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Catalyst 2030 reveals the findings of the largest global survey of life before and during the pandemic

20 September 2021 | Press Releases, The People's Report

The People's Report survey

Contact: Lynne Smit
Communications Lead, Catalyst 2030

Catalyst 2030 reveals the findings of the largest global survey of life before and during the pandemic

60% of people who took part in the People’s Report have personal experiences of climate change, one in four have lost someone to COVID-19, and people in the wealthiest nations are going to bed hungry

17 438 people, 43 languages – The People’s Report is a megaphone to ensure that world leaders hear the voices of the people they serve

September 2021 – The SDGs are an extraordinary promise to the people of the world that the problems that beset our communities can be solved. A number of factors including inertia and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that the achievement of these goals by 2030 seems more of a dream than a promise.

While it is clear that of the targets are off track, do we know by how much? What is the lived experience of people around the world, and how do we make sure that world leaders are aware of their concerns? These are the questions that the People’s Report set out to answer.

The answers came from a wide range of communities – we heard the voices of people in the townships of South Africa, sex workers in India, Syrian refugees in camps, truck drivers in Australia, office workers in Japan, rose growers in Bogota and many more.

The global community of changemakers, Catalyst 2030, in partnership with the data-led community engagement company PlayVerto and the Social Progress Index, hosted this unique 11-question survey, gathering data in 43 languages from 17 438 people in communities around the world.

This massively ambitious undertaking, to capture the richness and diversity of the lived experience of thousands of people in hundreds of different contexts, was a huge task. It was only made possible because of the strength of the global network of Catalyst 2030 members: social entrepreneurs who already have strong connections and are delivering innovative solutions to the communities where they work.

The majority of the respondents were female (68%) and under 35 (64.5%).

The messages are clear:

  • We are living in a climate emergency. It is not a concern for the future – six out of 10 respondents report rising temperatures and biodiversity loss.
  • In a world of plenty, hunger is a reality for too many of us… everywhere – one in five go to bed hungry
  • There is a huge trust deficit – up to 2/3 of respondents do not trust their leaders
  • COVID-19 is taking a huge toll – in some areas 66% have lost their income
  • Our mental health and well-being are not supported – more than half report worsening mental health
  • We fear for the future – 1/3 would not choose to raise children in their communities

“The findings of the first People’s Report survey are a salutary reminder of the challenges we face and of the fact that governments alone cannot make the changes that are needed. They need systems social entrepreneurs to work with them, hand-in-hand as key allies to bring about change,” said Jeroo Billimoria, co-founder of Catalyst 2030.

“Following on the success of the survey and report, we will consider the possibility of continuing to track progress towards the SDGs and to highlight our findings to world leaders through an annual People’s Report survey until 2030. We look forward to reaching even more people, especially those in last mile communities in the years to come.”

Download The People’s Report here (16mb).

For more information visit

Notes for editors

Catalyst 2030 is a global movement of social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all sectors who share the common goal of creating innovative, people-centric approaches to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Joining forces with communities, governments, businesses and others, Catalyst 2030 members are changing systems at all levels through collective action and bold, new strategies. Launched at the World Economic Forum in January 2020, Catalyst 2030 comprises more than 500 proven social entrepreneurs who are active in over 180 countries and who directly reach an estimated two billion people.

We believe in collective action and that bold new strategies are needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030. For more information about the work of Catalyst 2030, or to arrange an interview, please contact Lynne Smit at:

About Play

Established in 2017 as a spin-off from the organisation, ‘Bite the Ballot’ (BtB), Play Verto is a Social Enterprise that weaves play, technology and purpose together using data to encourage a world where everyone is empowered to improve their lives, their local and global communities and of course, the planet.

‍We see technology and data as a catalyst for conversation, advocacy and collective action, using play based experiences to create a space for wider participation and differences of opinion. We are interested in gathering anonymised data and trends to understand what issues people care about most and explore the enabling conditions to collectively advocate for changes.

About Social Progress

The Social Progress Imperative is a global nonprofit based in Washington, DC, providing decision-makers and everyday citizens with the very best data on the social and environmental health of their societies and helping them prioritize actions that accelerate social progress.

Since it first launched in 2014, the Social Progress Index has been embraced by innovative leaders from London to India to the rainforests of Brazil. They are applying its rigorous framework to navigate today’s social challenges and accelerate efforts to drive equitable, inclusive and thriving societies.

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