2020 was a strange year, without doubt. Lots of people say it was a year to forget, write it off and start again. I took a second to reflect on this as I very recently ticked over my one year anniversary at White Marble Marketing and thought about all we have achieved in that time and how the firm has adapted. It has been a real journey, for sure. A year ago I walked through the doors of WMM's Bank based office to now working from home in a make-shift office.

It's very easy to be disheartened by the events in 2020, but we at WMM recently had a presentation which was part of our wellness support (our directors have implemented some great incentives to support us through these tough times) which helped me to see things a little differently. The series was essentially to help us in working through another lockdown whilst staying positive and motivated. There were lots of wins but the key takeaway for me was perspective. We were advised to try to find positives in everyday life to keep our attitude in the right place.

It's true, it is so easy to forget to see the positive and jump to the negatives in this environment. Once I started, I found it increasingly easy to do; working from home has allowed me the opportunity to watch my daughter grow up, rather than spending those valuable hours of the day on the commute. I've saved lots of money by not commuting or going out and I no longer need to get the 05:45 train to be able to workout before work (yes, I really used to do this!). I've also seen marketing's status within firms rise to new levels as businesses realise how imperative the work we do is. Lastly the ever increasing importance of sustainability, both inside and outside our industry. These are big examples, but there are lots of smaller examples too.

As mentioned above, I've noticed how WMM has adapted to support us working from home through lockdowns and winter. We are encouraged to take wellness breaks - time away from your desk to help reduce screen time. Implementing walking meetings rather than the default video call meetings if possible. This also allows us to get outside during daylight hours for a walk. We have even been given an allowance for a subscription box, something to look forward to each month, I've chosen some Gousto boxes because I'd like to be better at cooking, which I think is working.

We have also been able to deliver projects for our clients remotely with very little disruption to the process, something we wouldn't have originally thought was possible but everyone has adapted as best they can to fulfill the need.

Of course, I miss my friends and my colleagues, I miss the buzz of the office but this about trying to stay positive with what you can control and see the positives wherever they are.

Perspective is a powerful thing, it can change your mood or outlook entirely. Maybe 2020 was a win for a lot of businesses in our industry after all, they managed to adapt in a completely unpredictable landscape (as if Brexit wasn't enough) They have supported us through a transition in working remotely and who knows, some of the benefits may even become permanent in the long run.

To help with this positive mindset, I wanted to include 10 pretty awesome innovations and discoveries that happened in 2020, which didn't seem to get the airtime they deserved.

  1. Scientist burned an artificial sun at 100 million degrees for 20 seconds paving huge steps towards renewable, clean energy.
  2. Scientists engineered plastic-eating "super-enzymes" that can break down plastic bottles in days helping to address the enormous waste humans produce.
  3. The World Health Organization declared the end of the second largest Ebola outbreak.
  4. A team of Australian scientists discovered a reef taller than the Empire State Building
  5. Thanks to a new way of making vaccines, scientists developed two vaccines for COVID-19 in record time.
  6. SpaceX launched the world's first crewed commercial spaceflight.
  7. Researchers found the oldest solid material ever discovered (a meteor that crashed into Earth) - stardust between 5 and 7 billion years old, our sun is only 4.6 bn years old.
  8. A lithium-glass battery has been developed that has twice the energy density of lithium-ion batteries and whose capacity increases with age.
  9. Google has developed a quantum computer that took 3 mins 20 seconds to calculate a mathematical equation that supercomputers could not complete in under 10,000 years.
  10. Scientists have developed lab-grown meat by taking cells from an animal and stimulating growth in an effort to change how we source our food.

I'm sure there are lots of innovations or advances I've missed so please leave them in the comments.

With the roll out of the vaccine underway, hopefully it won't be too long before we are back to normal and this will all be a distant memory. Stay positive.