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From Poverty to Empowerment: Raising the Bar for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth


Anu Madgavkar, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute

“We find considerable optimism in the idea that market-led opportunities, growth, and business-led innovations can help us make tremendous progress.” 

– Anu Madgavkar

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • The world is currently facing two significant generational challenges—raising living standards and meeting the aspirations of billions of people, and protecting the planet from the consequences of climate change. 
  • The concept of an empowerment line represents a threshold of spending that goes beyond basic subsistence and includes essential human needs like nutrition, housing, healthcare, education, energy, and more. 
  • Currently, 61% of the world’s population lives below the empowerment line, which is equivalent to 4.7 billion people facing daily struggles to meet their basic needs. 
  • To address both challenges effectively, there needs to be a coordinated effort to allocate resources and prioritize actions that bridge the gap between economic empowerment and sustainability.