A recent international survey has revealed that South Africans are generally optimistic about their individual futures. The survey reports that 64% of South Africans consider themselves optimists, 8% above the global average.

The Global Optimism Outlook Survey, commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai, studies how people feel about their futures. More than 20 000 people between the ages of 18-64 were interviewed, with participants coming from 23 countries on 6 continents. Within the survey, topics focused on technology, travel, and climate change, which are linked to the Expo’s three key sub-themes: opportunity, mobility, and sustainability.

“Just like the crow in Aesop’s fable who dropped pebbles into a jug until the water level rose high enough for him to drink, humanity has been brilliant in finding ways to progress towards creating a better future together,” says the survey. “But with all the global challenges that we face, how exactly do people across the world feel about their future, on an individual, national and global level? It turns out that the world is more optimistic than you might think.”

The survey revealed that almost two-thirds of participants interviewed feel generally optimistic about their futures. Over 50% of the respondents from South America, Asia and Africa were the most optimistic when it comes to opportunity. Africans also placed greater importance on connectivity for a better future, more so than other regions. Access to natural resources was believed to be the second most effective way of unlocking opportunity.

South Africans in particular consider collaboration, knowledge sharing and greater communication between individuals and communities essential to creating a greater future.

“We developed the Global Optimism Outlook Survey to help us understand what the citizens of the world believe will shape a better future. People from around the world have spoken, and we are listening. The results show that we are more connected than we may believe. That dialogue, communication and collaboration are essential, and that we are united in our desire to create a happier, more inclusive, cleaner planet. Whether you’re sitting in South America, China, or here in the UAE, we’re connected in our passions for a better future,” says Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

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