait of California 2014-2015:

“Income inequality is in the headlines these days. But to focus on inequality in income alone is to take a narrow view of the problem. Mutually reinforcing inequalities in health, education, environment, neighborhood conditions, wealth, and political power have created an opportunity divide that higher wages alone cannot bridge.

If California were a country, it would rank thirty-fourth in the world by population and eighth by the size of its economy—big enough for a seat at the G8. So what happens in California has national, and even international, significance.

This 2014–2015 update of the 2011 California report allows us to compare outcomes from one place to another and to look at changes over time. The result is a comprehensive reference tool and a critical starting point for informed discussions on change making policy solutions.”

Related:

 Breathing Life into Numbers

Portrait of Sonoma County Launches

SenseMaking for ChangeMaking

30
Mar

Breathing Life into Numbers

Measure of America authors, Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis will be giving a talk at Philanthropy New York Forum entitled Breathing Life into Numbers: Introducing a Human Index for Funders

Date: April 10, 2012
Time: 8:45 am – 10:00 am
Location: Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, NYC

The America Human Development Index used by our friends at Measure of America has helped garner support for people-centered policies. It reflects the distribution of well-being and opportunity in America by bringing together health, education, and earnings indicators into a single number.

Join Measure of America Co-Directors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis, and those with a keen interest in using the Index to address the challenges facing ordinary Americans, as we examine a new way to understand well-being and access to opportunity in America today.

Explore:

How the Index can be utilized to gain a better understanding of the root causes of socio-economic disparities.

How opportunity is distributed in America and which groups are surging ahead while others face the greatest risks.

What tangible steps can be taken, in today’s tight fiscal climate, to build an infrastructure of opportunity that serves a new generation of Americans.”

Registration: Philanthropy New York Members Register Here (Free)
Non-Members please email register@philanthrophynewyork.org. A staff member will contact you regarding payment for $100 fee.

07
Dec

Acknowledging The Great Divide

We were delighted to see President Obama touch on a theme that is near and dear to Humantific in his address to the nation last night from Osawatomie, Kansas. That theme, the continuing existence of what is being framed today as “The Great Divide,” seems to be re-arriving in mainstream consciousness in the United States.

For us it has been and is the central theme of an ongoing project that we have been privileged to participate in: the ground-breaking, social sensemaking book series entitled The Measure of America. Authored by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, The Measure of America began in 2008 as a book series but soon became a significant social change movement. The series has had a tremendous impact on bringing clarity to many dimensions of The Great Divide discussions. The 2010-2011 edition: The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience reveals how Americans stack up in health, education, and income.

Of course, many of us will recognize that the topic of inequality is not a particularly new one for this country. It is just that many of the issues remain largely outside mainstream media coverage and unresolved. The Measure of America series has been instrumental in changing that picture. All of a sudden, in 2011, everyone seems to be interested in subject of The Great Divide! Woooooo Hoooooo!

Of course understanding the “Divide” and acknowledging that it exists is not the same as repairing it. We remain optimistic that growing acknowledgement and broader discussion of The Great Divide will go a long way towards realizing much needed societal change.

See more from The Measure of America series:

01
Nov

VisBit 8: Life Expectancy – Who is #1?

Take a wild guess which country is #1 in Life Expectancy? Is it the United States? No way!

When it comes to life expectancy, the United States is 36th out of 191 countries. With a life expectancy of 82.6 years, the people of Japan can expect to live longer than everyone else on the planet. The special administrative region of Hong Kong comes in 2nd place with a life expectancy of 82.2 years. Next is Iceland with 81.8, Switzerland with 81.7, and Australia with 81.2. The United States has a life expectancy of 78.3 years, which puts us in 36th place!

Which country is number one in terms of Education? Technology? Democracy? Stay tuned to find out.

VisBit 7: Education & Earnings
VisBit 6: Life Expectancy by Race/Ethnicity
VisBit 5: Net Worth Comparison

United Nations World Population Prospects: 2006 Revision.

27
Oct

Measure of America wins IIID Award

Humantific is honored to receive the International Institute of Information Design Award 2011! The Measure of America Series was selected as the overall category winner in the area of Social Affairs. This project has helped policymakers shape crucial policy and fiscal decisions, and we are extremely proud of the positive, tangible impact this project has had on communities across the nation. We thank our brilliant Measure of America authors Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis and their team, and congratulations to the Humantific team!

See our work on the IIID Award Website

12
Sep

VisBit 7: Education & Earnings

In writing the Measure of America book, Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis analyzed data across racial/ethnic groups, educational levels, geographic region, and other groupings to uncover the patterns surrounding our society’s well-being, or lack thereof. The results of looking at societies through the more human-centered lens of the Human Development Index are often startling.

See other VisBits here:

Source: Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps. The Measure of America 2010-2011. New York: The New York University Press, 2010.