This is a tough time to feel optimistic about the future. With the notable exception of impressive global cooperation on climate change and energy, our papers and screens have been dominated for months by stories about terrorism and war. But this barrage of negative stories is obscuring the full picture of what’s happening around the world. For three years now, I’ve ended the year by sharing a short list of good-news stories that you might have missed. This exercise feels especially important this year. I’m happy to report that it was hard to winnow the list down to just a handful of stories.