Question box #2

When I think about the future, what I wish... for the world

Photo: Hà Nguyễn


A truly surprising finding is that the greatest wish of young people all over the world is not connected with the environment, but with world peace. A large proportion of their contributions—32%—aspire to a world devoid of armed conflict, discrimination, insecurity, and inequality.

The environment, although it is still paramount, comes second, more particularly in the West, East Asia and the Pacific. However, it is less of a priority in other regions of the world, where human values and virtues come out on top.

The better world to which these young people aspire seems to be characterized by a strengthening of human values, greater equality, and shared happiness—intangible factors that shape their vision of an ideal future.

Global learnings

The idea of peace very much holds center stage, with nearly a third of participants speaking of their ardent desire for world peace. Some emphasize the need to rid the world of war, achieve world harmony, and reduce the amount of violence.

Environmental protection is a predominant topic, mentioned by 21% of participants. They echo a general, collective increase in awareness of the climate emergency, speaking of their wish to live on a healthy planet, released from the twin scourges of climate change and pollution. One way they think this might be achieved is for everyone to be made more aware of the situation so that they can act together to preserve biodiversity.

Participants aspire to a world where respect, solidarity, love, and kindness prevail, values they see as being fundamental to the harmonious coexistence of all inhabitants of the planet.

While the theme of happiness is top of the list in the previous question (“When I think of the future, what I wish for myself”), here it only comes sixth, being mentioned by just 6% of participants but referring to comparable concepts: happiness, joy, hope.

Financial and economic issues are less pronounced than in the previous question: 5% of participants said they would like a fairer economic system and 2% wanted to see economic growth.

Despite these noble, positive aspirations, one can nevertheless sense an underlying feeling of anxiety. They talk about their world being threatened by war, global warming, the lack of tolerance towards other people and other races, insecurity, and economic crises. Many are the contributions that begin with “less…” (discrimination, pollution, etc.), suggesting a reaction against an existing or imminent negative situation.

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

Regional prisms: a universal longing for peace and a variety of environmental concerns

A hunger for a peaceful world unites the participants from just about every region of the globe, with the notable exception of South Asia, whose participants prioritize the environment—probably influenced by the most recent environmental crises there, including flooding in Bangladesh, landslides in Nepal, extreme heat and cyclones in India, and drought in Pakistan. The desire for peace transcends borders and seems to be establishing itself as a universal aspiration amongst the younger generations. Although such a result might have been expected in Europe in the context of the war between Russia and Ukraine, it is interesting to note that there is a general desire for the cessation of war.

Environmental protection, although it remains a constant concern, varies in importance depending on the region. Europe stands out for paying particular attention to the environment (33%), but it seems to be somewhat less of a concern in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, where it is only mentioned in 15% of contributions.

It is also interesting that some concerns seem to be specific to certain regions. In North America, for example, the importance of basic needs for all comes to the surface, whereas in the Middle East and North Africa, young people emphasize the importance of security.

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

Man, 28Zambia
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I wish for the world one day to be one as family, maybe one president or one king for the whole world if politics may still exist at that time. Instead of just having the United States of America or The United States of Africa, I wish we would just all agree to have the United States of the World (USW), one leader( of course with prime ministers to help govern each state of the World), one currency, doesn’t matter how many languages we may speak at that time but the objective is to make everyone to understand what it means to keep humanity going is to understand what it means to be human. No human is inferior or superior to any other kind, we are just different from each other and being different from each other is does not signify competition but maybe rather complimentary. America needs China and China needs Africa and Africa needs India. We are all here for one another to keep humanity going.
Woman, 22China
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It is hoped that this world will be a safer, more equal and inclusive society. Nations and nations, religions and religions, races that are tolerant and respectful of each other. World peace, no more wars and hunger and displacement and a life lived in constant flight. Inclusion of animals and the environment. A greater diversity of life, respect for and protection of the environment for animals and plants; an early solution to the problem of climate warming and a reduction in extreme weather. Mutual tolerance and respect between people. Respect for diversity of thought and opinion. Women are given due respect and equal social and family status with men, sexual diversity is respected, sexual minorities are protected, the sick and disabled are given more inclusion and assistance.
N/A, 23Belgium
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That people realize that what they take for the norm is not necessarily as banal and necessary as they think, not a century ago, going to America was still the trip of a life, and we usually only took a one-way trip, not a vacation... It's the same with many other things, cheap food, the size of the houses,... We live in an unspeakable opulence and we are not even able to notice it anymore. I would like a carbon tax and against any other form of pollution so monstrous that it would reduce the standard of living of ordinary mortals to the level before the First World War. People need to take the time to think about what is really needed in their eyes.
Woman, 20France
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I would like a world where my children live without worrying about their safety. A world where migrants would no longer be seen as a danger but as an asset for our country. A world where African countries would not be completely impoverished by Europe and Asia. I would also like a world where women can choose with whom and how to live. A world where going to school and traveling would not be a luxury but an obligation. A world where we humans rediscover the joy of talking to each other in transport, shops, the street... A world where we would be disconnected from the internet and its social networks in order to realize how the people we are really doing are doing.
N/A, 25Argentina
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That we all stop being such shit to society, because we are totally intoxicated with a lot of garbage, but hypocrisy constantly denies. I would like everyone to wake up and put aside everything that causes them anxiety. I would like everyone to take off their masks and listen and speak for real, without fear of what they will say. I would like us to give importance to REAL things, such as the environment, love, care, happiness, instead of worrying about what the body of the OTHER is like, or how he dresses or who he has relationships with. (I'm a little hated because I feel like we have no escape from this cruel world but I'm generally cool lol).
Woman, 19Nigeria
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I wish more love would abound in the world. Love is a very important aspect in human living personally and stretch out to our communities and countries at last. People would learn to help each other without a blink. The more love continues to abound the better it is for our generation and the next coming generation because that virtue would be passed on to other generations. With love countries won't fight each other, the rate of sadness would reduce, crime rates would reduce, corruption and deceit would reduce, people would learn to love their bodies the more and finally depression and suicide would drastically reduce.
Man, 24Malawi
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I wish for a world of peace, understanding, and acceptance, where everyone can live life to the fullest without fear of prejudice or injustice. I hope for a world where resources are shared fairly and sustainably, and everyone has access to the necessities of life. I hope for a world where people can explore and celebrate the diversity of cultures with open arms and an open heart. I hope for a world where people are empowered to create meaningful change and make a positive impact in the world.
Non-binary, 17Colombia
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To stop. Breathe. Feel. Then continue with their lifes, but as a society we need to stop rushing and trying to participate at everything. Breathe, because we can, we do it but it keeps us alive and feels wonderful when you put an intention into breathing. Feel, because it's became a fad the "silence treatment" not just for others, but for ourselves.
Woman, 16Lebanon
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I want it to be a place where we can go out and do whatever we want (within limits of course) without being judged by country, color, shape, rumors (unconfirmed or fake news or without any proof), financial condition, marital status, family status and others....
Man, 22Jordan
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For peace to prevail in the world, for man to change and return to his origin of goodness and tolerance, for the concept of occupation, colonialism and wars to end, for the human world to live with an innate, non-aggressive nature, and for harmony to prevail in the world.
Woman, 18Australia
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To get to the point as a society where people stop judging each other on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, or other such factors... To come to a point where those things aren’t ignored, they’re appreciated, but not seen as important.
Woman, 26Italy
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I wish that society would understand how much caring for others' wellbeing can be fulfilling, as well as caring for the environment. We take the world we live in for granted and never express gratitude for what we have. I wish everyone were a bit kinder and more grateful.
Woman, N/AHong Kong
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I want to live in a more responsible and equitable world without giving up my way of life. The reality of today's world is not going to improve overnight. It is therefore obvious that efforts are to be made to hope to live in a better world.

Interviews from all over the world