In his book Philanthrocapitalism (co-authored with Economist business editor Matthew Bishop), Michael Green defined a new model for social change built on partnerships between wealthy businesses, governments and community organizations. Shortly thereafter, Bishop floated the idea of a “Social Competiveness Index,” the idea that one day countries would compete with one another to be the most socially advanced, in the same way as they now compete to be economic top dog. Green loved it and decided to turn it into reality.
Teaming up with Avina's president Brizio Biondi-Morra, Sally Osberg of the Skoll Foundation and many other thought leaders from businesses and foundations, he began work on what would become the Social Progress Imperative, of which he's now CEO. Later they were joined by Harvard management guru Michael E. Porter, who became chairman of the SPI's advisory board. The first Social Progress Index was published in 2014.