Born out of frustration that mainstream news only promotes the negative, we're bringing you a regular fix of the good news buried underneath the bad. Happy Friday!
 

Watching mainstream media, you might sometimes feel like human beings are determined to screw up the planet and everyone on it. Yet, all around the world, amazing people – just like you – are coming up with new ways of living, loving and doing business to create a better future for us all. So we’ve decided to dedicate a regular blog to shout out some of the good news we’ve seen each week. Here’s this week’s shout out:

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan say they will give away 99 per cent of their shares in the company to good causes as they announce the birth of their daughter Max.

Mr Zuckerberg said they were donating their fortune to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to make the world a better place for Max to grow up in.The donation amounts to $45billion (£30billion) at Facebook's current value.

In his letter Mr Zuckerberg said the aim of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is "to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation" – its initial areas of focus will be personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

The Virgin Money Foundation has announced £900,000 of grants to support good causes across the UK's north east. 

Community projects ranging from social enterprises creating jobs in a healthy food takeaway to a specialist manufacturing business to a housing service for vulnerable women and children will benefit from grants of up to £50,000. 25 grants have been award to projects across the north east, from Lynemouth to Middlesbrough. 

The Virgin Money Foundation was launched by Virgin Money in August 2015 with £8 million of funding over the next four years contributed by Virgin Money and the Cabinet Office. Learn more about how the Virgin Money Foundation is helping people change their communities for the better.

In less than 10 years, Uruguay has slashed its carbon footprint without government subsidies or higher consumer costs, according to the national director of energy, Ramón Méndez .

Méndez says that renewables provide 94.5 per cent of the country’s electricity and that prices are lower than in the past relative to inflation. There are also fewer power cuts because a diverse energy mix means greater resilience to droughts.

It was a very different story just 15 years ago – at the turn of the century oil accounted for 27 per cent of Uruguay’s imports and a new pipeline was just about to begin supplying gas from Argentina. Now the biggest item on import balance sheet is wind turbines, which fill the country’s ports on their way to installation.

Since the launch of HeForShe in September 2014, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world have raised the bar for gender equality – translating their passion into the creation of more than two hundred HeForShe Student Associations.

This week HeForShe ‘Ideathon Squads’ ran events on campuses worldwide – the squads devoted hours to inventing solutions in response to the question: how would you create a culture of transparency on college campuses to end gender-based violence?

HeForShe wants students to help reform broken systems and policies so victims feel comfortable reporting violence and institutions are held accountable for their response. Watch the video and support the movement.

In other news...

  • Google, long a leader among corporations in green energy investing, announced new agreements this week to buy renewable energy to power its operations – the new agreement nearly doubling what Google had already promised. 
  • People can pay their parking fines with cans of food for the hungry – expired parking meters are helping feed the hungry in Kentucky – for the second year in a row, people in Lexington can pay their parking fines with canned goods for local food banks.
  •  Ford has developed an innovative recycling technique that aims to give a new lease of life to old engines that would otherwise be scrapped. Ford says the technology delivers a 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with producing a new engine, as well as requiring significantly fewer raw materials.
  • Tuesday marked the fourth annual Giving Tuesday – the charity event which gives holiday revellers the chance to give back after Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This year supporters proved to be more generous than ever, giving $39.6 million in online donations – a 52 per cent rise on last year. If you're still on the mood for giving, why not support one of Virgin Unite's life changing programs today? 

What other good news have you come across this week? We'd love to hear about it in the comments box below.

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