We hope you’re enjoying this holiday season! Whether you’re a fan of mulled wine and sweaters or a Santa hat is all you’ll add to your beach attire these weeks, we’ve got you covered.

This month, come explore the Atlas to revisit some of its most joyful corners — from app to zen, we’re celebrating the happiest moments of the year past as we wait for those yet to come. Enjoy the most popular stories of ’21 … in 21 seconds. ?

The Atlas merry sledge: Gifts for rebels without a Claus

Hop on our future-fixing sledge and discover a joyful list of giftable projects we mapped this year.

21. Stories to Save the World ?

Too Busy by Joan Chan, Just comics

In the UKThe Most Important Comic Book on Earth is saving as many species from extinction as humanly possible in 12 months. 100% of royalties goes to protecting species and ecosystems and powering initiatives organised by Rewilding Europe, Greenpeace, Reserva: The Youth Land Trust, and more. Give this comics anthology a round of Santa-plause, please.

Comics gone wild

20. You spin me ground ☕


You can find Kaffeeform on a few Atlas desks.

In GERMANY — If drinking coffee out of a coffee mug made from coffee grounds makes your head spin, you can blame it on the circular economy, baby (and on Kaffeeform.)

Fragrant coffee mugs

19. Just do it right ?

Top Manta

“Legal clothes by illegal people.”

In CATALONIA — Barcelona’s street vendors unionised and launched their own fashion brand, Top Manta. Their sales “benefit hundreds of people, not just one.” Meet them at Fixing the Future Festival in September.

Street fashion for social justice

18. Do not beesturb ?

Flow Hive

Flow founders Cedar and Stu Anderson.

In AUSTRALIA Flow Hive is the equivalent of a spa gift card for pollinators. By tapping honey straight from the hive without opening it, this hive reduces stress for bees and beekeepers.

Taking the sting out of apiculture

17. Time travel into possible futures ?

Museu do Amanhã

A museum for the planet’s future.

In BRAZIL — Rio’s Museum of Tomorrow is the ultimate experience gift. Take your loved ones through the science museum that explores the opportunities and challenges of the climate emergency and its impact on human society and planetary boundaries over the coming years.

What will life on Earth look like in 2050?

16. Material world ?

“Our recipes use locally abundant natural ingredients and life-friendly chemistry.”

In the UK — Alternative ceramics, planet-friendly plastics and fermented fabric: spend a few hours in the kitchen with Materiom, nature’s open-source material recipe book, for the ultimate DYI gift.

Nature’s recipe book of the future

Save a dinner conversation

Enter the Atlas kitchen and make our nourishing family recipe for a brighter future. The list of merry ingredients includes anything from neglected nitrogen fixers to underground mushroom revolutions — they may raise grandma’s eyebrow but can sure save a dinner conversation.

15. The future tastes delicious in Sweet City ?

Building a sweeter future for all.

In COSTA RICA — No local government would be able to pay back pollinators for the free services they provide to human communities, but they can keep them into account when making decisions about public policy and investment. Curridabat granted citizenship to all bees and pollinators and became Costa Rica’s sweetest town.

For the sweet-toothed

14. Earth’s most promising plant protein ?

Tasty plant protein for green palates.

In the UK — Ever heard of water lentils? DryGro tell us they grow incredibly fast, can produce 8 times more protein per hectare than soy and may be a big help to stop deforestation in its tracks.

For the vegangelist

13. Instant noodles, long-term solutions ?

WhatIf noodles

The Bambara groundnut is a “future-fit crop” assures WhatIF Foods’ CEO Christoph Langwallner.

In SINGAPORE — Sub-Saharan futurecrop Bambara groundnut meets instant noodles to solve the nutritional paradox. WhaIF foods put land, community, and health at the centre of our food system.

For the busy chef

12. Garage shiitakes ?

Cycloponics plants grown underground

Underground mushroom network? Risotto-based black market?

In FRANCE — Punk organic mushrooms farmed in the dark are breathing new life into European underground car parks. Jazz up your recipes with a pinch of Cycloponics.

For picky urbanites

11. Delicious weeds ?

Would you try a flower salad?

In CATALONIAEixarcolant is propelling us towards a future in which eating native “weeds” and flowers and cultivating local varieties of vegetables and forgotten crops is the new normal.

For the zero-mile enthusiast

10. The cricket coup ?

Griyum makes high-protein cricket flour

The dinner guest you weren’t expecting.

In MEXICO — Startup Griyum produces edible cricket flour to help combat malnutrition, provide better economic opportunities to farmers and help the environment.

For fans of surprise pudding

9. The olive revolution ✊


From Palestine with love.

In PALESTINEZaytoun helps to support Palestinian farmers through fair trade instead of aid, sourcing sustainably grown olive oil and other delicacies for distribution in the UK.

For foodie activists

8. Wrap from scratch ?

It’s a (DIY) wrap!

In CHILE — Leftovers? Wrap them in algae-based bioplastic that you can cook at home — meet Margarita Talep and her 100% organic, naturally dyed bio-fabrications.

For meal preppers

Here come the crowd pleasers

If you thought you had survived the Spotify Wrapped social media feed invasion unscathed, we have some bad news. As we bid farewell to the old year and wish you happy holidays, we leave below the most-read projects that tickled your fancy in 2021. See you next year!

7. Venice’s epic floodgates ?‍♂️


Aqua alta is Italian for “I guess I’m gonna need new socks.”

In ITALY — The City of Water is always a fan favourite but the Mose project, its epic yellow flooding defence system, sparked quite the conversation worldwide.

Hold back the tide

6. All aboard the solar canoe ☀️

Kara Solar canoe view from above

Photo: Pablo Aberenga

In ECUADOR — Nine men in a boat started Kara Solar, the first solar-powered fluvial system connecting Indigenous communities across the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Nine Men in a Boat

5. Sympathy for the shark ?

Whale shark in the wild

What’s the world’s largest shark?

In VENEZUELA — Baby sharks have new allies in heavenly Los Roques thanks to the Caribbean Sharks Education Program, which unleashes the power of empathy and social media to turn poachers into conservationists.

Test your shark knowledge with the AtlasQuiz

4. A green desert ?

Fancy some desert salad?

In JORDAN — The Sahara Forest Project is piping seawater from the Red Sea across the sands to produce biofuels and electricity. Ever tasted a desert-grown vegetable?

Greening the desert with the sea

3. Can you hear the land? ?

Yalinguth makes an Indigenous story as readily available as a paper on a newsstand. Photo: Chris Hopkins/The Age

In AUSTRALIA — In Melbourne, your steps talk back to you. Hear the power of Yalinguth, the Indigenous immersive audio experience app that takes you on a journey through time to connect the land with the stories of its First Peoples.

Occupy space, occupy history

2. Building the future ?

Making plastic useful for longer.

In KENYA — Nzambi Matee started Gjenge Makers, a social enterprise that takes discarded plastic and turns it into bricks that can hold twice the weight of concrete blocks.

Stronger than concrete

1. Little girl on a BIG journey ?

Little Amal

3.5m-high puppet Little Amal walked 8,000 km in 2021. Photo: Bevan Ross

In the UKLittle Amal, the giant puppet girl on an epic journey from the Syrian border to the UK in solidarity with refugees, finally made it home. And warmed the world (and our readers’) hearts along the way. Her creators will be at Fixing the Future Festival next year.

Creativity meets empathy

Become a cartographer of hope in 2022

What’s next?

2021 has been an extremely exciting time to map the future of our home planet. From the clothes we earthlings wear to the water we drink, we’ve been looking into the potential of life on Earth to become otherworldly. In our July Nature Talks series we met the talent at work to fix our relationship with nature and in November, we travelled to COP26 and inaugurated a whole new channel for climate justice champions.

Here’s how you can help us make 2022 even bigger:

► Share your fantasy world, submit a project.
► Be our Santa and drop a holiday gift down our donations chimney.
► Spread the word about our cheerful weekly newsletter.
► Join us in Barcelona and meet the FutureFixers at Fixing the Future Festival in September.

Happy holidays!