Fixing the Global Zeitgeist of Progress

With the ongoing global SARS-COV-2 pandemic, Russia’s illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine, a year of high inflation, climate change, food insecurity, and supply chain risks and tensions between China and the West over Taiwan, it is little wonder we’re worried about our prospects in 2023. For an entire year, headlines ran hot with a nearly uninterrupted feed of doom-mongering, and it worked. IPSOS surveyed more than 24,000 people across 36 countries on their outlook for 2023[1], and quite unsurprisingly, it wasn’t great. The percentage of those surveyed who indicated, “I am optimistic that next year will be a better year than this year,” fell from 77% in 2021 to 65% in 2022, while the percentage who indicated in agreement with the statement “The global economy will be stronger next year than it was this year dropped from 61% to 26% over the same period. Within the same survey group, half expected major stock markets to crash in 2023, 48% thought nuclear weapons would be used in conflict, and 22% thought it likely that an asteroid would hit the planet within the coming 12 months.

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