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Covid-19 is an unprecedented crisis with ripple effects on virtually every aspect of society. At stake is not just the health of millions of people but also economies, supply chains, governance, poverty, and inclusion. Decision-makers struggle to understand the new challenges, the data is incomplete, and there is so little past experience to draw upon, particularly in reopening society and move to recovery and rebuilding.


What Works is hosting  a series of virtual forums to tackle social progress issues in these turbulent times. Anchored by the Social Progress Index, a powerful benchmarking tool to connect decision makers with fresh perspectives on social performance, the What Works forums will bring together leaders and change-makers from business, government, and civil society to debate and advance approaches to support people and the planet.


2020 What Works Virtual Forums are by invitation, but recordings of each session will be posted on this website. 

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FORUM 1: Covid-19 - Vulnerabilities & Priorities

No country or community, no matter its wealth, healthcare infrastructure or demographic profile is immune to Covid-19—but as the data suggests, some are more vulnerable than others. For the world to respond effectively to the pandemic emergency, we must be armed with the right information so we take decisive actions around the crisis. Through a data-driven lens, we’ll examine our vulnerabilities, discuss what works, where we are falling short and where to go from here.

FEATURING   Michael Green CEO | Social Progress Imperative (UK)     Þórólfur Guðnason Chief Epidemiologist | Iceland Directorate of Health (Iceland)     Andrea Prado Associate Professor | INCAE Business School (Costa Rica)     Robert Blaine Chief Administrative Officer | City of Jackson, Mississippi (US)     Sampriti Mukherjee Researcher | Institute for Competitiveness India (India)     Deirdre White President & CEO | PYXERA Global (US)     Chett Matchett Managing Director, People and Culture, Strategy and Operations | ATB Financial (Canada)     Adam Craker CEO | IQbusiness (South Africa)
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FORUM 2: The Reopening of Society

As the world begins to reopen, understanding how to do so safely is crucial to avoid triggering a resurgence of Covid-19. With many countries and cities moving at a different pace, we’ll use data to understand what works and to guide us against the pitfalls of opening too quickly. We’ll address the complexities of balancing public health with the economic considerations that all contribute to the well-being of society. 

FEATURING   Michael Green CEO | Social Progress Imperative    Ann Cairns Vice Chair | Mastercard    Helene D. Gayle President & CEO | The Chicago Community Trust    Sharon Thorne Global Chair | Deloitte    Justin Edwards US Director | Social Progress Imperative  Jaime Garcia Director of Projects | INCAE Business School 

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FORUM 3: Resilient & Inclusive Rebuilding

For the world to successfully recover from Covid-19 and to meet the already struggling Sustainable Development Goals, we need to rebuild societies that are more inclusive, sustainable and resilient to future shocks. With fewer planes in the air and cars on the road, we saw the air quality dramatically improved. As teachers and students were forced to virtual learning, we learnt a lot about what can work and what doesn’t in education. Through a lens of data, we’ll focus on the potential to rebuild green, to reduce inequalities and to drive social progress.

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FORUM 4: 2020 Social Progress Index Exclusive Preview

Be one of the first to view the 2020 Social Progress Index, a powerful benchmarking tool to connect decision-makers with fresh perspectives on social performance. We’ll use this Forum to look at how the world has changed in the time of Covid-19. We’ll address where we have made progress and where we are falling behind. And we’ll look at where we stand now against the global goals and what needs to happen in order to meet them.
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