Eight Questions From 2016 I Need Answers to in 2017

If 2016 was a movie then it is ending on a cliff hanger and I am going into 2017 with my set of questions.

Will life in Syria flourish from what remains?

I have shed tears looking at videos on my Facebook newsfeed, reading testimonials on Humans of New York and realizing the stance of various countries regarding the refugee crisis. A couple weeks back I read that the last hospital in war torn Aleppo does not exist any more, few days after that I heard about the threatened mass genocide by the Syrian government forces in Aleppo and then I found articles on how one can help Syria. The question that runs through my mind in absolute guilt is if the dust will clear and if Syria has can foresee a future from what remains?

What companies will come out of Bill Gate’s $1 billion clean energy fund?

After decades of research and proofs some might ironically still think global warming is a hoax but some of the most successful minds in the world have stepped up to make sure we keep moving on. Bill Gates is heading a $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures Fund along with supergiants like Mark Zuckerberg and Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. The question is, what are the firms that are going to carry the torch of hope around the world to save planet Earth in the middle of blame games and tarnishing climate agreements.

What will be the state of the American economy?

November 8th 2016 came as a shocker from the world of politics and it brought up a lot of questions in my mind as an international student in the United States. As the year ends and the president-elect selects his rather affluent set of members for his party it just builds the suspense to what is going to be the socio-economic state of the world’s largest economy starting 2017.

Will 2017 be the hottest year in history?

If you didn’t know 2016 is going to be the hottest year in history (another reason why it is not turning out to be people’s favorite) this has also happened 3 years in a row. The year 2014 was hotter that 2013 and 2015 was hotter than 2014. So, are we keeping up with this in 2017, I sure hope not.

What Patagonia’s $10 million grant to environmental causes will lead to?

I love it when powerful companies show genuine humanitarian effort. Like many I think this year Patagonia turned out to be one of my favorite brands for its decision of contributing ALL its revenue to environmental causes around the world. The brand also launched a new line of recycled clothing, which has 100% of the wool and other raw materials being reused and repurposed. The brand is personifying the realness of corporate social responsibility and I want to know the true impact of such initiatives as we step into the new year.

Will humanity become more empathetic or more elusive?

Since it has happened so often I have vivid memories from this year of waking up in the morning and looking at news notifications and going like, “shit, WTF!”. In absolute guilt like a lot of us, I did carry on with my day as missiles struck like meteor showers in another part of the world.

Eventually, I made an effort to educate myself on every thing that was happening in a disaster stricken area like Syria so that at the very least I am more empathetic about the situation of people in that far away part of the world. We can be physically detached to a situation but there is no reason to be emotionally detached to the realities of the world.

Will India’s demonetization struggle be worth it?

Yeah so, India had a radical change in its monetary system to curb black money and corruption and people flipped as the government pulled 86% of the cash distributed in the economy. 95% of India’s economy transacted in cash before the plan was put in place by the government, now imagine that chunk of 1.2 billion people in the country lining up outside banks and ATMs. People globally glared at their screens with tearful eyes on Nov 8th at what Barkha Dutt calls “the ultimate american exception”. Indians on the other hand were camping outside banks to get their new currency notes. After all the chaos however will it actually be worth it — 2017 will bring an answer.

Where am I gonna be? What am I gonna be doing?

In my last blog I said that my current plan after graduation is basically to roll a dice. I reach anxiety fits at times thinking of the age old question of “what am I going to do?” or rather “what am I doing?”. I am curious because 2017 shall bring some answers for me — I am impatient because it is time for the next step.

Yes, 2016 was a mess but I think it might have ended on a few hopeful scenarios that would not make 2017 a sequel but a fresh start, for now I’ll just believe that.