Yes, humdev, or human development, is the study and practice of expanding realized opportunities and improving well-being both in the historical context and in present-day society."Human development grew out of global discussions on the links between economic growth and development during the second half of the 20th Century. By the early 1960s, there were increasingly loud calls to “dethrone” GDP: economic growth had emerged as both a leading objective and indicator, of national progress in many countries, even though GDP was never intended to be used as a measure of well-being. In the 1970s and 80s development debate considered using alternative focuses to go beyond GDP, including putting greater emphasis on employment, followed by redistribution with growth, and then whether people had their basic needs met. These ideas helped pave the way for the human development approach, which is about expanding the richness of human life, rather than simply the richness of the economy in which human beings live. It is an approach that is focused on creating fair opportunities and choices for all people." (United Nations, 2015)

In 2015, the United Nations member states adopted a plan for the sustainable development of humanity. This plan is centered around 17 sustainable development goals that are to be our focus for the prosperity and longevity of our species. Further information on these goals can be found here.

Tony's area of work examines the significant role social institutions play with regard to influencing the way we think, act, and ultimately develop as a species. Exploring both the lenses of human scale interfacing with institutions, as well as how institutions interface with society as a whole.


Human development is unique in that at its core it uses the capability approach for social design. This approach to human welfare and design focuses on actual capability rather than the mere right to do so. Think accessibility, equity, efficiency, and sustainability. This recognizes that not all individuals will participate or benefit from resources in the same way. This approach also specifically identifies what individuals can do and be with those resources. Furthermore, this identifies if over time certain practices have transpired to be regressive in nature or a realizable progression for individuals' capabilities. The goal is that on a human-to-human scale, progress is not only measurable but realized, in that it is felt, communicated, and not overshadowed by regressions in other areas.

Socially Designed 

The creative process known as social design utilizes design methodologies to help tackle complex human issues, placing the human as the priority. When something is socially designed, it is attentive to institutional problems, diversity of uses, accessibilities, and perspectives, and seeks to shift dynamics naturally and in a positive way for society.

 Human Empowered

Human empowerment is not only a cause but also an effect of human development. A human-empowered cause is one that appreciates and utilizes the diversity of thought and abilities. The effect of human development work is that humans themselves are actually empowered.

History of humanity and civilization.

If we want to understand the present, and sustainably plan for the future, we must understand the past. Exploring what makes us human, and how past civilizations have organized their social institutions allows us to see perspectives we may be ignorant of and to take into account the complex behaviors of society only learned through time.

Progress through modern society.

It is important to understand the monumental progress that has been made throughout modern society. From large revolutions and movements that have dramatically transformed human life, to gradual social change through time. Both of which in many ways are equally important. Likewise, it is important to analyze the outcomes of our actions and further define if those actions were reactionary expediency or truly sustainable developments. Lastly, we must observe the complexities of the progress we are seeing today and attempt to assure these actions are sustainable.

Creativity 4humdev.

Throughout history, creativity has always been at the forefront of our development. It’s how we solve some of our most complex problems, it’s how we entertain and express ourselves. Because of this, we’re the most advanced species our world has ever known. We’ve developed civilizations, cultures, and technologies. We want to keep that creative spirit alive, because the greatest discoveries have come from creativity, when people are interested, just for the sake of being interested. So let’s get creative, we might just find something, that can change the world. 


Tony's area of work examines the significant role social institutions play with regard to influencing the way we think, act, and ultimately develop as a species. Exploring both the lenses of human scale interfacing with institutions, as well as how institutions interface with society as a whole.

Institutions of Authority

Our institutions of Authority often play the most direct role in the shaping of our development. These institutions are the ones that make our rules, teach us about our world, and address some of our most crucial concerns. These institutions are large and are generally governmental, academic, or religious. 

Cultural Institutions

Cultural Institutions are significant in shaping public perception and ultimately development through their relevance with large social groups. These institutions are a collective body of individuals that generally share some type of social grouping. These institutions could be ethnic, geographical, or any type of base of individuals that tend to think and relate in similar ways. 

Social Movements

Social Movements have played a unique role throughout history. Their significance is often overlooked, especially during grassroots phases, however, these movements slowly and sometimes rapidly do shift public perception and often lead to some of the most progressive developments we've ever seen. These institutions are often tied to political campaigns for either candidates or certain issues but can also take the form of many other initiatives led by individuals, organizations, or other groups.  


For Human Development

In the olden days when we were hunters and gatherers, we endeared this horrendous struggle for survival. The transition to farming changed everything. The societies that developed agriculture became considerably more productive. As a result of that, we evolved and became hardwired to continue to grow and develop to have infinite needs. As a society, we became accumulators. This extraordinary work ethic that was instilled into us has brought us unbelievable benefits. We are now at a point in human history where we have an economy that is so productive, we’ve conquered scarcity, and in fact, created the opposite. More food goes into landfills than into our stomachs. We are living in an era of untold affluence and prosperity. Strangely, we continue to organize our economies as if we are farmers risking going hungry. The concern is that the very medicine that brought us this extraordinary prosperity has now made us sick. There is a growing need to design our world differently. To reorganize our societal institutions to truly drive human development. Human Development is the process of expanding people's access to opportunities and improving their well-being. It's about assuring that ordinary people have the resources to truly decide who they want to be, what to do, and how to live. Based on calculations of productivity, capital growth, and technological advancements, an economic equilibrium in which everybody’s basic needs are very easily met has been theoretically possible since 1980. By nature, we are a social and productive species. A world in which individuals are encouraged and empowered to do exactly what they wish to do would be much richer, much more productive, and would be able to focus on the things that actually matter to most people. We have the resources to redesign our world for modern needs. The question that remains is that if we already have the resources, how can we redistribute those resources to make that world a reality.