2022 in review

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News stories of 2022 in review


2022 kicked off with the start of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade agreement. It eclipses the European Union – it covers nearly a third of the global population and about 30 per cent of its global gross domestic product. [i] It’s hard to overstate how important this agreement is to the world economy. 

Russia’s intervention in Kazakhstan to quieten unrest triggered by a rise in the price of LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and general government dissatisfaction is seen at the time as a good thing on balance.[ii]

The number of global COVID cases exceeds 300 million worldwide[iii], contrast this with the estimated 250 million infections experienced in China alone right before Christmas 2022.[iv]

By the end of January, we had 10 billion vaccinations conducted.[v] But that didn’t stop anti-vaxxers, including celebrity tennis player Novak Djokovic who was deported from Australia due to not being vaccinated.[vi]

In other medical developments, we also saw the first successful heart transplant from a pig to a human. The operation was carried out in the US. [vii] This represents a huge step forward in dealing with the shortage of available organs for transplantation. 


The winter Olympics were held in Beijing, China. The International Olympics Committee have found it harder to get countries to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games. Holding these events in authoritarian countries posed hard questions for sponsors and legal sanction including the Beijing Winter Olympics Sponsor Accountability Act bill submitted to the US Congress.[viii]

No sooner had the Winter Olympics finished than Russia started its invasion of Ukraine, and the west made a remarkably cohesive response in terms of sanctions, this would be followed with military aid throughout the year.[ix] By the end of February,[x] Russia had indicated a willingness to use its nuclear forces. This was a remarkable turnaround from just seven weeks after Russia, as part of the United Natios Security Council affirmed that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.’[xi]


The global death toll due to COVID passes 6 million worldwide.[xii] In a potential resurgence of corporate Japan, Honda and Sony are partnering in creating sophisticated electric vehicles.[xiii] Equality may have taken a major step forward in the US, with young women in 22 major cities have a higher average salary than their male peers.[xiv] Part of this might be down to a decline in male participation in higher education and economic activity.[xv]


Global food prices rise to their highest ever price according to the UN’s Food Price Index, which began in 1990. This adds to supply chain related inflation due to COVID and energy price rises.[xvi] [xvii]


There was an outbreak of monkeypox first recorded in the UK[xviii], which sparked concern about a possible new global pandemic.[xix] A mix of demand for electric vehicles and continued supply chain problems meant that Volkswagen had sold out of electric vehicles.[xx]


Amazon finally closes its Kindle e-book store in China. [xxi] Low economic growth combined with supply side inflation due to disrupted supply chains and the war in Ukraine causes concern about the short term and long term future of the UK economy.[xxii] Meanwhile perceptions of China across Europe reach a new nadir.[xxiii]


Heatwaves pummelled Europe, killing 53,000 people through July and August.[xxiv]



The UK was hit by a double whammy. Queen Elizabeth II died.[xxv] The queen had been a constant in the life of most Britons as the country had moved through imperial decline. Her death was notable for the sustained wall-to-wall media onslaught. Secondly, the 50-day career of prime minister Liz Truss shook up the UK economy due to her proposed government policies. [xxvi]


Footage is released that shows construction of linear city The Line is already well under way.[xxvii]


The FIFA World Cup was held in Qatar and managed to survive controversy which also engulfed sponsorships. FIFA managed to dodge many of the brickbats slug at the IOC. But both events raise questions for western brand sponsorship strategies moving forward.[xxviii]


Will 2022 be seen as the start of the fusion age? In February, the JET (Joint European Torus) facility in Oxford managed to produce more energy than had been created in a controlled fusion reaction. At 59 megajoules over 5 seconds, it was twice as large as the previous record set 25 years earlier.[xxix] But the ‘Wright Brothers’ moment for nuclear fusion may have occurred in December. The US government managed to achieve nuclear fusion with net energy gain.[xxx]

2022 in review for this blog

Site basics

No review of 2022 would be complete without looking at you, the readership of this blog


The internet has become a global phenomenon, but my audience numbers read like they could from the late 1990s. My readership is predominantly from the US, which surprised me a bit. 

Top five countries that my audience comes from

33.2United States of America
9.53Indonesia – this surprised me 
7.41United Kingdom 

Most trafficked blog posts

1Metaverse discussion paper – or why the ‘open’ metaverse won’t be happening anytime soon. Web 3.0 doesn’t solve any of its problems and neither do 5G wireless networks. 
2The Line – Saudi plans to build a high rise, high density linear city. 
3Hino Trucks – one of my regular round-up posts, but it led with a celebration of the Hino Truck brand and how it took Irish roads by storm during my childhood
4AI and Creativity – the results of an exploration and me and a colleague did into Midjourney and the likely impact it would have on creative agencies. 
5The Gay Blood Collection – a project by Mother London to highlight and protest against a long-standing regulation that keeps gay blood donations restricted in comparison to other members of the population 
6Moviedrome – probably one of my largest long form posts ever (excluding the Metaverse discussion paper) looking at the impact of a long running weekly film screening on BBC curated and presented by film director Alex Cox
7The World of Visuals – was a trend presentation that provided Adobe’s perspective on areas like artificial intelliengence. 
8StetWalk – a trend that has sprung up amongst book editors, where they talk a walk outside to clear their heads and be inspired by their surroundings. I was introduced to the concept by my friend Siobhan. 
9Naked Power Politics – the invasion of Ukraine was a transgression of several norms and seems to be part of a movement to a more ugly world. 
10Bong Bong Marcos – the scion to the Marcos political dynasty became a president in the mould of former president Duterte. 

[i] Mullen, A. (1 January 2022) What is the RCEP, the world’s largest free trade that is under way? Hong Kong: South China Morning Post

[ii] Auyezov, O. (5 January 2022) Kazakh president fails to quell protests, ex-Soviet states offer to help. United Kingdom: Reuters

[iii] (7 January 2022) Global Coronavirus Cases Top 300 Million. United States: The New York Times.

[iv] Liu, Q., Leng, C., Yu, S., McMorrow, R. (25 December 2022) China estimates 250m people have caught Covid in 20 days. United Kingdom: Financial Times

[v] (28 January 2022) The world surpasses 10 billion vaccine doses administered, but gaps persist in how gets the shots. United States: The New York Times

[vi] (16 January 2022) Novak Djokovic: Tennis star deported after losing Australia visa battle. United Kingdom: BBC News

[vii] (10 January 2022) The University of Maryland School of Medicine Faculty Scientists and Clinicians Perform Historic Transplant of Porcine Heart into Adult Human with End-State Heart Disease. United States: University of Maryland Medical Center

[viii] Waltz, M. (28 May 2021) H.R. 3645. United States: US Congress 

[ix] (26 February 2022) Joint Statement on further restrictive economic measures. European Union: European Commission

[x] (28 February 2022) Ukraine invasion: Putin puts Russia’s nuclear forces on ‘special alert’. United Kingdom: BBC News

[xi] Ostroukh,A.  (4 January 2022) ‘No one can win a nuclear war’: Superpowers release rare joint statement”. Australia: The Sydney Morning Herald.

[xii] McPhillips, D. (6 March 2022) Global Covid-19 deaths surpass 6 million. United States: CNN

[xiii] Lewis, L., Slodkowski, A., Sugiura, E. (4 March 2022) Sony and Honda plan electric vehicle tie-up to take on Tesla. United Kingdom: Financial Times

[xiv] Gregg, A. Bogage, J. (28 March 2022) Younger women now earn at least as much as or more than men in 22 metro areas. United States: The Washington Post

[xv] Thompson, D. (14 September 2021) Colleges Have a Guy Problem. United States: The Atlantic

[xvi] Ahmed, K. (8 April 2022) Global food prices rise to highest ever levels after Russian invasion. United Kingdom: The Guardian

[xvii] Boffey, D. Oltermann, P., Davies, R. (27 April 2022) Russia accused of blackmail after gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria halted. United Kingdom: The Guardian

[xviii] (16 May 2022) Monkeypox – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Switzerland: World Health Organisation

[xix] Fischer, R.S.B. (10 August 2022) The Monkeypox Epidemic Is Unusual: Here’s How I Know. United States: Medscape

[xx] Miller, J. Vladkov, A. (4 May 2022) VW sells out of electric cars in Europe and US. United Kingdom: Financial Times

[xxi] Olcott, E. (2 June 2022) Amazon to close China Kindle Store after losing out to domestic rivals. United Kingdom: Financial Times

[xxii] Wolf, M. (26 June 2022) Grim times lie ahead for UK as inflation combines with low growth. United Kingdom: Financial Times

[xxiii] Silver, L., Huang, C., Clancy, L. (29 June 2022) Negative Views of China Tied to Critical Views of Its Policies on Human Rights. United States: Pew Research Center

[xxiv] Reuters staff (16 September 2022) EU saw 53,000 excess deaths in July amid record heatwave: report. Canada: Global NEWS

[xxv] (8 September 2022) Queen Elizabeth II has died. United Kingdom: BBC

[xxvi] (23 October 2022) Sunak warns of economic challenge as he prepares to become PM. United Kingdom: BBC News

[xxvii] Ravenscroft, T. (19 October 2022) Drone footage reveals The Line megacity under construction in Saudi Arabia. United Kingdom: Dezeen

[xxviii] (17 November 2022) In defence of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup. United Kingdom: The Economist

[xxix] Amos, J. (9 February 2022) Major breakthrough on nuclear fusion energy. United Kingdom: BBC News

[xxx] Wilson, T. (11 December 2022) Fusion energy breakthrough by US scientist boosts clean power hopes. United Kingdom: Financial Times