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Highlights for equity sessions

Data to impact case study:

Using data to unite, collaborate and advance equity

Katie Kalvoda

Founder and CEO, G3 Ventures; Advance OC

In 2019 Katie Kalvoda created the non profit called Advance OC  partnered with Social Progress Imperative to create the Orange County Equity Map. Today it is an award winning orange county equity map.

Through the pandemic, Advance OC knew that living conditions determine health outcomes. People who lived in poor households and environmental conditions were disproportionately impacted by the virus. In early stages of the pandemic, Advance OC created a risk model. This was a heat map that showed us who was most vulnerable to infection in Orange County.

When we talk about advancing equity we have to know where the problem is, who is being imp

"We realized that living conditions determine health outcomes, but more than that, living conditions determine life outcomes. We have to ask this in the public health domain, in the public policy domain. If we are truly treating patients for their health, why are we sending them back to the conditions that make them sick?"

Katie Kalvoda explained. 


"When we talk about advancing equity we have to know where the problem is, who is being impacted and how do we prepare to meet the needs of these people. We have to recruit people that are outreach experts in language, we also have to recruit people that look like them. When community members don't see themselves reflected in these programs or governments and that makes us lose trust. When you do public policy intervention, you can’t look at it and do a county wide solution, you have to be much more targeted about what you are trying to accomplish and use science and data that’s provided by the SPI."

What Works in cities 

Jyoti Gondek

Mayor of Calgary

Chokwe Antar Lumumba

Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi

Matthew Bishop

Co-founder and Board Member, Social Progress

Imperative; Visiting Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

When we talk about advancing equity we have to know where the problem is, who is being imp

Covid has really remonstrated our fragilities. When we failed to have sufficient health care for communities, when we failed to meet the challenges of infrastructure, the trust factor was threatened in that moment while in parallel  persistence of negativity and polarization was strengthening. 

"There are a lot of factors that lead to mistrust, the politicization of the issue, the mixed messaging. In a place like Mississippi where so many individuals don't have the healthcare that they need on their routine basis. We have to understand there is lack of representation for those marginalized communities" -Mayor Lumumba


"People don't see themselves reflected in the positions they should trust, that was loud and clear for first nation communities, one of their council members said

“we have found that we don’t have enough people in medical professions that look like us, therefore we have trouble trusting the diagnosis we are receiving. ”-Mayor Gondek


The challenge of the digital divide

Balaji Ganapathy

Chief Social Responsibility Officer, Tata Consultancy Services

Deirdre White



Serving the needs of Indigenous people

Karen Joseph

CEO, Reconciliation Canada.

Sophie Sutherland

Global Communications and Marketing Director,

Social Progress Imperative

When we talk about advancing equity we have to know where the problem is, who is being imp
When we talk about advancing equity we have to know where the problem is, who is being imp

Digital technologies are driving massive change and transforming industries. They are a key driver of social progress, in education, in the way we work, in healthcare and beyond. Though access to information and communication across the world has greatly improved over the last ten years, the progress is not even. With nearly 3 billion of the world’s population without access, existing inequalities have persisted

and worsened.

Unfortunately due to a technical error we do not have footage of the session available.

It has been a year of grieving since the unearthing of thousands of Indigenous children at former residential schools in Canada, numbers that continue to increase weekly. "The purpose of these schools was to destroy indigenous cultures. To teach our men to use corporal punishment upon women and children because women had high positions in these societies and children were "wild" they were just free"  "When my parents came out what they were looking for was love. You will always hear a survivor say " I remember when."  The children of those survivors don't have a "I remember when." Karen Joseph shared, in what was an exceptionally powerful dialogue at the Summit. The unearthing has brought an awakening truth to Canada and the world, a truth that survivors have stood up and shared for generations. It serves a stark reminder of the cultural genocide, violence and cruelty, and the systemic racism and injustice faced by First People. This session discussed the journey of truth and reconciliation, in not only the challenges facing indigenous communities today, but their intergenerational wisdom and resilience, determination to create a more just future, and the great potential of indigenous knowledge for social progress

"Love is what drives us, it's the basis of our resilience. The person you really need to forgive is yourself- in order to be able to live your true values"- Karen Joseph

Unfortunately due to a technical error we do not have footage of the session available.

Mapping social progress for impact

Data to impact case study:

Scaling data for an equitable and inclusive rebuild

Jaime García

Social Progress Imperative Regional Director, INCAE Business School

Robert Blaine

Senior Executive, and Director, Youth Education and Families Institute, National League of Cities

How are we visualizing social progress in the future?

In the beginning we tried to measure the SPI at different levels, in cities, in states. Now we have worldwide projects. Going from the index to action to impact has allowed the SPI to take part in worldwide projects to advance social progress. 

The US Social Progress Index was first introduced, that will measure social progress at a State level, at cities level but also at a census tract level.

Cities have been able to think about new ways that they can view how they are going to allocate resources, and what we’ve tried to do is to create a more data informed approach to work with those communities.

Part of our work has been finding ways to equitably distribute funds as we start to think about resilience in the face of a pandemic.

Talk + dialogue:

What works in creating opportunity from vulnerability

Saima Ashraf

Deputy Leader of the Council, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Pye Nyunt

Head of Insight and Innovation, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

When we talk about advancing equity we have to know where the problem is, who is being imp

"Before being elected, it was clear that there was a mistrust from the community towards the council and the politicians so if we wanted to make a change and gain that trust we had to be realistic and listen."- Councillor Saima Ashraf


Councillor Ashraf has spoken to 78% of her electorate. Before and after Covid, Saima would usher weekends to visit people and had real conversations with people of Barking and Dagenham.


Saima: For me it was important to build a relationship with the private sector, with the social sector and the faith sector. Having that exchange and relationship building since 2016 was important because the government can’t do everything, so we need these partnerships.

To effectively tackle the most pressing challenges in a community, such as homelessness, domestic violence and fuel poverty, you need not only tools and data, but a human-centered approach to problem-solving. In this session, Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of the Council of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Pye Nyunt, Former Head of Insight and Innovation of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham explore the human potential and what really works in lifting the most vulnerable people.

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