Question box #10

To build this desired future, what we must all learn... in life is:

Photo: Eye for Ebony


As with previous answers, participants’ responses to this question are reminiscent of those to the previous question, by and large returning to the topic of personal values and virtues. However, this result is less surprising in that values and virtues are traditionally learned within the family or the community.

The other topics raised, although often far behind individual values and virtues in terms of priority, are very diverse, outlining a certain complementarity between what should be taught in school and in life.

Global learnings

Almost half of young people from a wide range of backgrounds (45%) believe that the priority for our learning in life should be on personal values and virtues, and in particular, respect, empathy, and love.

These are followed by interpersonal and teamwork skills, mentioned by over 10% of participants. The three most valued skills in this area are all linked to interpersonal relationships: communication, the ability to live with others, and social skills. In third position is self-fulfillment, which includes a range of personal ideals. Young people express an insatiable desire to learn to excel in life, identifying personal development goals, determination to achieve these goals and persevere, and the desire for independence as key aspects.

Environmental protection and social causes are the fourth most common topic, mentioned by 6% of participants. These young people believe that above all, they should learn to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and to protect the environment. Regarding social causes, they emphasize the need for equality, humanity, and peace.

Six percent of participants also raise the importance of learning from life and having purpose. They believe that everyone should partake in life experiences, which provide means of learning how to act and behave in life.

Finally, practical life skills are placed just sixth. Participants mention specific practical skills, such as financial literacy, life skills, and cooking skills.

Participants’ contributions to this question mainly highlight relationships with others, with a particular emphasis on personal values and virtues and interpersonal and teamwork skills. Young people aspire to principles that encourage harmony with others, such as solidarity, kindness, and tolerance. They are also keen to improve the quality of their interactions with others by perfecting their psychosocial skills, such as emotional intelligence, active listening, and social skills.

Overview of the main themes

You will find below a graph in which you can navigate to learn more about the themes brought by the participants. Each theme (also called “cluster”) relates to an idea expressed by participants. There are two types of clusters: macro-clusters, which relate to more general categories, and sub-clusters, which break down the ideas into finer detail and are attached to macro-clusters. The percentages displayed correspond to the number of participants who have written about this theme among all participants who answered the question. For readability, only clusters cited by more than 1% of participants are displayed.

The representation below is dynamic: tap or click on the boxes to see the clusters in detail. You can also use the filters.

Differences between world regions

Similarities in priorities for learning from life across regions

The concept of personal values and virtues is the top priority for participants, regardless of the region they come from. Environmental protection and social causes are in high demand among participants from Europe, Central Asia, and North America. It is also noteworthy that Asian participants (from South Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific) set particular store by practical life skills.

Tap or click on the boxes to see the clusters in detail. You can also use the filters to compare regions.

Some remarquable answers from the entire world

Woman, 21India
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Individuals need to understand their role in society and participate in political and social systems to create positive change and promote social justice and develop an appreciation for diverse cultures and perspectives and develop skills to communicate and collaborate effectively across differences. Individuals need to prioritize their physical and mental health and develop healthy habits, such as exercise, proper nutrition, stress management, and self-care. Individuals need to embrace learning as a lifelong pursuit and continuously seek out new knowledge and skills to adapt to a rapidly changing world. By developing these essential skills and knowledge areas throughout their lives, individuals can contribute to building a better future for themselves and for society as a whole.
Woman, 19France
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Learn to respect the people around us, not only in a professional setting, but also in everyday life. We must learn to accept the differences prevalent in our society, whether of religion, culture, but also physical and mental, because too often in society the difference is set aside when, on the contrary, it is the difference between all of us that sets us apart. allows to have different creativities and therefore to join everyone with different assets in one and only same company!
Man, 22Mexico
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We are mirrors of each other, we are peculiar beings who search for themselves constantly and everywhere. Many times the only thing we are looking for is love, whether it is loving someone or being loved, this shows us how fragile but infinitely deep we are. we are and it shows us that our essence is infinite, if we stick to thought and reason only, our soul remains chained to matter, to get out of this it is just a matter of feeling.
Man, 27Canada
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In a globalized world, it is crucial to develop intercultural competence and appreciation for diversity. This involves respecting and valuing different cultures, perspectives, and backgrounds, and actively seeking to bridge cultural gaps and build inclusive communities.
Woman, 22China
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People are social animals. You can't live in a world of one person and you can't just care about yourself and ignore the society you live in. Do your best to participate in various voluntary and public welfare activities to cultivate a heart for the public good and a sense of public welfare. Take part in environmental protection initiatives and respect and protect the underprivileged. Starting with small things and little things, the power of an individual may be insignificant, but with the support and power of the whole society, it is not far to make the world a better place.
Woman, 22Venezuela
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That we are not alone in this world, there are billions of other people, flora and fauna exist, and when the rest of us die, life continues and new people will be born who will not deserve a world made chaos by their previous generations. We need to proclaim and live love, God's love teaches us to love others and ourselves. Be empathetic, aware and make a difference, selfishness is leading us to the destruction of the planet, society and the economy.
Non-binary, 24Brazil
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To be HUMAN people. with healthy psychologists tending to their wounded and spiritual sides. To have strength and ability to LOVE without the feeling of ownership or selfishness. And understand that LOVE is spiritual and felt and surrender with animals. Go back to NATURE a little and allow yourself to FEEL
Man, 27Senegal
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To live in community, that is to say to interact with others in order to build something, or quite simply to live in harmony while taking into account external issues and knowing how to have our own respected... while knowing the difference between real needs and attempted abuse of trust/power.
Man, 22USA
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Rudimentary respect. Over the years, people have lost the principle of "treat others how you want to be treated" a simple saying that holds so much weight. Respect is earned, not given. But with only disrespectful attitudes and behaviors being flaunted around, nobody wants to respect anyone else. I speak for myself when I say, I find a very difficult time respecting some of my classmates, professors, family members, etc.. Not because I simply dislike these people or politically disagree with them. But rather because people seem to confuse discussing humanity for politics. We must learn to differentiate between politics and just basic human rights.
Man, 27Spain
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Empathy and fairness: We must learn to be more empathetic and understand the social and economic inequalities that exist in the world. This implies recognizing privileges and working towards a more just and equitable society, where everyone has access to adequate opportunities and resources. Critical thinking: It is essential to develop critical and analytical thinking skills to question and evaluate the information we receive. This helps us make informed decisions and discern between reliable information and misinformation. Collaboration and teamwork: Building a desired future requires everyone's collaboration. We must learn to work together, overcome differences and seek common solutions. Cooperation at the local, national and international levels is essential to address global challenges.

Interviews from all over the world