ODE is one of my favorite magazines and online communities. Their tag line is “for Intelligent Optimists” a sentiment I can relate to.
I love having a magazine around that I can pick up and read stories about what people are doing to create solutions. Too much media tells about gloom and doom.
Ode says, “Good news rarely makes the headlines… except in Ode. To celebrate 2010 – and anticipate more good news to come in 2011 – here are Ode’s 10 most positive stories from the year that was.”
1. FIXING THE FREE MARKET How co-ops – businesses in which the employees are also the owners of the company – merge economic growth with social goals. Steven van Yoder
2. AND NOW, THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT AFRICA Africa may often be seen as a lost continent, but a new study reveals a completely different image. Africans are becoming increasingly wealthy – at a faster pace than most assume. Marco Visscher
3. THE NEW BLACK GOLD? Biochar – charcoal derived from burning plants – can boost crop yields and help fight climate change. Andrew Tolve
4. GROW YOUR OWN – SEAWEED THAT IS “Everyone on Earth should have access to enough nutrients,” says Willem Brandenburg, “even when there are one and a half times as many people to feed in 2050.” His solution: cover the coastal waters around river estuaries with huge seaweed beds. Lilian Kluivers
5. CANCER RESEARCH GETS A BOOST FROM VENTURE CAPITAL The “war on cancer” has been going on for decades, yet victory is still nowhere in sight. Andy Rachleff, a venture capitalist turned philanthropist, is trying to speed things up by funding research by young scientists with new ideas. Jessica Wapner
6. FLOWER POWER (NO, NOT THAT KIND…) Why a 19th-century invention is only now finding its place in the sun as a 21st-century energy source. Greg T. Spielberg
7. GETTING VACCINES WHERE THEY’RE NEEDED THE MOST VillageReach helps to deliver essential vaccines to remote areas in developing countries. Marco Visscher
8. MOVE OVER MICROFINANCE; HERE COMES THE “MISSING MIDDLE” Development economists have long lamented the “missing middle”: the void in emerging markets between microfinance-backed individuals and big firms supported by banks. That’s beginning to change. Adam Smith
9. ACTIVISM FOR BEGINNERS How three friends rescued hundreds of Uganda’s child soldiers. Marco Visscher
10. TAKING ROOT IN THE CITY How urban agriculture is changing our relationship with food – for good. Casey Miner
You can read the stories here and start to feel good about some of the people who are working to make the world a better place for all of us. You might even be inspired!