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2021 Optimism: New Year's Optimism and Dreams

New Year is an important time for resolutions, optimism and hope.  Please share what makes you optimistic for 2021!

Bradley Berg PhD 

"As we go into 2021 I am so optimistic about the change in mindsets. Open perspectives, flexible modalities with the new approaches of quick agile business change and improvements. It's not just a better normal it's spectacular with new innovative ways of doing business."

1500 Answers to "What is the better normal you foresee for yourself?"

Juanita Wheeler, Executive Director & LicenseeTEDxBrisbane

"I'm surrounded by people who refuse to accept the status quo when it is simply not good enough - be it in business, in society or in life.  They are a constant reminder that the world is filled with changemakers, thought-leaders and provocateurs of change. They fill me with optimism for 2021 and beyond, and a belief that the potential to do great things, big and small, is in us all."

Adam Bowcutt

"What is making me optimistic for 2021? An energised focus on action, creativity and seizing opportunities to help others; adding value and changing lives at scale. The global landscape is ripe for positive change and it starts with a firm choice to take action, now."

Kate Lempriere

"What makes me optimistic for 2021?  Life. Exploring the significance of a creative life we all live and exist within imaginative worlds within nature, literature, poetry, focussing, and exploring and accepting surprising new possibilities as a human race. I love 💖 the splendour of nature’s most colourful creation, humanity. I am optimistic about the future. We shall prevail."

Jonathan Faulkner, CEO, Development Pathways

"What makes me optimistic for 2021?  The COVID period has significantly expanded the realm of the possible. In particular, debate about the social and economic changes needed to address the climate emergency and growing wealth inequality has been enlivened by a demonstration of how much policy change is possible once we recognise that we have no alternative. This demonstration effect will (I believe) have more lasting impacts than the pandemic."

Catherine Brown, CEO, Lord Mayor‘s Charitable Foundation

"2020 has demonstrated that the charitable sector has a tremendous ability today to adapt and respond when the community needs support most. This can-do attitude, coupled with creative problem solving, will enable charities and the broader community to move to a better future in 2021. This makes me optimistic. While we will still face challenges, we have the ability to deal with them effectively."

Ben Browning

"In 2021, we come together, remotely and safely, practising self-care and care for others and our environment. I'm optimistic our 2020 work will show good results of responsible government policy and citizens' care, to stop the spread of the pandemic. We shall return to be more responsible in 21, as the century truly comes of age!"

Eugene Arocca, CEO, Motorsport Australia

"What makes me optimistic for 2021?  The expected recovery from the pandemic and the positive impact the pandemic had in making our governments more experienced in handling any future crisis - this has been a very quick and extensive learning curve for everyone on dealing with a global crisis. There have also been some permanent changes that will positively impact our lives (eg. working from home, use of videoconferencing, costs savings)."

Robert Masters, Chair, The Centre for Optimism

"What makes me optimistic for 2021?  The majority of Australians have adopted the ’we’ rather than the ‘me’ for being positive and optimistic in addressing the pandemic."

Nigel Paine

"2020 was a powerful year of discomfort and disconnection; out of that came intense learning.  Most people had glimpses of a different kind of world. I am optimistic because all of those insights cannot possibly go to waste. As we move back into a reconnection we simply have to build back better.”

John Lehner

"What makes me optimistic for 2021?  Opportunities, multiple opportunities to to see and understand myself better — and choose to do one thing rather than another."

April Chepovskygold

"I am looking forward to living, achieving and experiencing every day as if it is a blank page and to fill each day of next year with a perfect moment or memory. "

Andrew Bath

"There’s always upside and always opportunity, that’s what 2020 showed us, because we’ve always got something to be grateful for. We just have to make sure we take the opportunities."

Gary W. Moore

"I’m choosing to optimistically make 2021 my best year, ever. You can too. Will you join me?"

Gary Moore: When Optimism Isn't Easy

Craig Waters, Senior Coach & Researcher , idrivesafety

“We have had an amazingly successful year across all business streams. Our impact across the disability sector is the greatest influence that inspires my optimism for 2021: The human capacity to exceed expectations when provided with a psychological intervention to alleviate what is perceived as human frailty needing an engineering solution. Differentiation educational delivery methodologies empower, encourage and support humans who at the core love to succeed. Disabilities are just a learning style, not a disabler to driving safely. The rewards are shared by all involved in the journey. It is life-changing.”

Bill Speer, Editor, Alpena News

"Let’s make 2021 a year where truth and justice join love and respect as the pillars of a new way of interacting with each other.

"Let’s replace ignorance with education and prejudice with wisdom.

"Enough of the doom and gloom.

"Let’s usher in positivity and optimism.

"Here’s to 2021!"

Murtaza Hashwan, chairman of Hashoo Foundation

"As the year comes to an end and the vaccine rollout begins, I remain hopeful that my optimistic outlook will prevail."

New York Times Dealbook

"Amid the challenges of 2020, there are reasons to be optimistic heading into the new year."

Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines CEO 

"we’re very optimistic about 2021” 

Tim Douglass, Publisher of the Pope County Tribune

"It’s just a few days until 2020 is in the history books.  Optimism is a wonderful thing and as we head into the new year; we’re optimistic about things being much better."

Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History at Oxford University

"This year has been a terrible and chastening experience. But rather than allow doom and despair to sweep us away, we should be optimistic about the future – and in the long run, we might just owe 2020 a debt of thanks, rather than mutter its name with spite.

"The experiences of this year will – and must – teach important lessons about being better prepared for future epidemics. It will lead to greater understanding of how to plan and execute large-scale emergency responses more quickly and more efficiently and with better outcomes. And it will make us think about the risks and threats in the world around us with greater clarity and depth...

"Beyond 2020? We would do well to remember that, in the past 30 years, more people have been lifted out of poverty than ever before; more children and mothers have survived childbirth; more people are able to read and write than at any point in human history.

"For all the horrors of the year, hope is still present – as the historian Agathias wrote in the sixth century, times of disaster throw up prophets who talk about doom and gloom and predict how much worse things will get with great certainty. Much better, then, to be positive and optimistic."

Jim Rixner

"Too much already been written about 2020 and too much suffering and death have been experienced by millions of people. So let’s look to the future.  I wish to express optimism and hope. I am guided by the fact that I regard hope as the fundamental virtue, without hope, neither faith nor love can flourish. As Desmond Tutu said “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness” Hope allows us to move forward despite the obstacles. I agree with the Chinese people adopting the fish as the symbol of hope because fish always swim forward. 

Stephen Manallack


"Industry 4.0 holds the promise of a greener world, more flexibility but also a lot of adjustment needed.  I am optimistic we will be adaptable enough to come out of Industry 4.0 a much better world."

Steven Farrugia

"I'm optimistic about life and the future being formed by the awakened generation emerging, that lead with purpose before profit. The coming generation don't just want a job they want to make a purposeful impact that supports the environment, equity and evolution."

Margaret Hepworth

"My optimistic outlook for 2021 is that alongside the happy wishes for a better year, we take the actions necessary to make it so. 🥳💃💕"

Simon van der Schaar

“Being able to find positives in even the most negative situations, will allow you to discover benefits that you didn’t even think was possible.”

Timothy John le Cocq QCBailiff of Jersey

"There is light ahead and cause for optimism in the form of the vaccine that is even now being administered to more vulnerable Islanders and soon, we hope, more generally as quickly as we can. I am hopeful that 2021 will be a much better year, one that will see a return to some measure of normality – a time when we can intermingle as family and friends and fellow Islanders without concern."

Mike Troy

"For starters, roughly 10 months after the pandemic began, there is well-deserved optimism that despite recent challenges, we could soon have COVID-19 under control."

Queen Elizabeth II

"We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that – even on the darkest nights – there is hope in the new dawn."

Peter Haug

"As we interact, we can hope others understand our small gestures of outreach. We can hope others accept that brick in the spirit in which it’s offered. We can hope sharing our bricks of love will inspire others to offer their own bricks of love to family, friends, even total strangers, in a flush of New Year’s optimism to strengthen and unify our community."

Dawn Driscoll, senator-elect, Iowa Senate District 38

Like many, I look forward to 2020 coming to an end, putting a year of difficulty and challenge behind us, and starting the next year looking forward.  As a lifelong farmer, I am always optimistic and always hopeful. In order to place a seed in the ground, to depend on factors completely out of your control for the crop to succeed, farmers have no choice but to be optimistic. This year was more challenging than anyone expected, yet Iowans handled each challenge, and did so with smiles on our faces.

Smile Like an Optimist

Chris Romer, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership

Although our path forward is still long, there’s much to be hopeful about and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Protecting our front line is critical in the fight against this deadly virus and it will take months for all Coloradans to be able to access the vaccine. Please continue to do your part by wearing your mask, only interacting with those who live in your household, and keeping 6 feet apart from others.  For 56 years, Vail Valley Partnership has believed in supporting our local businesses and communities and the power of all of us working together. Until we can all gather in person again, we hope that you share our sense of purpose and optimism in the future. Here’s to 2021 and brighter days ahead.

Khairallah Khairallah

Sudan now has a chance to make up for what it missed in the past. All it has to do is learn from its past experiences since independence. The reason for optimism is the existing understanding, within reason, between civilians and the military, between the government of Abdalla Hamdok and the military council headed by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, to cover each other’s backs. Such cooperation has never been seen before in Sudan’s history.

Kristen Czaban. Editor, The Sheridan Press

"As we near the end of 2020 — with many breathing a sigh of relief and others holding their breath to see what happens next — it’s time to once again muster some optimism for the coming new year."

Dr Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at Edinburgh University

“I think there is reasonable cause for positivity and that, while the next six to eight weeks will be really tough, when you look beyond that there are huge reasons to be optimistic. The main one is to do with vaccines and we do expect to hear further news relating to the Oxford AstraZeneca one within a fortnight.  Survival of those who have the virus has also improved by around a third and we can expect more new treatments next year.”

Reindolf Amankwa

"We journey into another year. What it brings we do not know. The strings of uncertainty struck another chord but we hold onto our usual faith and optimism that we shall see a certain cure. Dear friend, the year ahead must be a blissful one. Be positive once more amidst the strings of uncertainty. Forward ever backward never; when the strings of uncertainty sound, we shall hold on with optimism singing it is well with our soul."

Mayor Kim Maggard 

“Even when considering the uphill battle that is the pandemic, it's hard to be anything but optimistic about what 2021 will bring for Whitehall.  We've faced so much together over the last year, and I believe our community has grown stronger as we've helped each other see it through.”

Susan Ferrell, president of Travel Experts

"I’m extremely optimistic about 2021. My personal opinion is that the first quarter is going to see travel rebound in a strong way for a couple of reasons.  First, the vaccine news is a huge psychological boost that is going to help people make the calls to plan travel. They may not travel immediately, but they will begin booking for later in the year or the following year. Second, cruise line execs are feverishly working to get the ships afloat again with new sanitary protocols that will alleviate fears of contamination, so cruising will come back just as fast as it possibly can.”

Governor Brian Kemp

"There is a lot of optimism as we go into the new year, especially on the vaccine front. I mean just a medical miracle quite honestly.”

Shep Hyken

"I choose to practice realistic optimism, accepting the facts while still having faith in the future. So, here’s to a realistically optimistic 2021. May this be your best year ever, and each year thereafter be even better than the last!"

Ben Minicucci, president of Alaska Airlines

“We have this outlook of being realistic and optimistic about the future"

Taking the Lessons of 2020 Forward to 2021

Tony Holmwood

"We can be confident that 2020 has sown the seeds of change and grown awareness of how adverse events can disrupt our societies. We are witness to the best and worst of leadership behaviours and the rise of authoritarian regimes and the insecurity they promote. We have it within ourselves to be optimistic and to influence a world that can come together as equals and promote more inclusive, sustainable societies built on the security that collective preservation brings."

Ipsos Global Poll "Global predictions for 2021" (Taken in late October and Early November)

Only 3 in 10 (30%) believe the world will change for the better because of the pandemic: those in India (62%) and Saudi Arabia (58%) are most hopeful in this respect; meanwhile only 9% of those in France are as optimistic.  Australia (31%) and New Zealand (34%) are at the middle of the results.

The Better Normal Research Project

Arthur Shelley

"Hardship years like 2020 generate Optimism as they highlight areas for improvement in our systems and stimulate us to address the weaknesses.

"COVID stimulated me to write a new book called "Becoming Adaptable" (to be completed in early 2021). It highlights why behavioural adaptability is critical to success, especially in uncertainty. Adaptability is the source of resilience, confidence, optimism and sustainability as it provides an agile foundation to flex in ambiguous situations. It is also the foundation of innovation and long term relationships, as we grow together through our coevolution (or destruction for those unable to cope with changes).  COVID highlighted just how patterned people had become and how hard it was to break those patterns - especially when their comfort zone was stretched to the limits. As Darwin stated (well, reportedly, but not actually so) 'It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives, but the ones most adaptable to change."  I am optimistic "Becoming Adaptable" serves this important social need, now we have experienced the benefits of investing in adaptability as a core future capability."

Ben Berman, Philadelphia "Good Pizza" Guy

"I’ve gained a new optimism towards strangers’ willingness to support a good cause. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed with incredibly kind, generous offers of support from folks I’ve never met and will likely never meet: donations to the cause, kind words of encouragement, even local restaurants offering me to let them use their ovens. I’m taking away new optimism towards community and partnerships."

Snippets of Optimism

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