Three young Colombian entrepreneurs discovered a chemical process that can be used to turn plastic bags into bricks.1 The bricks are solid, water resistant and cheap and are used in construction to build low-cost houses and schools. With this invention, the entrepreneurs have killed three birds with one stone. First, they permit poor women to earn a little money by collecting plastic bags that are often lying on the ground. Second, they contribute to the cleanup of the planet and oceans. And, third, they help to make home ownership possible for a great number of people. Of course the impact of these innovative bricks is still quite limited, but just imagine for a moment what could happen if it could be scaled up in all the little villages and cities of the world.

A lot of websites like Good News Network or The Week in Good World News are dedicated to promoting progress and advances in all kinds of different domains. But the site with arguably the greatest impact is the Huffington Post (renamed HuffPost in 2017). Its founder, Arianna Huffington, had become alarmed by the fact that people watching the news or reading the newspapers were faced with an appalling vision of the world we live in. Armed conflict, terrorism, financial crises, assorted crimes—all of this is our daily lot. Whereas it’s obviously essential to keep people informed, for Huffington, the general impression created is too unbalanced. ...

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