Why you should care

Because maybe this is what will go down in the history books.

There’s no shortage of nostalgic conversations we could have about what went down in the headlines this year. And we’ve got you covered on that front, too. But here’s what we saw this year that didn’t exactly get coverage above the fold. One big trend: The way we work is changing. From a decline in vacation time to the rise of contingent — not-so-permanent — contracts; from a big hope that unions will be reinvented to a specific example of new organizing: a group of tomato pickers challenging Wal-Mart. There were new libertarians and the rise of old ones. We heard of a new economy, one focused on creating new skills, and even of one going all circular.

Pssst: Click the hyperlinks to read our full stories on each of these trends.

Silicon Valley blew up, in a good way: Employment reached new heights, new power players are everywhere to be seen, and there are gigs available that we couldn’t have imagined years ago. But where’s all the money going? Way across the world, even more was going on; Japan considered rewriting its constitution, encroached on China and remade its economy — or tried to, anyway. In Europe, we discovered that tea has its own particular taste and met some of the new faces of the continent’s euroskeptic right wing. And in India? There’s a full-blown sexual revolution underway, two years after a brutal rape case got the nation talking about gender in a new way. Today? Everyone from erotica writers to supreme court justices are talking about sex. And then there was the official classification of a “third gender” for transgender people.

It all just makes us hanker for 2015.

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