What are the global issues we really talk about with our family and friends?

I know World Have Your Say doesn’t normally base a programme on a poll – let alone a BBC poll – but we just felt that this one was very relevant to what we really care about – what the world is talking about.

The World Speaks is a survey from the BBC’s international news services which has tried to chart what’s on the world’s mind by asking 27,000 people from 23 different countries

Deliberately seeking out those who aren’t usually given a voice it hopes to gauge the real global agenda from the world’s citizens; and not that of the politicians, the media and the “commentariat”.  We’ve decided to put it to the test with our audience.

The World Speaks asked people three things:

• To identify unprompted, the biggest challenges facing the world
• To gauge the seriousness of the biggest issues from a list
• What topics they talked about with friends and family

Now, unfortunately I cannot give you access to the poll just yet as it is top secret!

The results will be given at an event at Chatham House in London on the 18th January and World Have Your Say will be there to discuss the results with a live audience and the rest of the world. So let me know what’s on your mind. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world?

And here is a sample of the issues that the people polled where asked about.

Rising cost of food/energy
Extreme poverty
Human rights abuses
State of global economy
Spread of human disease
Climate change

From this list what do you think are the two biggest issues and which two do you most talk about with your friends and family?

I’d also like to know which country you are from to see if you are representative of your countries answers.

Of course our listeners are invited to the event which is at Chatham House, London, 17.45 until 19.00. Drop me an e-mail at helen.richmond@bbc.co.uk and I will book you a place and give you more details.

14 Responses to “What are the global issues we really talk about with our family and friends?”

  1. 1 piscator
    January 12, 2010 at 14:13

    Situated in NW England.

    From your list,

    1. Environment and pollution, and nuch more important it is than climate change.
    2. Terrorism, and what the truth is behind the hype and panic.

    In social gatherings:-

    How you cannot believe a thing you see in the media, because every story is hyped, biased and incomplete.

    Why politicians cannot seem to understand anything properly, or act to solve simple problems that have been going on for ages.

  2. 2 patti in cape coral
    January 12, 2010 at 14:36

    Sounds very interesting, WHYS. I’m having a hard time picking two subjects, some of them are closely related to others. The two subjects I most often discuss with my family are the rising cost of food/energy and human rights abuses, but these subjects inevitably lead to discussion about the other six. The two I would pick as the biggest issues (for me) are the rising cost of food/energy and extreme poverty. Lately though, the health care debate has trumped all other subjects in my house.

  3. 3 Roberto
    January 12, 2010 at 15:18

    RE “” the two biggest issues “”

    ———— 1. State of global economy

    2. The remaining choices below are subsets to the “state of the global economy” and are currently responsible for dragging the state of the world down.

    2a. Environment/pollution b. Rising cost of food/energy c. Extreme poverty d. Human rights abuses e. Spread of human disease f. Terrorism g. Climate change

    Of course we know who is currently responsible for the “state of the global economy,” but no independent body has the power to hold politicians and big corporations responsible.

  4. 4 Peter Gizzi UK
    January 12, 2010 at 15:50

    My most important topic is The UK losing yet more of its sovereignty to The EU.

    From your list Extreme Poverty, and the related topic Rising Cost of Food/Energy.

    We still see the rich getting richer and the poor poorer.

  5. 5 T
    January 12, 2010 at 16:18

    In the States.

    The top two: climate change and the human rights. Because problems in these expand into all the others.

  6. 6 Wii Mii
    January 12, 2010 at 16:23

    It is quite difficult to pick 2 of the biggest issues from the list above as I think they all need to be addressed in sufficient depth and action needs to be taken.

    However, I think one big issue is the environment/pollution. Our population is growing and growing and people are getting older and older by the day. Eventhough we start to recyle etc the actions taken are not sufficient to ‘save’ our planet. We run out of places to live and we run out places to grow out food. All the sea is polluted and we are running out of fish to eat.

    Guess the topic I most discuss with friends and family is the state of the global economy as this directly impacts on my live in terms of trying to find a job abroad and interest rates and devaluations.

  7. 7 nana kwarteng
    January 12, 2010 at 16:35

    For the past couple of years my family and I, and not of a few people I know have really been worried about the rising temperatures. Here in Ghana and Africa it’s easy to see, or rather, feel, why this is not surprising. Global warming is fast beginning to generate a lot of discussions here.

  8. 8 Gary Paudler
    January 12, 2010 at 17:29

    I’m in the US, the two subjects that concern me the most,
    not in order, are:
    Extreme Poverty and Climate Change.

    Environment/pollution – very important, probably should be considered with
    climate change.

    Rising cost of food/energy – In the US, crappy food is cheap and energy
    does not cost enough.

    Human rights abuses – Include poverty. How can there still be no global consensus on, and enforcement of, human rights?

    State of global economy – Get used to it.

    Spread of human disease – Get used to it if we’re unwilling to examine our factory farming practices.

    Terrorism – In the West, a trivial distraction; a mechanism for shoveling money at the military and despotic “friends”, which perpetuates terrorism necessitating more shoveling…

    January 12, 2010 at 18:01

    I am likely to talk about:
    Extreme poverty
    These two breed all the others.
    I have no problem with the press and politicians misrepressenting the facts – its an old hat and I know where to place it on my head.
    -the press? What comes to mind – ‘Swine Flue’ that did not come from the hogs – look what happened. 99% of the press people are only genuine after work – the real genuine ones have been fired already – if they are still working they fear that there is somebody in the media house with big pair skyths to chop your tongue – they are not sure who that is.
    Politicians and big business? Its a cinch that 70% of the time, they will sell you a rotten deal to serve their own interest and sponsors.
    Terrorists are a 100% kind of politicians playing a desperate and tragic gambling drama where an empty void is the perceived reward. The last of this lot wanted void to start from his crotch. What a world!

  10. 10 gary
    January 12, 2010 at 18:54

    My three biggest concerns / family discussion points are:
    1. Lack of consideration / understanding between the world’s peoples and not just between nation-states; but more intensely concerning those who feel their wants overtop others’ needs.
    2. Lack of aggressively coordinated actions to facilitate sustainable agricultural practices world-wide. These worries includes world food production, preservation, transportation, allied energy use, arable land degradation, water usage, as well as concerns about world recoverable phosphorus supplies (Oil, petty wars, and global climate change aren’t the only big issues we aren’t solving.).
    3. Lack of aggressively coordinated actions to substantially limit human environmental impacts (Every single one of them, including the Olympic Games, jet planes, battery-operated distractions, Las Vegas, cars, adequate housing, and even my hot cup of coffee.)
    My family considers me a real downer.

  11. January 12, 2010 at 19:38

    Here at APU, we discuss all in an orderly manner:
    1st is Environment/pollution: my colleagues and I worry about the extend our environment is been destroyed by our actions. To contribute to resolution of this issue, we do practice garbage separation as do the Japanese. Quite recently, I had discussions with a staff of Tokyo TV as to how we do separate garbage at AP-House. On the desktop of our computers at school, there are images and phrases to sensitize students in favor of GREEN Environment.

    2nd is Human Right abuses: we have been discussing in recent days the political issue in Guinea, West Africa where peaceful women where been abused by those very people who are suppose to be protecting them. We also touched the issue of migrants with reference to that of the Residents of the town of Rosarno, Italy beating, shot at and ran over mainly African farm workers.

    3rd is Terrorism: What we do here is compare the news from the BBC, CNN, RFI, ABC in order to get a reliable insight of the issue of terror. What shocked us the most in recent times is the attempt of Nigerian Abdoul Moutala to blow-up a plane heading for Detroit, US.

    Climate change, Extreme poverty, State of global economy, Spread of human disease and Rising cost of food/energy are equally discused, but we feel that all of these issues are interralated. That is they are all threats to our civilization. To have happiness means we ought to unite behind a common pupose in resolving these issues.

  12. 12 Ronald Almeida
    January 12, 2010 at 19:40

    Exploitaion of the illiterate in the developing world and environmental pollution of the planet.

  13. 13 Josiah Soap
    January 13, 2010 at 00:20

    I think other global issues are more important than the ones presented. The global issues as I see it, which may be related to the ones suggested above…

    1. Population – we are already near 7 billion and it could reach 12 million people by mid century. How will the planet and society cope with all these extra people?

    2. Loss of diversity – I would have thought that western civilization would have learnt from the christian missionaries who radically changed other societies. Once again we are invading other cultures and telling them that change is for the better – its done under the guise of democracy and human rights. I am sad to say that globalization will destroy true multiculturalism and diversity.

    3. Increased reliance on technology. While one can argue that technology has improved our lives vastly, many of us could not function without it. Just think what would happen if the national power grid went down for just a week! The more we use it, the less likely we’ll be able to cope without it.

    4. I think the most frightening thing though is a global government, I see nothing good coming of this – with all this power will come extreme corruption

  14. 14 Suti Sahariah
    January 14, 2010 at 00:50

    Personally for me I could pick
    1. Extreme poverty
    2. Rising cost of food/energy

    Having lived in India I have witnessed extreme poverty and was convinced that there is a way out of it and secondly, following the India media at times I can well understand the burden on common man due to rising cost of food/energy that further worsens the conditions of world’s poor. . However, this is purely based on observation.

    But the most talked about issue that I always seems to confronting both in India and the UK (I now live in Scotland as a student) among friends, family and colleagues is terrorism and its knock on effect as Islamophobia.. Islamophobia invariably finds a space when it comes to discussing the world’s problem. Clearly, the recent events about a terrorist trying to blow up an American jetliner, the introduction of body screening machines at the airports and the ban on Islam4UK – all have contributed to generate a more fervent discussion on the topic. Sometimes I feel that may be I am living on one side of the fence!

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