The Pardee Institute produces policy-relevant research and analytical tools focused on enhancing the future of human well-being. The Institute's research explores questions within three focal areas: Patterns of Human Development, Patterns of Societal Development, and Interactions Between Human, Social, and Biophysical Systems. The Institute's many clients include non-governmental organizations, international governmental organizations, governments, corporations, think tanks, and others.


Patterns of Human Development


sustainable development goals steps in icon sequence


The Institute’s work in this area is currently focused on progress, and impediments to progress, toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We explore questions like:

  • What are the long-term patterns of human development across countries and regions and how do changes in the dynamics across human, social, and natural systems impact sustainable human development?
  • How can progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and successor goals be anticipated and accelerated, including analysis of trade-offs and synergies that most impact human wellbeing?
  • What is the future of income and wealth inequality around the world and how does it interact with the ability of societies to adapt to a changing climate or the vulnerability of societies to social instability?

Patterns of Societal Development

world map

The Institute's work in this area focuses on the ongoing development of the domestic and international sociopolitical modules within the International Futures (IFSs) model. Research in this area played a significant role in four Global Trends reports of the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC). It also played a foundational role in the Institute's Strengthening Governance Globally volume in the Patterns of Potential Human Progress series.

Recent and ongoing work continue, with the Institute exploring questions like:

  • What are the implications for patterns of cooperation and conflict if the world continues to move away from economic, institutional, and normative interdependence?
  • What are the future prospects for government capacity and state fragility? How can we better anticipate episodes of state fragility and model the impact of conflict on development?

Interactions Between Human, Social and Biophysical Systems

man at podium

The Pardee Institute team is strengthening the Institute’s capacity to contribute to research on biophysical sustainability and natural systems in interaction with human and social development. We are asking questions like:

  • To what extent will climate change risks hinder progress on human development?
  • What development and/or climate policies would best reduce such risks to human development?

Research Projects