Human development has advanced considerably since the start of the industrial revolution. Economist Robert J. Gordon describes this Human Development Journey and concludes that, as far as standard of living is concerned, we have journeyed as far as we can. While thinking about that assessment, I set out to consider this new age of great invention and its impact on human development. The result was the development of this innovation wheel (click to enlarge).
But how does one measure human development? Most now agree that any assessment of development must reflect a range of social factors. The favored measure is the Human Development Index (HDI), which ranks countries according to an overall assessment of per capita wealth, educational attainment, and life expectancy. The United Nations Development Programme maintains the index. The visual below reflects the top and the bottom 15 countries. As we struggle with the implications of the pandemic, each social factor is challenged – making a focus on human development even more critical.