The Ethical Markets Quality of Life Indicators (EMQLI) grew out of a relationship between international futurist Hazel Henderson, asset management firm Calvert, and 12 scholars with expertise in their respective fields researching quality of life issues. Originally called the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, they have been in use since 2000, with Current Issues updated monthly.
Calvert of Bethesda, Maryland, co-sponsored the effort and assumed co-leadership of the project’s research and development in 1994. Calvert is a leader in the field of socially responsible investing (SRI), with $12 billion in total assets and 42 SRI and fixed income funds. Calvert’s approach to SRI includes incorporating social analysis into its investment process, actively encouraging companies to adopt best practices, and investing in disadvantaged communities. Barbara Krumsiek, the CEO of Calvert, has this to say about the Indicators:
“All over the country, citizens are demonstrating a desire to engage in serious discussions about how to measure quality of life and livable communities in the United States. Calvert has been a part of this exciting debate, first with the release of the initial volume of the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, and then with the release of its web site – an updated version of the first national comprehensive assessment of the quality of life in the United States using a systems approach. The deep insights, illuminating findings, and bold explorations into historical and contemporary environmental, economic, and social conditions of the country are our contributions to this important debate. We hope its messages and many lessons will empower people from all walks of like who are equally concerned about our future together on this planet.”
The effort was initiated and co-sponsored by Hazel Henderson, whose original conceptualization of a systems approach to measuring quality of life guided the development of the indicators. The project embodies 30 years of research and advocacy worldwide for more comprehensive statistics beyond the traditional macroeconomic indicators based on the United Nations System of National Accounts.
Throughout the development of the Indicators, the research effort was directed by Jon Lickerman, then Director of Calvert’s Social Investment Research Department, working in close collaboration with Hazel Henderson. He is now a consultant in the fields of socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility and a member of the Advisory Board for the Indicators. Jon is also a glass artist, specializing in fused and glassblown work. The Indicators were developed with a group of scholars and practitioners who have spent most of their careers examining their respective domains of study.
The EMQLI website is now managed directly by Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil), with appreciative recognition to Sustainable Measures, Inc. – a private consulting firm dedicated to promoting sustainable communities, primarily through the development, understanding and use of effective indicators and systems for measuring progress – which maintained and updated the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators website under the direction of Calvert, Henderson and the Advisory Board.
EMQLI is indebted to Hazel Henderson and Jon Lickerman for moving us toward a perceptual transformation in our collective thinking about quality of life. Appreciation is extended to the vision and support of Barbara Krumsiek, Wayne Silby, Terry Mollner, Tim Smith, now VP of Walden Asset Management, and Reggie Stanley, present and past leaders of Calvert.