The Soft Power 30 Index

data visualisation + web development



A data visualisation tool aggregating the global ranking of Soft Power.

The Soft Power 30 index is the world’s most comprehensive comparative assessment of global Soft Power.

This complex data visualisation tool compares the relative strength of a country’s soft power resources, such as their political institutions, the extent of their cultural appeal, the strength of their diplomatic network, the global reputation of their higher education system, the attractiveness of their economic model and the country’s digital engagement with the world.

In international politics, ‘Soft Power’ defines countries ability to attract and co-opt, rather than resorting to methods of ‘Hard Power’, such as the use of coercion and payment.

CLIENT USC Center on Public Diplomacy
CREATIVE Mystery Box
AGENCY Portland Communications soft power 30 index portland - homepage


The Challenge

To deliver an interactive dashboard comprising of five years worth of data, for 30 countries in a clear and digestible way. The main challenge is the creation of complex animations to provide a strong user experience and the development of powerful tools to allow the user to compare and contrast different countries, whilst giving the client the ability to grow and populate the index themselves for years to come.


The Approach

Built using fully responsive and thoroughly custom HTML, CSS and Javascript, the Soft Power 30 index is connected to a custom iteration of Wordpress. A carefully built backend solution imperative to ensure the client can manage and maintain the index themselves, whilst giving the users control to manipulate, compare and contrast a large volume of data in a digestible way.


The Experience

Using an intelligent custom backend solution, the visualiser contains and displays 7 different currencies of data, over a 5 year period, for 30 countries, with the additional ability to compare 3 countries scores against one another. The system can automatically detect if a country's specific soft power attribute has increased, decreased, stayed the same or is a new entry for that country, compared to the previous years data. The Index also features a blog (the Digital Diplomacy Hub) and aggregates all data into an annual PDF report for the user to download. soft power 30 index portland communications - comparison

The Soft Power 30 index is the world’s most comprehensive comparative assessment of global soft power. soft power 30 index portland - digital diplomacy hub