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Author Picture By - Jan 02, 2018

The start of a new year is often a time for reflection and resolution. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres shared a message with the world for 2018, saying:

“As we begin 2018, I call for unity. I truly believe we can make our world more safe and secure. We can settle conflicts, overcome hatred, and defend shared values. But we can only do that together. 

“I urge leaders everywhere to make this New Year’s resolution: Narrow the gaps.  Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.    

“Unity is the path. Our future depends on it.”

As the UN Foundation begins the year focused on continuing our work supporting UN causes and a world of dignity for all, we asked 12 partners of the United Nations Foundation about their hopes for the world in 2018. Here is what they told us: 

Mary Catharine McKeithen, Global Health Fellow (United States)

What is your hope for the for the world in 2018?

In 2018, I hope that more respect can be integrated into the global and national discourse. We live in a global society connected by phones, social media, and television, but the ease with which we can connect with someone on the other side of the world often means that we forgo the cultural competency required to have a thoughtful conversation. I believe tolerance is absolutely necessary when interacting with people from different backgrounds.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?

This year, I will strive to listen more than I speak and seek out the input of those with opinions or experiences different than my own. At a World AIDS Day event last month, someone told me that the best way to help people from a position of power is to pass the microphone and give them a voice instead of using your own. I hope to integrate this sentiment into my daily life, especially as I pursue a career in global health.

Ashley Crowther, #EyeOnClimate Collaborator (Australia)

What is your hope for the world in 2018?

I hope in 2018 the globe discontinues to view climate change as a distant threat. Rather, it is happening right before our eyes and already affecting those most vulnerable, such as the poor and women and children. The globe needs to take these warning signs seriously.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?

I will continue to work with climate change people across Asia, documenting and telling the stories of the communities who go unrecognized and unheard.

Kat Cole, UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council (United States)

What is your hope for the for the world in 2018?

I hope to see a great increase in collaboration across political lines. With such polarizing leadership of countries around the world (including ours) and such intense dynamics going on, I expect typically divergent groups (at least in our own government and even in a society in general) to unite in the face of that, more than others would believe, in order to accelerate progress. I expect more to use their voices and votes to drive positive change.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?

I will use my platform and influence to take a stance on society’s biggest challenges and encourage others to do the same! 

Adnane Addioui, +SocialGood Connector (Morocco)

How will you help realize your hope for the world in 2018?

In 2018, I want to empower more young people to create their own solutions and think for themselves, so we can all live in a better world with equal opportunities for all.

Paula Kiger, Shot@Life Champion (United States)

What is your hope for the world in 2018?

I want to see the deep divisions between people reduced.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?

I will keep learning about places and people who are of different cultures, belief systems, and geographical origins. I will do what I can to support education, especially for girls, as I believe education helps create meaningful connections between people.

Sara F. Hawkins, Global Moms Challenge (United States)

What is your hope for the world in 2018?

My hope is that I can use my voice to speak out for women and girls who do not have that opportunity. 

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?

I will use my social media platforms to raise awareness about the variety of issues women and girls around the world experience which do not raise up and improve their lives. Issues such as trafficking, education, menstrual awareness, safe sex and safe birth practices, and domestic violence.

Sartaj Singh Anand, +SocialGood Advisor (India)

How will you help realize your hope for the world in the new year? 

In 2018, I want to work with marginalized communities, especially refugees, so they can reclaim their narrative and destroy the well-established global apathy towards them. This is how we can make the world a kinder place.

Greta Rybus, #EyeOnClimate Collaborator (United States)

What is your hope for the world in 2018? 
I have so many hopes for this beautiful and difficult world! For so many people, 2016 and 2017 were painful years wrought with political and environmental instability. I’ve had to remind myself that such turmoil may be growing pains, part of an unfolding and zig-zagging path toward more egalitarian and progressive future for humanity and for our planet, and the result of greed, suffering, and a general disconnection. My hope is that in 2018, we can begin to see the growth that emerges from those pains and that we will see changes that reflect humanity’s capacity for love, curiosity, and compassion.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?
I plan to continue to document human relationships with the natural world, centering ideas and ideals that we can foster and protect.  

Sarah Lux-Lee, Global Moms Challenge (United States & Australia)

What is your hope for the world in 2018?

My hope is that in 2018 the world will truly appreciate the hard work, immense value and true power of mothers, as homemakers, community-builders, thought leaders, social change agents, civic participants and more.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?

My organization Mindr will be partnering with the Global Moms Challenge in 2018 to co-host the World’s Biggest Mama Meetup, celebrating the power of mothers and bringing together communities to discuss some of the world’s big issues – from climate change to economic empowerment for women and girls – and how we can work together to drive forward solutions.

Ashley Daigle, Shot@Life Champion (United States)

What is your hope for the world in 2018?

My hope is that the world will come together to realize that we are, in fact, all one – not just component parts of a whole. If we can help everyone achieve basic levels of health and security, we will all benefit, even rich nations like the U.S.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year? 

I will continue to work here in Maine and with the Shot@Life campaign to ensure that international vaccine programs are funded since they are one of the most effective investments any entity can make. This year I intend to speak to as many people as I can about the importance of applying those solutions we have that work and viewing the world in a more inclusive light.

Karim Ben Abdullah, +SocialGood Connector (Tunisia)

What is your hope for the world in 2018?

By 2018, the global goals are going to be the real metric for sustainable development – not only among young people and NGOs, but even governments that can adopt them to benchmark the effort they put into improving living conditions in their countries or the nations they are working with.

Chanice Lee, Girl Up Teen Advisor (United States)

What is your hope for the world in 2018?

My hope for the world in 2018 is simply one thing: healing. Oftentimes, we become so used to engulfing negative images that we don’t realize how much it affects our mind, body, and spirit.

How will you help realize that hope in the new year?

I will turn my hope into reality in 2018 by surrounding myself with positivity as often as possible, while also encouraging others to do the same.

Photo credit: NASA

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