99 Good News Stories You Didn’t Hear About in 2019

If we want to change the story of the human race in the 21st century, we have to change the stories we tell ourselves.

Angus Hervey
Dec 15, 2019 · 19 min read

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

~ Charles Dickens (1859)

Just like you, we watched the news this year. We submitted ourselves to this crazy, collective global experiment: take a nervous system that’s evolved for running away from cheetahs, and give it a big glowing screen showing it all the bad things happening in the world in near real time.

Conservation

Abiy Ahmed showing why he’s Africa’s most poplar leader (sorry couldn’t help ourselves). Image credit: CEO Magazine
Pretty good name for a park. Image credit: China Dialogue

Global Health

Jenny McGlincy and her daughter, Pippa. McGlincy wrote in her diary 30 years ago about her excitement that scientists had discovered the root cause of cystic fibrosis, and now hopes to finally get access to a new therapy. Image credit: Washington Post

All of these stories first appeared in our free, fortnightly email newsletter. If you’re interested in getting more news like this in 2020, you can subscribe for free here.

27. Russian officials reported that alcohol consumption has decreased by 43% since 2003. As a result average life expectancy in 2018 reached its highest level ever. BBC

Cancer survivor Santiago Lange, with sailing partner Cecilia Carranza, winning gold medals for Argentina during the last Olympic Games. Image credit: Straits Times

Living Standards

Graduation ceremony at Peking University. Image credit: South China Morning Post
The lights go on in a small village in Bandipur, Nepal, as storm clouds gather in the distance behind the Himalayas. Image credit: Oleksandr Rupeta.

All of these stories first appeared in our free, fortnightly email newsletter. If you’re interested in getting more news like this in 2020, you can subscribe for free here.

50. UNESCO said that 19 African countries reached gender parity (equal numbers of boys and girls) in primary education in the past decade. Brookings

Peace, Safety and Human Rights

Our community of subscribers help us support small charities using science and technology to make a real difference. It’s our way of putting our money where our mouth is (you can find out more here).

72. In a landmark victory for Africa’s human rights activists, Botswana decriminalized homosexuality, overturning a colonial-era law, and Angola decriminalised same-sex conduct, overturning the penal code it also inherited from colonisation.

Energy and Sustainability

The King Mountain Wind Ranch in Texas. “I never thought that wind would pay more than oil. That noise they make — it’s kind of like a cash register.” Image credit: Cielo Wind Power Corporation


Future Crunch

Intelligent, optimistic thinking for the future. We help people understand what's on the frontiers of science and technology, and what it means for human progress.

Angus Hervey

Written by

From Melbourne and Cape Town, with love. Political economist and journalist, and co-founder of futurecrun.ch

Future Crunch

Intelligent, optimistic thinking for the future. We help people understand what's on the frontiers of science and technology, and what it means for human progress.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade