This was the battle cry of the 2008 Obama campaign in reference to domestic issues. There was a serious backlash against eight years of Bush and the Republicans. However Obama's mantra of "hope and change" was also more universal in scope. Obama intended to bring together all nations and all peoples and for the poorer nations to achieve parity with affluent countries. This would be coupled with redistribution of wealth for the poor and a more globalized sense of being citizens of the world. And, indeed, outside the U.S. Obama was hailed as a man who would erase the world's ills.
But this hasn't worked because: (1) It takes generations to achieve global equality; (2) Countries still have too much self-interest; (3) There are too many other issues, like a global financial meltdown and a high U.S. jobless rate, that have sidetracked this agenda.
So, in essence, hope and change means elevating the poor while taking from the rich. Ironically, hope and change may be Obama's undoing as it's being pushed too hard and too fast and is imploding.