Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis Good riddance to bad rubbish, right? Here are some reasons to be cheerful you may have forgotten: China banned the the ivory trade. The move has been hailed as a game-changer for wildlife conservation.
Humans are living longer than ever. Thanks to regenerative medicine, organ replacement, gene therapy and other brain-busting breakthroughs , humans are living longer than ever before.
If we can make the necessary adjustments in elderly care, the next few decades could be an unprecedentedly comfortable time to grow old. More people are entering the global middle class. An average of million people are set to join the middle class every year for the next five years. That's a hell of a lot of lattes. Soon, in fact, the middle class will account for a majority of the global population, and a third of its economy — with more lifted out of poverty than ever before.
There are more women technology CEOs than ever. There are more women in executive positions than at any time in history, says the Bloomberg Pay Index — with tech giants such as IBM, Xerox and Yahoo all recently helmed by women. The picture isn't entirely cheery, however: Saudi women are hitting the road.
With the Saudi Arabian government lifting its ban on women at the wheel, a fleet of first-time female drivers will appear from Not only that, women will be permitted to go to sporting events with their families , while girls can now take classes in physical education and play sport at schools. It's not all good news in the Gulf country, though: A Saudi woman checks a car at a showroom in Riyadh.
The year's big news in health was the creation of a new malaria vaccine. Given that the World Health Organization reported million cases of the illness in , the drug could be a life-changer.
Though still in development, a drug that shields against the virus could save millions of lives a year. Boko Haram gave us our girls back. Or some of them anyway. Three years after the militant group kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, 82 were released in exchange for five Boko Haram leaders.
Some went back to school this autumn, while two even visited the White House. Sadly, almost remain in captivity. In Austria, same-sex marriages were declared legal after its supreme court found that denying marriage licences due to gender was discriminatory.
Germans voted in favour of legalization in June, while Malta's parliament returned a vote of 67 to 1 in favour. After years of debate in parliament and the media, Australia became the 24th country worldwide to recognize same-sex marriage, and held its first ceremonies in December.