The new year is now upon us, and many of us breathed a huge sigh of relief when 2016 officially became a thing of the past.
After a year of celebrity deaths, a huge refugee crisis, and let’s just say “divided” political opinions, it’s easy to see this past year in a negative light. Heck, just when we thought 2016 was over, it took both George Michael and our beloved Princess Leia.
But contrary to popular belief, 2016 wasn’t all bad. Yes, really! To mention but a few things—Tesla finally landed in Spain, the Las Vegas government is now running entirely on renewable energy, and homelessness in the US has declined by 35% since 2007.
To help 2016 shed its bad reputation, we asked our fellow Typeformers for one positive event they will take away from last year. So, here’s the 2016 good memory lowdown.
1. The first-ever team of refugees competed in the Rio Olympics
“10 athletes, displaced from their home countries by political turbulence, competed together under the Olympic flag. It not only made the event more inclusive, but also made the world more aware of the refugee crisis. It shows that these people are real human beings who need our help.”
Social Media and Outreach Manager
2. A solar-powered plane completed an entire voyage around the world
“In July, Solar Impulse 2 landed in Abu Dhabi after more than 23 days in the air. The Swiss aircraft made history as the first plane powered by renewable energy to tour the globe. It’s a major landmark marking what we can achieve through renewable energy.”
3. Ebola was eliminated from West Africa
“This particularly stands out for me, not just because of the benefits of eliminating a deadly disease. It also shows that Africa as a whole has made a huge move towards unity in their battle against the challenges of poverty.”
4. Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for literature
“This is a great achievement, as he is the only musician ever to win it. Despite the controversy around the win, it shows that literature is not only enclosed within books, but woven throughout our daily lives. And that can only be a wonderful thing.”
5. Juno landed on Jupiter after a five-year journey
“Juno is a space probe sent by NASA on August 5th, 2011 to explore Jupiter and its moons. The funny thing is that all of Jupiter’s moons are named after the Roman god’s lovers and affairs. And Juno is the name of Jupiter’s wife. So in effect, NASA sent Jupiter’s wife to check up on all his other mistresses! Great sense of humor, an example of history and science holding hands.”
6. António Guterres was elected the 9th Secretary-General of the UN
“I’m proud of being Portuguese! For the last couple of years, Portugal’s made its way into international news mainly for bad reasons, like the mortgage crisis and its corrupt politicians. Now, it feels good to be on the front page for positive achievements. And our Euro Cup win is also one to remember!”
Customer Success Manager
7. The Norwegian government passed a bill to make gender changes easier
“Norway has long been at the forefront of LGBT rights. Now, people who want to change gender in Norway may no longer need to undergo a physical transformation through surgery—they simply have to fill out a form. It’s a great example of a government that really cares about people and their rights.”
8. A Tribe Called Quest released a posthumous album
“This was a really nice surprise, and it was great as well. I loved them in the 90s, and it was really sad when Phife died earlier this year. So a posthumous album that is genuinely good seems like a fitting end to the group.”
9. SpaceX landed a rocket at sea for the first time
“SpaceX landing their Falcon 9 rocket in April was pretty amazing. They landed the rocket on a floating drone ship, which marked a major milestone for them. It shows that no matter how crazy an idea is, with the right people and a lot of perseverance, anything is achievable.”
“Brigadier Sir Nils Olav is a king penguin who resides in Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland. He’s the Norwegian King’s Guard, and every time they visit the zoo, they promote him! Last year, he was made Brigadier after inspecting the troops at a ceremony attended by 50 uniformed soldiers. It sounds nonsensical but watch this video and the gloom of 2016 will soon disappear.”
Still feeling gloomy? Check out the 15 TED talks Typeformers recommend to get inspired.