Thinking about the future is a natural habit: We predict. We muse. We plan. We make bets on how we think our lives will turn out. But the future seems much less familiar than it once did, and if last year taught us anything, it’s that many of the things we took for granted are at risk.
Are we slipping toward a dystopian future where hate continues to thrive, or have recent watershed moments, movements, and discoveries set us on a road toward a fairer, more utopian environment? Should we, in short, be terrified or optimistic? These are questions we pose in our Dystopia and Utopia Issue, though there’s no right or wrong answer.
From marginalized populations in places as different as Iraq and Canada, to urban deprivation and the trauma of violence in New Orleans, to issues arising from global conflict and climate change, there’s a lot to be upset about. But we also want to look at the people and organizations working for a better future—engaging with the challenges we face positively, preempting the hurdles we may all face sooner or later. We don’t know what the future holds, but this is our attempt to better understand which road we’re headed down.
We’re dedicated to covering the issues shaping our fate, but to do that, we need to hear from you, which is why we’re making 2018 our listening moment through our new VICE Voices initiative.
Earlier this year, we asked thousands of you what you think about the future—about what issues are important to you and what’s at stake. We learned that you’re anxious about the future—that you think we’ll have more climate problems, international conflicts, and economic issues, but you also think we’ll experience a greater sense of equality and inclusivity. That’s just scratching the surface of what you told us, and you can find more of the survey results on VICE.com this month.
To cover as much ground as possible, we’re dedicating even more editorial pages inside our new, larger quarterly format. With each issue, we’ll be looking at 2018 through thematic lenses that echo the larger forces shaping our world—hope and fear, sex and identity, hate and love—and the myriad ways they come into conflict or build on one another in our daily lives.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.