We at Venture Census wanted to end 2016 on a happy, smile on your face note. 2016 was a very turbulent year for many people, and it seemed bad news just piled on top of each other.

We would like to share some happy stories that happened in 2016, and hope the New Year is amazing for all!

  1. At the beginning of the year, we heard that global spending on aid and development increased by 7%, and spending on refugees has doubled. OECD


2. 2015 was America’s most generous year ever, with charitable donations from individuals, estates, foundations, and corporations reaching record highs. 2016 is on track to be even bigger. Associated Press

3. Online crowdfunding raised almost $1 million for the kids of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to go to college.


4. The Gates Foundation announced another $5 billion in charity for Africa. They also tweeted this video about progress on malaria.

5. Germany took in an additional 300,000 refugees in 2016, despite growing concerns about integration and a backlash from populists. Guardian

6. Sea World agreed to stop breeding captive killer whales. NPR

7. Plastic bag use plummeted in England thanks to the introduction of a 5p charge in 2015. BBC

8. Norway became the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation. The Independent


9. In April, a new report revealed that for the first time ever, the death penalty has become illegal in more than half of the world’s countries. Article

10. The United Kingdom agreed to phase out coal by 2025, France said it would get there by 2023, and Germany promised to reduce emissions by 95% by 2050. Guardian

11. The United States now feeds healthy lunches to more than 30 million children, is about to ban trans fats, and has enacted one of the biggest overhauls of nutrition labels in decades. Vox

12. World hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years. New York Times

13. Harvard scientists created a new platform for antibiotic discovery that may help solve the crisis of antibiotic resistance. GEN

14. It was announced that Harriet Tubman will appear on the front of the $20 bill, relegating Andrew Jackson to the back.

15. Good news for Earth: U.S. carbon dioxide emissions dropped to their lowest level since 1991,renewables’ energy capacity overtook coal’s and the Paris climate agreement went into effect.

16. Obama banned solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons.

17. The Pentagon lifted its ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military.

18. Giant pandas were removed from the endangered species list, and the tiger population rose for the first time in a century.

19.In September, giant pandas became the latest species to be taken off the endangered list. Guardian


20. In 2016, more than 20 countries pledged more than $5.3 billion for ocean conservation and created 40 new marine sanctuaries covering an area of 3.4 million square km. Reuters


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