The conventional media serves a valuable purpose, but gives a disproportionately negative picture of what is going on in our world. Stories in the popular press are particularly sensational and often politically biased. Of course we need to be informed about the challenges humanity faces. For example, the desperation of some 2 million people, many of them little children, caught in freezing temperatures in Idlib in a murderous war . But despite this horror, the reality is that humans do far more goodthan bad.
Positive News is a quarterly magazine that puts this distorted picture right. The hundredth issue of Positive News offers 100 People & Organisations Bringing Hope in 2020. Making hope the headline.
In this article I shall give you a taste of some of these stories. I hope it will give you good cheer. However if you want to read all of them in full you can subscribe to Positive News magazine and get 20% off with code HOPE2020.
Children march for their rights in Scotland. Scottish ministers have promised to enshrine children’s rights into law – kids marched to Holyrood to remind them of their pledge.
University teaches students how to be happy. The University of Bristol is offering a “science of happiness” course designed to teach students a set of science-based strategies for living a happier and more fulfilling life.
Part of a mosaic of peace: The schools bridging religious divides. The inclusive ethos of Northern Ireland’s integrated schools has been replicated in other divided lands such as the integrated Jewish-Arab schools in Israel.
New Zealand to consider climate in all policy decisions. Climate change will now be a standard part of cabinet’s decision making along with gender and human rights. Government has also made a commitment to plant 1bn trees by 2028 and tax farmers who fail to cut emissions. New offshore fossil fuel exploration has also been banned.
On a page of Good Figures, the Divest Parliament Pledge led by Caroline Lucas has been signed by MPs across the house including Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and Conservative Members.
There is a section called HOPE.
Race to the Top: The trend towards better business. Scores of corporations are now committing to balancing profit with positive impact. Is it all “purpose wash” or a genuine turning point for business in society? B Corps is by no means a lone pioneer in changing business for the better. And worldwide, a notable minority of business leaders have long demonstrated their commitment to society and the environment through actions rather than words.
The first black mayor of a UK city, Marvin Rees, has a plan for Bristol. He is the mayor with an ambitious plan to tackle inequality. His One City Plan proposes a vision for Bristol in 2050 divided into six categories: connectivity, economy, environment, homes and communities and learning and skills, based on the UN’s sustainable development goals.
Wellbeing Economy Governments. What if the success of a country was measured by the happiness of its citizens as opposed to GDP? That’s the aim of Wellbeing Economy Governments currently comprising Scotland, New Zealand and Iceland. They argue that the goal of economic policy should be a nation’s collective wellbeing rather than its collective wealth.
ROTTERDAM: THE DUTCH CITY WITH A CIRCULAR VISION. In an abandoned Centre Parcs in Rotterdam, entrepreneurs are making innovative products out of rubbish, as the city strives to become a circular zero waste economy by 2050.
London Borough of Waltham Forest has some 13.7 miles of segregated cycle lanes and cycle training for 15,000 residents and has bagged the 2019 Ashden Award for clean air in towns and cities.
THREE PROJECTS CLEANING UP OCEAN PLASTIC on page 46. City to Sea, Ocean Cleanup Foundation- the largest clean-up in history, eXXpedition , “An all-female sailing crew is on a mission to find solutions to plastic pollution”.
FEEDBACK The campaign talking down the food system. A team of activists exposing slights of hand by the likes of M&S using food to pull a fast one on consumers through misleading labelling. Feedback’s campaign is called Total Bull .
New Year new resolutions. Simple is moving to 100% recycled plastic bottles made with renewable grid electricity. No colour, No perfume, No harsh chemicals.
Pedal Me: a ride-sharing start-up that puts its drivers – and the planet first. A ride sharing service based in London, it now has 42 bikes and 45 riders. It claims to be the fastest way to travel across London. Started by a central London borough planner who wanted to deliver people and goods without contributing to air pollution or climate change.
YOUTH VOICE Wales’ first Youth Parliament is campaigning to reduce plastic waste and improve mental health. “I’ve found out that it’s possible to be heard – that gives me confidence.” Their focus is on littering and plastic waste, mental health and wellbeing, as well as life skills in the school curriculum. Lewis, a member, says he is impressed by the level of respect the diverse members have shown each other. “It’s really refreshing in this day and age.”
SUBVERT the ADVERT Can an industry built on flogging us stuff ever be ethical? We meet people making “ad land” more responsible.
Less is More Welcome as such moves are, having policies in place to do no harm should constitute “basic housekeeping” for any reputable ad agency. So says Jonathan Trimble, chief executive of London based ad agency And Rising, which, like Good – Loop and Futerra, is registered under the ethical certification scheme B Corp. And Rising actively seeks to help promote brands with progressive product propositions.
Beautiful Minds Rather than simply accepting people with neurodiverse conditions like autism or dyslexia, what if we recognised their hidden talents? Four neurodiverse people explain how the way their brains work has been the key to their success.
Bruce Nixon is author of The 21st Century Revolution: A Call to Greatness which was Oxford Alumni Book of the Month for November 2016. His Blog and occasional newsletter, which you can sign up for on this site, are available to keep you up to date. Bruce gives talks in schools, colleges, universities, communities and at conferences.