Patterns of Potential Human Progress



The PPHP series is the flagship publication of the Pardee Center. Conceptualized and funded by Frederick S. Pardee, the series uses the International Futures modeling system to explore prospects for human development by country, region, and globally out to 2060. Each volume in the series considers a key aspect of human development, explores how that aspect has evolved globally and locally over time, how it appears it might unfold over coming decades in a Base Case scenario, how we might prefer it to evolve, and how we can better ensure that it moves develops in desired directions going forward. The volumes, published by Paradigm Publishers and Oxford University Press India, are available for free download below. The five volumes in the series are: Reducing Global Poverty (2009), Advancing Global Education (2010), Improving Global Health (2011), Building Global Infrastructure (2014), and Strengthening Governance Globally (2014).

Each of the five volumes concludes with a table of country and regional forecasts covering population, poverty and income, health, education, infrastructure, and governance variables. These tables represent the output of the IFs Base Case scenario generated by the respective versions of IFs used in the preparation of each of the volumes (from Version 5.17 in the poverty volume to Version 6.68 in the governance volume). Additional end tables in the same format as those in the volumes are also available on this website. The additional tables (1) update the Base Case forecasts using IFs Version 7.02 (February 2014); and (2) present the forecast results generated by the alternative scenarios explored in each volume (also using IFs Version 7.02).

Click on the links associated with each volume to download the full text with the original Base Case end tables, sets of the end tables (both Base Case and alternate scenarios) using a more recent version of the IFs model (Version 7.02 from February 2014), and both summary and detailed scenario annotations used throughout the series. In addition, you will find an Executive Summary for each volume except the first.

The ambitious Patterns of Potential Human Progress series was inspired by the UN Human Development Reports, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and other initiatives to improve the global human condition. The foundational element of those initiatives, reducing poverty worldwide, is the focus of this book, the first volume in the series.

Reducing Global Poverty uses a large-scale computer program called International Futures (IFs, developed over three decades and based and the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures within the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. The book presents the most extensive set of forecasts of global and country-level poverty ever made, providing and exploring a massive multi-issue database and a wide range of scenarios. The forecasts are long term, looking 50 years into the future, thereby anticipating the need of the global community to think well beyond the MDGs.

Advancing Global Education is the second volume in the PPHP series. The questions it addresses are:

  • How rapidly are education enrollments and adult attainment levels advancing around the world?
  • Which countries will hit the goal of universal primary education by 2015 and, for those that miss, when might they reach it?
  • How rapidly can countries realistically expect to reach the next big goal of universal lower secondary education?
  • What are the financial costs of accelerating progress in enrollment and attainment, and do expected benefits ultimately exceed those costs?

The questions addressed in Improving Global Health, the third volume in the PPHP series, are:

  • What health outcomes might we expect over the next 50 years given current patterns of human development?
  • What opportunities exist for intervention and the achievement of alternate health futures?
  • How might improved health futures affect broader economic social, and political 
  • prospects of countries, regions, and the world?

Volume 4 in the PPHP series tells a story of possible futures for basic infrastructure (access to all-season roads, electricity, improved water and sanitation, and information and communication technologies) across the globe. Questions addressed by Building Global Infrastructure are:

  • How much basic infrastructure is likely to be in place over the next 50 years?
  • What will infrastructure access rates be in countries around the world?
  • Are there aggressive but reasonable ways to accelerate the provision of basic infrastructure, taking into account the different starting points of countries and other country-specific circumstances?


The final volume in the PPHP series, Strengthening Governance Globally, focuses on long-term transitions in the character of country-level governance around the world. Questions that it addresses include:

  • What role do the provision of security, the building of capacity, and the broadening and deepening of inclusion play in advancing human development?
  • Given feedback loops between governance and other aspects of human development, what changes have occurred in security, capacity, and inclusion in recent decades and what further changes do we anticipate in coming decades? 
  • To what extent might strengthened governance help countries face current and emerging global challenges?

Download Executive Summary:
PPHP5 Executive Summary