The National Dashboard and Human Progress

In this post, I want to consider a hypothetical national dashboard comprising important metrics that measure the economy, human well-being, and long-term progress. It’s hypothetical because even though all these metrics are measured today, not all of them are getting equal attention in the government and the media.

In This Post

  • Show Me the Numbers
  • Can We Measure Progress?
  • A National Dashboard
  • Upstream Drivers of Long-Term Progress
  • A Possible Set of 11 Metrics
  • More Options
  • Global Focus

Show Me the Numbers

As someone who studied economics and business and spent over a decade working in the private sector, I’ve been long dismayed by how little focus there is on numbers in government and media reporting. To the extent politicians focus on numbers, they typically pick the ones that support their narrative and seem relevant to this week’s news cycle.¹

I wonder if there’s a better way. What if the order was reversed? What if we came together as a society and determined (1) what things we would most like to improve, (2) the best way to measure the progress, and (3) the best way to report on it and future plans? What if we then used this framework to guide the public conversation, media reporting, and perhaps even some press briefings by the White House?

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