Why is Tackling Hopelessness Important to You?

Hope Decoded

Over 150 business executives, First Nations leaders, not-for-profits, elected officials, activist athletes, authors and speakers gathered at The Banff Centre on Friday, March 27 for the inaugural Hope Decoded Summit. A new initiative of the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute, the Hope Decoded Summit provided a forum for fostering hope around some of the most complex societal issues of our time: income inequality, Indigenous rights, culture, and the environment. The Summit was the culmination of a week-long social innovation residency designed to support organizations and people leading long-term social change initiatives that contribute to the well-being and resiliency of communities.

We asked our faculty and mentors this question: Why is tackling hopelessness important to you? Here are their responses:

“Throughout my life, personally and professionally, I’ve danced on the line of hopefulness and hopelessness. I think every single person, at some point, has stumbled onto the side of hopelessness and felt lost. Indeed, in my experience, the start of any road map out of that hell begins with finding a glimmer of hope. Fostering hopefulness is our single greatest tool to combat all that ills us - individually and collectively - and for me, I believe it to be our most important endeavor as a society.”
Simon Jackson

“I think hopelessness stems from the belief that the game (system) is rigged against us. The minute we begin to tackle hopelessness, we will see that it goes beyond addressing motivation, positive psychology, or even better preparation (education) for life’s challenges. We will have to reshape the system so that it allows more possibilities to emerge. I believe tackling hopelessness will lead us to new forms of social innovation that we desperately need today.”
Charles Tsai 

“Hopelessness is a cyclical condition that activists, artists, and community builders experience periodically on the long road to transforming the living world. Finding strategies to move through hopelessness when it comes can help us to sustain the spirit and continue in doing the work that demands we give of ourselves to others.”
Maggie MacDonald 

“Hopelessness is the censor before movement. It halts change by doubting the basic premise: that change is possible. As a person who lives with depression, creates outside the mainstream, and is mindful of the world around me, I see the potential hopelessness in many daily realities. My basic drive is to interrupt that potential by hosting spaces and times in which change can be introduced, proposed and demonstrated. To share approaches with as many people as possible and in as many ways as possible – this is my way to keep meaningful change at the center and hopelessness on the sidelines.”
Jacob Zimmer 

“I’m invested in tackling hopelessness because hope is an essential part of innovation and making positive change. It breathes energy into new ideas and builds momentum for social movements. Hope has the ability to heal and the power to combat apathy, skepticism and fear. Hope helps us to problem solve, to build community and to make the seemingly impossible reality.”
Laura Nanni

“The United Nations guarantees that every child has the right to be developed to their fullest potential. Hope is an integral part of that it is what enables one to look to yesterday and learn and see tomorrow and dream.”
Dev Aujla