Question box #5
What collective issues do we need to address to build the future I want?
Photo: Suad Kamardeen
With over 160 different themes mentioned, this question elicited a whirlwind of responses featuring an impressive range of topics. From the structure of our world—the environment, the economy, the educational system—to what we’re like as human beings—individualism, discrimination, attitudes—the question elicited an abundance of different contributions. Moreover, participants did not just tell us their thoughts by listing the problems that need to be solved—they also put forward practical solutions.
The environmental imperative turned out to be the dominant leitmotiv, with 35% of participants echoing its call. At the heart of this environmental maelstrom, climate change and global warming stood out, attracting the attention of 17% of participants. Gravitating around this core are a series of closely related issues—pollution, energy production, destruction of our ecosystems, resource management, and overconsumption. Mentioned less frequently but nevertheless of vital importance were access to water, violence toward animals, and issues related to agriculture and food.
The question also revealed a deep-seated concern with regard to individualism and lack of cooperation, mentioned by 17% of participants. Their abhorrence came in many different forms, ranging from sadness about the lack of care and empathy to criticism of intolerance and selfishness.
Fifteen percent of respondents also raised the problem of discrimination and inequality, with particular reference to racism, sexism, and hatred directed at the LGBTIQ+ community.
Economic issues, a constant shadow hanging over our lives, were raised by 13% of participants. Problems of poverty, hunger/malnutrition, and global economic challenges were said to be major obstacles to the desired future.
Education was mentioned by 10% of participants, showing itself to be a crucial problem to be solved. Respondents highlighted the lack of education in essential issues like the environment, finance, and fighting discrimination. They also deplored the fact that not everyone was able to access a quality education.
This question revealed a deep-seated aspiration to a more peaceful, harmonious, and altruistic world, which was reflected in calls for more care, empathy, kindness, and tolerance.
Other themes, although less predominant, deserve a mention. Four percent of participants referred to topics related to wars and conflicts, while mental health issues were brought up almost twice as often as physical health.
Questions of governance, leadership, and civic empowerment—particularly in relation to young people—were implicit in many of the issues raised.
Here we are listening to the voices of a generation that is ready to take charge of its future, and aspires to a world where equity, cooperation, and respect for the environment are no longer just empty words but a norm to which we all conform.
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
The environment: our primary collective challenge
Irrespective of the region of the world our participants are from, they all see the issue of the environment as the primary collective challenge that needs to be addressed. Human behaviors relating to discrimination, inequalities, and selfishness are also found in the top five in every region. Obsolete educational systems were a recurring theme in contributions from Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.
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
Interviews from all over the world
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