At the end of 2015, the Economist created its 30th edition of “The World in 2016,” a publication full of expert predictions on what the year would hold. Now, as 2016 comes to a close, “The World in 2017” is being aggregated.
Daniel Franklin, the editor of “The World in 2017,” wrote an article for the international section titled, “Uncovered.” This article discussed the front page of “The World in 2016” and the wrong predictions that were made on the cover. It featured individuals who the editorial team believed would be influential in 2016. Individuals included Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin and Malala Yousafzai.
Missing from the image were some of the most notable individuals in 2016 including British Prime Minister Theresa May, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and President-elect of the U.S. Donald Trump.
Even experts cannot be fortune-tellers, and I do not pretend to be one either. However, throughout 2016, I have been trying to get to some level of understanding when it comes to the world, and I thought writing a weekly column on global news would help me speculate on the events that 2017 will hold.
My process for choosing a column topic every week includes filtering through articles, columns and editorials from various publications. After, I choose a topic that will be the most beneficial for our readers to learn more about.
This is my 15th time going through the process, and I have started to identify trends and recurring themes in the global political and social spheres.
One of the most prevalent and truly frightening trends I have observed throughout this entire year is how people consider isolationism, xenophobia and demagogues as viable solutions to the problems that scare them the most.
Leaders like Trump and Duterte have successfully convinced entire populations that they have the abilities to solve their problems when all they have shown is unprofessionalism, not to mention hate.
Xenophobic policies hiding under the guise of safety and independence, like Brexit, were also able to take hold of a significant portion of an electorate.
While I have noticed these trends looking back at the year as a whole and think I am slowly getting a grasp on how the world works, I am still shocked every week by events I never would have believed were going to happen.
In my final column of 2016, I wanted to try to make my own predictions for the world in the upcoming year. However, I can truly say that I have no idea where the world is going.
I thought by this time I might have at least a slight sense of what is to come, but I do not feel confident enough to make any predictions. And when it comes down to it, my biggest problem with making predictions is not even my uncertainty of my abilities to do so.
The U.S. presidential election this year proved predictions can lull people into complacency. If everyone predicts something is going to happen, people will not take action to make it so because it seems it is already certain.
I would not like to give any postulations on what the new year may bring, but I would like to express my hope for the new year. I hope that people do not look at what others forecast for 2017 as definitive and lose their motivation to fight for what they believe in, or even worse, think everything is going to work itself out without people using their power and their voices.