In a rapidly changing world, facing an increasing number of socioeconomic, health and environmental crises, physics of data and complex systems can help us to assess and quantify
vulnerabilities, and to monitor and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the main areas of applications where physics of data and
complex systems has shown its potential for social impact. I will then review the challenges and limitations related to data, methods, capacity building, and, as a result, research
operationalization, and conclude with some suggestions for future directions.