When we talk about market research, we often forget that research as a whole encompasses great swathes of work done for social and political purposes. Indeed, in the US alone, research expenditure by government, social think tanks and universities almost doubles the size of the custom market. Social research in particular focuses less on people as consumers and more on them as people whose fundamental needs and desires require understanding if we are to improve the lot of the human condition. The benefits derived from this most basic function of research can be huge and intensely influential, far outweighing the cost of the research itself. In this issue, Jim Clifton reports on highly significant findings from the Gallup World Poll. His conclusion is that the primary human desire today is a good job - and that this has major consequences for the success or failure of cities and entire nations. This insight derives from a meticulous application of survey methodologies across the entire globe.