It’s hard to believe we are already fully engaged in 2018. This year ushers in promises of new beginnings and hopes for greater accomplishments. And while we can look back with a sense of pride at the impact our work created around the world in 2017, we must bravely press forward into uncharted territory, armed with knowledge and learnings from previous years. At the Vision Impact Institute (VII), we are optimistically forging a path toward making vision a global priority!
Internationally, optimism wasn’t exactly a common theme in 2017 – there were great tragedies and injustices all around us. But from the perspective of vision care, we are hopeful because of what we know to be true in the upcoming year. In 2018, we know that:
Critical research will emerge about the wide-ranging impact myopia has on our global society. In fact, the VII is sponsoring a number of studies that will draw greater attention to one of the most devastating trends in vision health in our time. As we collaborate with organizations like the International Myopia Institute, this research will serve as the basis for creating necessary change, as the industry looks to slow the progression of myopia and develops long-term, far-reaching solutions for nearsightedness before it is too late.
Greater emphasis will be placed on vision and its vital role in children’s education. Through global campaigns like Our Children’s Vision and local initiatives like Kids See: Success in the United States, the VII is developing advocacy protocols that will lead to actionable change for the most vulnerable population – children. We believe 2018 will be a defining year for school eye health programs and legislation designed to benefit our children’s academic growth through healthy vision.
Advancing the mission of healthy vision will lead to greater road safety around the world. As we continue to build on the dialogue of the role of vision in driving, the VII is dedicated to expanding the good work we have begun in India to other parts of the world. Through research and partnerships with organizations both inside and outside the vision industry, like Essilor and the FIA, we are optimistic that healthy vision will again take its rightful place alongside mandates like texting, wearing a seatbelt, and child safety seats to make our roads safer.
This month, Bill Gates served as guest editor of Time Magazine. His focus for the publication is Optimism. He is quoted saying, “Being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice. It means you’re inspired to look for people making progress on those fronts, and to help spread that progress more widely.”
As we go forward into this year, let’s continue to seek out those people and partners who are making progress for vision care – look for the change makers. In 2018, let’s work together to create an impact so visible that it cannot be ignored.