‘Despite all the misunderstanding, the mainstream media may cause with their focus on whatever goes wrong, this year proved once again that we live in a time of unprecedented opportunity. No generation before us has had such an access to ideas and growth. Why?
Sharing, exchanging has always been the driver of progress. In 1776 Adam Smith identified in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations one primary cause for progress: “The propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.” Two and a half centuries later, trade is a multitude of times easier than it was in the days of the Scottish philosopher.
Borders have mostly disappeared—at least for goods and services. And what that means is well described by Matt Ridley: “Exchange is to cultural evolution as sex is to biological evolution.” We know what happens when people have sex. We are now witnessing what happens when ideas have sex. It leads to an ongoing and ever-increasing explosion of new ideas, inventions, discoveries, and innovations. When the telephone had sex with the computer the Internet was born.
The world of ideas has a never-ending positive feedback loop. Solutions keep coming. In fact, if you follow The Optimist Daily from day to day, there’s only one conclusion: There are just not enough problems for the solutions that we have.
See our list of the best news of 2017 below. From planting trees and protecting the fish in the ocean, and from multigenerational living to a new record low price for solar energy, the list inspires and uplifts. And uplifted and inspired minds will create more innovation and new solutions.
For 200 years pessimists—from the Luddites who fought against the industrial revolution to the manure-worriers a century ago and today’s climate change defeatists—have received most of the attention (and bestsellers and Nobel Peace Prizes) despite the fact that optimists have far more often been right.
We need to realize what a gift we give ourselves and the environment and the community around us when we let go of the pessimism bias and embrace what’s our inherent problem-solving, optimistic nature. There are 7 billion of us. Each with her or his contributions and solutions and all of us increasingly connected. We can only fail because we don’t act and we don’t open ourselves to the world of possibility around us!’ – Jurriaan Kamp
To read more click, ‘We wish you a Happy New Year with many new solutions for people and planet.’