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A Million Voices of Optimism

We ask people "What makes you Optimistic?"   One of our strategic goals is to stimulate and collect one million voices of optimism.

In this blog collection of optimism on the way to "A Million Voices of Optimism," members and subscribers of The Centre for Optimism can post what makes them optimistic and the answers from people they have asked. 

If you want to contribute to this valuable global resource, please email our COO Victor Perton for a free subscription or support our work by joining as a member.

  • Monday, April 26, 2021 6:27 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Gary Parker: “We are making rapid progress in bringing down the cost of solar and wind power. There are grounds for hope on this front.

    “But these will not work without storage. The costs for storage are also coming down, but more slowly.

    “A technologically ideal solution for portable fuel — e.g. cars and planes — is a hydrogen economy. Will this be in time to stave off the worst of global warming?

    “I am also in limited support of nuclear energy as a bridge to a non-carbon non-nuclear future.

    “I am aging and do not have children. Under the present circumstances, I do not regret this. But there is room for some optimism.”

  • Monday, April 26, 2021 6:26 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Katy Heath: “There are lots of microbes that associate with plants and have large and positive effects on plant health and plant yield.

    "I am optimistic about the potential for these microbes, which often evolve faster than plants, to help plants tolerate changes in climate that are happening too fast for plant adaptation.”

  • Monday, April 26, 2021 6:24 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Jeff Brawn: “One thing that gives me optimism is growing recognition that environmental issues are issues that affect people in addition to natural systems.

    "‘Environmental justice’ for disadvantaged and marginalized communities is becoming a powerful force in the dialogue on climate change and environmental policy.”

  • Monday, April 26, 2021 6:22 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Madhu Khanna: “I am optimistic that the combined efforts of auto manufacturers and government policy to electrify the vehicle fleet could wean us off gasoline, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

    “Government and industry working together, rather than against each other, makes me hopeful that we might actually see electric vehicles become more commonplace.”

  • Sunday, April 25, 2021 7:03 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    In his Epilogue to Treasured Memories, Shahid pinpoints a number of issues that have plagued our country from its birth. From a massive failure to control population growth to the travails of a badly mauled economy; from low education indicators to flawed policies regarding the failure to empower elected local governments, Shahid lists the imperatives needed for a stable, prosperous Pakistan. Recognizing that past history is replete with more failure than success, Shahid continues to hope, as he says himself at the end of the book:

    “I am an optimist, always have been. The path will be long and arduous but Pakistan will prosper insha’allah!”

    Given global conditions, optimism itself is a fierce political act. But one must distinguish between the “unthinking optimism” of those who believe that “it will all work out in the end,” which is nothing but an excuse for inaction; and the unthinking pessimism of those who bemoan a “we are all doomed” mantra.

    I would opt for the kind of true optimism espoused by Shahid, which is neither foolish nor silent, yet can be revolutionary. Great movements for social change always begin with statements of great optimism. When no one believes in a better future, despair is a logical choice, and despairing people almost never change anything. When no one believes that a better solution is possible, those benefiting from the continuation of a problem feel safe. When no one believes in the possibility of action, apathy becomes an insurmountable obstacle to reform. But introduce intelligent reasons for believing that action is possible, that better solutions are available, and that a better future can be built, and you unleash the power of people to act out of their highest principles. Shared belief in a better future can be an explosive force in politics for it is the strongest glue there is to forge a unified nation—and that to me is the philosophy at the heart of Treasured Memories.

  • Sunday, April 25, 2021 7:03 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    “I am an #optimist , always have been. The path will be long and arduous but Pakistan will prosper insha’allah!” So writes, Shahid Hamid

  • Sunday, April 25, 2021 6:42 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    “Despite the setbacks, I haven’t given up and am feeling quietly optimistic about our recovery from the pandemic."

    “The end of the tunnel is in sight now, and we can’t wait to get back out here and do what we love: bring people together through the shared love of good food.”

  • Sunday, April 18, 2021 8:08 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "stubborn, insistent #optimism has changed the world time after time, often against seemingly impossible odds"

    Today's dose of optimism comes from an essay "Why I am a stubborn #optimist" by Alan AtKisson, Assistant Director-General for Partnership and Innovation at Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

    The full essay is worth reading at What do you reckon?

    Alan writes, "here is what I have observed: stubborn, insistent optimism has changed the world time after time, often against seemingly impossible odds. I reflect often on the accomplishments of #Gandhi. The end of #apartheid. The fall of the #Berlin Wall. Changes that once seemed truly impossible — an independent #India, democracy for all in South Africa, the end of communist dictatorships in central and eastern Europe (the last two happening in my lifetime) — are now historical facts, decades old.

    "I submit that the transformative results of stubborn optimism are all around us, right now. The exponential rise of renewable energy and electric cars, after many false starts and failures to overcome market skepticism and opposition. The much-too-slow but nonetheless steady spread of legal acceptance and protection of rights for people who identify as #LGBTQ. The rapid digital transformation of Africa, which could see three-quarters of people on the continent connected to the internet by 2030"

  • Saturday, April 17, 2021 5:51 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "I’m always #optimistic and hopeful of the blessings of #Allah, so have taken things as a learning opportunity."
    Masarrat Misbah

    "Belief in Allah and spirituality has always helped me in life. Spiritual strength helps to overcome hardships. It restores hope and optimism. It has helped me develop a more hopeful outlook in life. It strengthens my bond with Allah Almighty. Helping his creatures further strengthens that bond."

  • Saturday, April 17, 2021 4:14 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "We are hopeful. We can't do this work if you're not optimistic, if you're not hopeful."

    US Coast Guard Captain Will Watson on search for survivors from shipwreck.

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