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Walden News // Dec 06, 2011

Survey Reveals Social Change is a Global Phenomenon

Minneapolis—December 6, 2011—A new Walden University survey shows that “think globally, act locally” has become a worldwide mentality, with a majority of citizens around the world (73%, on average) agreeing that what happens in other parts of the world can impact their local community. The global survey also found high levels of engagement in social change, with three-quarters of adults (75%, on average) involved during the past six months, which most commonly included donating money, goods or services (41%, on average).

The Social Change Impact Report: Global Survey was commissioned by Walden University and conducted online by Harris Interactive in September 2011. A continuation from the American survey released in the fall, the Global Survey includes the perspectives of more than 12,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United States and describes their perceptions on the importance of social change, the top issues in their country and the future of social change.

Global Citizens are Taking Action
On average, eight in 10 adults (81%) around the world say involvement in positive social change is important to them personally; adults in Mexico (95%), Brazil (93%), China (91%) and India (91%) are most likely to say it is very or somewhat important to be involved. While levels of engagement and importance vary by country, four in five adults (81%, on average) agree they want to be more involved in positive social change in the future.

Global Perspectives on Social Change Issues
This year brought heightened social change awareness with global challenges such as economic uncertainties, political uprisings, changing climate conditions, poverty, health issues and others at the forefront of societal concerns. Yet despite the various global challenges and issues, adults around the world on average said education (37%) is the most important issue for positive social change to address.

Social change issues of greatest importance vary by country, and where people live impacts their beliefs on social change issues. According to the survey, education is the most important social change issue in Brazil (63%), India (56%) and the United States (40%) and health issues are the most important for adults in France (46%), China (46%), Canada (43%) and Great Britain (36%).

Green is the Future
Thinking about the future, half or more of adults in each of the countries (66%, on average) say that the environment and “green” issues in other parts of the world will have a major impact on life in their own country in the next few years, particularly those in Mexico (83%) and Brazil (77%).

This view is particularly strong among young adults. In nearly all of the countries, young adults say the environment in other parts of the world is the top issue most likely to have a major impact on life in their own country (65%, on average), most commonly in Mexico (80%) and France (79%). The sole exception is in the United States, where conflict, war and terrorism in other parts of the world is the issue that is most likely to have a major impact at home (71%).

About the Study
Walden University commissioned this survey to discover the current state of social change engagement in America and around the world. The Social Change Impact Report: Global Survey is a continuation of Walden’s Social Change Impact Report, which was designed to provide a barometer of who is engaged in social change, what is important to them and how they work together to advance social change issues of interest now and in the future. The Global Survey includes attitudes, behaviors and motivations from Americans as well as the international community.

The Social Change Impact Report: Global Survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Walden University between September 12 and 21, 2011, among a total of 12,208 adults within Brazil (1,007 adults ages 18–59), Canada (1,013 adults ages 18 and older), China (1,011 adults ages 18–60), France (1,010 adults ages 16 and older), Germany (1,013 adults ages 16 and older), Great Britain (1,077 adults ages 16 and older), India (1,010 adults ages 18–64), Japan (1,017 adults ages 18–64), Mexico (1,010 adults ages 18–64), Spain (1,012 adults ages 16 and older) and the United States (2,028 adults ages 18 and older) via Harris Interactive’s QuickQuery and Global Omnibus. Data for each country were weighted to the general or online population within each country. Data for each individual country are representative of that country. The “Average Result” is the arithmetic average across all 11 countries. This measure does not account for differences in population size and thus is not representative. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A complete survey methodology is available upon request by contacting Jen Raider at 1-443-627-7452 or [email protected].

For more detailed findings from Walden’s Social Change Impact Report, visit

About Walden University
For more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 46,500 students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 55 campus-based and online universities in 28 countries.

Walden offers more than 60 degree programs with more than 300 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. For more information, visit Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association,