The Student
Defining the Decade
by Sophie Finch, 19/01/20

Unsurprisingly when you google ‘biggest events of the decade’ you will be plagued with frankly terrifying articles about nuclear tensions, missing planes, political anarchy and heart-breaking stories about world poverty, inequality and environmental disaster. Such crises have been understandably at the forefront of our memories of the decade, but it’s also important for us to look back at the last decade and remember those events and individuals that restored our faith in the world and inspired us to seek change. So, here’s some positive decade defining moments and people…

  1. Chilean Miners Rescue (13th October 2010)

A heart-warming moment came at the beginning of the century when the 33 Chilean miners were rescued after a gruesome 69 days underground, when it looked incredibly unlikely that they would survive. The footage of the miners being reunited with their family is sure to bring a tear to the eye.

  1. Game of Thrones (17 April 2011- 19 May 2019)

Now, love it or hate it, it’s undeniable that this HBO phenomenon has been a culture defining series. I don’t know about you, but my conversations have never been so dominated by a single TV show for so many consecutive years. If we forget the blip at the end of the series, Game of thrones for me has been a big highlight of the decade.

  1. London 2012 Olympics (27 July – 12 August 2012)

For Great Britain this has to be considered the biggest sporting event of the decade, with 90% of Britain’s population tuning in to watch at least part of the Games. We saw 65 medals won, and some truly inspirational moments, with Edinburgh Alumni, Katherine Grainger winning her much deserved and anticipated first Olympic Gold.

  1. Women’s Rights movement

This decade we have seen some hugely positive change for Women’s rights across the globe. Movements such as #MeToo, Times Up, and #HeForShe have begun to bring much needed gravitas and enlightenment for women’s rights.

  1. Climate Activism

Now, we can’t deny that one of the scariest and most precedent issues to arise from the last decade is the rapidly declining status of our planet, however with Greta Thunberg as our inspiration, the climate strikes have shown how one voice can rally a young generation in solidarity to take command of their own futures.

5 people to champion:

  1. Malala Yousafzai

This heroic advocate for female education, was targeted and shot by the Taliban on her school bus in 2012 aged 15. She has gone on to become the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, written an autobiography, founded her charity ‘The Malala Fund’ and is now studying for a PPE degree at Oxford.

  1. Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand’s PM has become of the most influential women in the Southern Hemisphere. Her social policies have done a great deal to lessen social inequalities, and following the tragic Christchurch Mosque Shootings, Ardern restricted gun laws and became a symbol of hope and peace in a devastated country. Ardern is also the second ever head of government to give birth whilst still in office.

  1. Siya Kolisi

Kolisi has recently been named as one of the most influential Africans in history, as he serves as the first black man to captain the South African rugby team, and went on to lead them to their victory in last years Rugby World Cup. This has been a moment in history for South African sports, and an inspirational victory for the world of rugby.

  1. David Attenborough

Let’s be honest, David Attenborough deserves a crown. Attenborough for PM, let’s rally people. Having been an inspiration for many decades and generations before this one, this decade we can praise Attenborough for starting the ‘Blue Planet Effect’ and shining a much-needed light on the plastic crisis.

  1. Lewis Capaldi

He might not have started any revolutions, but he has become a Scottish hero. The Glasgow born singer has risen to international fame with the release of ‘Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent,’ and has become the first ever artist to sell out a world tour before the release of a debut album. Yes, his voice is angelic, but its arguably his hilarious insta feed that has really put him on the map.

Image credit: Robert Jones via Pixabay