What is it about?

We provide a bird's-eye perspective on what the human species is doing, by compiling the first comprehensive global dataset of human activities and applying it to the entire population of 8 billion humans. The result is presented as an average human day, and reveals both surprisingly consistent behaviours across societies as well as important contrasts.

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Why is it important?

The world can feel bewilderingly complex, and the solutions to global problems like climate change and inequality often seem difficult to grasp. Frequently we know a great deal about the local details of such issues within our own societies, but because societies are globally interconnected we can fail to see the big picture. This study provides a new way to see what humanity is doing, by combining all human activities at the broadest possible scope. We hope that our results will provide a better understanding of how human activities can change to coordinate action towards sustainable development goals.


Working on this compilation really enriched my view of how the world works, and I hope our results will provide the same kind of novel insights for others!

Eric Galbraith
McGill University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The global human day, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2219564120.
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