When I think of the word "upheaval," what I immediately think of is results. Upheaval is always caused by something else, and when all of those results are negative, then the causes must be negative too... right?
I think that a secondary result of our world being in a time of upheaval is that many people place the blame on themselves and others for the state we live in, and that we forget that not 100% of everything and everyone is constantly in this state of upheaval.
The story I would want to tell would be one about good intentions. I would want to show in a concrete but human way that to be a good person, you have to start with good intentions. We all make mistakes along the way, whether it's out of ignorance of another culture, thinking that that boy or girl you had a crush on was the one, etc. To live a full life, however, is to learn from those mistakes and to grow, and the reality is that some people mourn their failures and get stuck in a rut, and some people grow. Beyond that, there are many ways in which a person can grow.
I want to tell a story of a group of people who all face the sudden change in their life (it could be a death in the family, alien invasion, or buying a new house), but who come from a variety of different backgrounds and who face their similar situations in seemingly opposite manners. It would be a human experiment in fiction depicting that it always makes sense to have different opinions and reactions to the same thing, depending on where you come from and who you are at your core. I want to tell a story that might instill the reader with something that this time of upheaval lacks: acceptance.