The British Museum has an evening exploring the need for ‘good news’, with the former BBC news presenter Martyn Lewis. The participants see a need for more positive news. Having been interested in this topic for a while, I hope there will be some good news about the event being available later as a downloadable podcast.

Off the top of my head, genuinely impactful “good news” (to be distinguished from fluffy PR pieces and ‘girl scouts rescue cat from tree’ stories) can break down into the following categories, in order of immediate importance to individuals…


* WEATHER (better weather is going to happen)

* SAVINGS (a genuine fall in the everyday cost-of-living, such as in food prices, fuel costs, taxes)

* OPPORTUNITIES (local mortgages, new training opportunities, new social and volunteering networks, petty regulations or taxes removed, etc)

* STATISTICS (local crime shown to be genuinely down, the number of local house fires dropping, local youth are finding paying jobs, local graduate retention is happening)


* PERSONAL SUCCESS (other people’s success in sports, travel, education or research, overcoming adversity, individual creative or business success)

* ORGANISATIONAL SUCCESS (we successfully changed our way of doing things, we found new markets for/in XYZ, created new jobs or better students, found new profits)

* PLACE SUCCESS (a new building or square is formally opened, a new public route is opened, a heritage site is restored, a woodland planted, a big national event or business HQ is landed, the population is becoming more affluent and educated)

* FUNDING GAINED (sadly so rarely followed up with… “and we spent it really effectively, and we have more than some pretty pictures and a couple of vague anecdotes to prove it”).


* BIG STRUCTURAL SAVINGS (such as rolling out better methods for training / production / distribution / secure value transfers, and showing that these really do save millions)

* FASTER, CHEAPER (some genuine time savings in transport times, faster broadband speeds and better coverage, swifter remote-access to vital records, faster computers and devices)

* SMALLER, CHEAPER (a tool once the size of a suitcase is now the size of mobile phone, costs far less, is available to the masses)

* OPENNESS (big structural changes such as opening of new markets to free trade, opening up of information flows and access, the market breaking open old monopolies and similar cosy arrangements, valuable open interchanges among different cultures)

* POSITIVE PERSONAL TRENDS (a new and useful personal activity has recently become widespread and popular at the grassroots of society)


* USEFULLY DISCOVERED (shale gas, nanotechnology, graphene, mind-gut linkages, making sea water drinkable while also extracting uranium from it, recreating extinct species… just about any major useful new development in science and technology)

* USEFULLY COMMERCIALISED (a viable new industry emerges, from what had previously been research and prototypes)

* FOUND (discoveries of lost manuscripts, paintings, recordings, archaeology, paper texts being scanned and placed online, old machines and methods reconstructed by enthusiasts)

* WILD (rare/extinct creatures found, habitats conserved or created, new abilities found in certain creatures, new living systems and interconnections identified)

* EXPLORED (the deep sea, space, ancient ruins, the deep earth, ancient lakes, forgotten wildernesses such as the Empty Quarter, the outermost fringes of the atmosphere)

* CURED (disease, conflict, corruption, intolerance of a once-despised social group has been overcome)