Have you been naughty or nice this year? Good news: you can redeem yourselves!

As the bumpy, transformative, but never-boring 2018 comes to a close, we’re spinning ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ into 12 sparkly, positive ways to take action and spread holiday cheer. No ode to conspicuous consumption here.

Join a flavour mutiny, put plastic waste to good use or give something back to brilliant projects that have helped make the world a better place. From the streets of São Paulo to the refugee camps of Bethlehem, your AtlasActions for 2019 include a gift list with a difference.

Introducing our new mantra for 2019… “People, planet and pleasure!” 


12. Run away and join the circus

Downtown LA’s carnival of the future

To solve the future’s problems, the next generation is going to have to work together and think creatively. Take inspiration from STEAM-friendly experiential entertainment projects like Two Bit Circus and Beakerhead – because a chemistry built from creative networking can be truly inspiring and powerful.

AtlasAction ► Be curious and embrace the power of the collective, like these FutureLeagues.


11. Spit lyrics: find your voice

The coolest Rev in town

Hip Hop Caucus represents the streets. The reverend, union network and bunch hip hop legends use the power of hip hop to unite and empower communities impacted by injustice.

AtlasAction ► Get stuck in: join the Caucus, listen to the world’s coolest show on climate change, or buy some climate music.


10. Give plastic a new lease of life

DIY plastic recycling workshops

Dutch designer Dave Hakkens is on a mission to let people in every corner of the world know they can start their own little plastic recycling kitchen. We love this video Precious Plastic made – it took sweat, tears, mangos and laughter.

AtlasAction ► Create new valuable things out of plastic.


9. Embrace the jungle

Meet the guardians of the forest

Indigenous communities are stepping up to protect forests (and the planet) from increasing deforestation and its effects on climate change – by welcoming you into their lives and homes. From Peru and Panama to India and Indonesia, If Not Us Then Who? have curated hundreds of their videos around the world.

AtlasAction ► Get lost in the video library, or set up a screening to spread the forest love.


8. Sow the seeds of change

Photo: Johnny Autry

Food can be a catalyst for learning, as well as contributing to more sustainable approaches to how our food is grown.  Top chef Dan Barber has a solution that our broken food system needs. With Row 7 Seed Company he is modernising heirloom seeds with an emphasis on flavour, nutrition and a disease resistant outcome.

AtlasAction ► Join the flavour mutiny, like the chef planting hope.


7. Swipe right on cleaner streets


Tinder for Brazil’s street recyclers

Just like the Tinder dating app, São Paulo’s Cataki matches people – in this case local waste collectors with people who have recyclable waste that they want to get rid of. Learn more about their pimped carts by graffiti art-ivist Mundano.

AtlasAction ► Contribute to Cataki’s open source technology with technical improvements by getting in touch.


6. Save the bees

Become better beekeepers

Build your own beehive in 30 minutes! OSBeehives is a (really very cool) buzzy hive of makers and beekeepers who have come together in a massive citizen science experiment.

AtlasAction ► Join the hive and monitor bees with the BuzzBox Mini.


5. Gift a fun education

Small people, big inventions

Inspire a generation and add a little STEM to your holiday spirit with two awesome learning experiences: The Little Inventors Handbook is a step-by-step guide that invites budding inventors to think up fantastical, funny or perfectly practical inventions.

See your insides

Meanwhile, Curiscope’s Virtuali-Tee is a t-shirt with guts: the ‘smart’ garment teleports kids inside their bodies to reveal their insides in animated pulsating 3D. Who wouldn’t want X-ray vision?

AtlasAction ► Order The Little Inventors Handbook and Virtuali-tee.


4. Make almost anything

The future is: urban innovation ecosystems

Fab City is a creative collective of pioneers and makers who simply want digital technology to make the world more self-sufficient. This year we went to Paris to learn about their new urban manifesto. It’s awesome when city leaders come together to take bold actions and show others the way.

AtlasAction ► Find your local lab and pay a visit and sign up to Fablabs.io.


3. Bring the magic of music to Palestine

Palestine’s instruments of peace

In Bethlehem’s refugee camps, it can be hard to escape the noise of raids, bombs and snipers. But Sounds of Palestine is bringing back the music, by giving free music lessons to kids as young as three – to create an orchestra with a difference.

AtlasAction ► Buy an instrument or a hot meal – or if you’re a musical whizz, volunteer.


2. Develop ecotourism

This bottle boat is not a toy

Ismaël Essome makes fishing eco-boats from recycled plastic bottles. His continued work on Madiba & Nature this year has so many positive aspects: great design and awesome utility, circular economy, upcycling, tackling waste and environmental degradation – all the while boosting the local economy. His dream is to help vulnerable people in Africa make use of waste to build homes.

AtlasAction ► Support Ismaël in achieving those dreams with the Londji fishing community by donating.


1. Buy 5 things with a clear conscience

Fortune flavours the bold

Our number one gift to you is some of the tastiest and mission-driven treats on the Atlas – and the good news is they’re good for you, the world and the people who made them. 

AtlasAction: Add these to your gift list

► World’s most unusual chocolate bar, Tony’s Chocolonely

► Politically-charged Palestinian olive oil, Zaytoun

Houdini‘s innovative sportswear is so pure you can eat it

► Woolly goodness from Ursa Textiles

► The latest Fairphone is the coolest phone on the planet


From your AtlasCharts to our Fixing the future events, we’re all about ‘paying it back’. Want to be more useful in 2019? Submit your projects here. And don’t forget to spread the word about our weekly newsletter of joy and new YouTube channel.

Here’s to 2019 not being 2018.

Your joy-hunting Atlas Editor,

Lisa Goldapple

Atlas co-founder Cathy and Editor Lisa: that’s not a massive door, we’re just really small