• 86% of people want significant change to make the world fairer and more sustainable after COVID-19, a new study finds.
  • Almost three-quarters want their own lives to change too.
  • More than 21,000 people in 28 countries took part in the survey.
  • The findings align with the World Economic Forum’s call for a Great Reset after the crisis.

A majority of people worldwide support calls for global leaders to ensure we make the world fairer and more sustainable after COVID-19.

A survey of nearly 21,000 adults in 28 countries, conducted by the World Economic Forum and Ipsos, found that 86% of people want to see a more equitable and sustainable world after the pandemic.

The poll, published ahead of the Forum’s 2020 Sustainable Development Impact Summit, shows overwhelming support for the organization’s call for a “Great Reset” when the coronavirus crisis has passed.

Nearly nine out of 10 people (86%) say they want the world to change significantly to become more sustainable and equitable.

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The majority of people want the world to become more sustainable after COVID-19.
Image: World Economic Forum/Ipsos

Even in the most change-averse nations – the United States, the Netherlands, Germany and South Korea – a majority, of 79%, agree with the statement, “I want the world to change significantly and become more sustainable and equitable rather than returning to how it was before the COVID-19 crisis”.

The strongest endorsement comes from Russia and Colombia, where 94% strongly or partly agree with this statement. In Peru, Mexico, Malaysia, South Africa and Argentina 90% or more agree.

environment sustainable trees co2 air atmosphere planet earth green eco Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly
Most people want their lives to change after COVID-19.
Image: World Economic Forum/Ipsos

Getting personal

The survey also asks if people agree or disagree with the statement, “I want my life to change significantly rather than returning to how it was before the COVID-19 crisis.”

And at least two-fifths of adults in the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, the US, UK and Canada say they want their life to go back to how it was.

But globally, it seems, people are ready to see a significant change. Across the 28 countries surveyed, 72% say they want their lives to change significantly after the crisis. This sentiment is strongest in Mexico, Colombia, South Africa and Peru.

The results show “a profound and widespread desire for change rather than a return to how things were before the COVID-19 pandemic”, Ipsos said. “Around the world, people yearn for significant change rather than a return to a pre-COVID normal.”

The Forum’s first fully virtual Sustainable Development Impact Summit, which kicks off on 21 September, will convene leaders and experts from across the globe to find solutions to make this change happen – from tackling climate change to advancing sustainable development.