In our weekly ‘good news round-up’, we feature three positive stories from across the week that showcase incredible innovation, significant breakthroughs, and exciting progress within the realms of healthcare, climate and sustainability, equity and inclusion, workplace wellbeing, social impact and more.

Here are our favourite positive stories of the week, 13 to 19 May, 2024.

1. Nintendo announces move to diversify its boardroom

The video game giant Nintendo this week announced that it is looking to appoint three more women to its board of directors. The company was founded in 1889, but it wasn’t until 2020 that the company appointed its first female board member. If approved, the appointments of Eiko Osawa, Keiko Akashi and Miyoko Demay will take effect from June 26.

Although the gaming industry has historically been male-dominated, Nintendo has made significant strides in promoting gender diversity, with high-profile women at Nintendo including Aya Kyogoku, the director of “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” and Eiji Aonuma, the producer of the “Zelda” series.

Read more here.

2. JPMorgan Chase commits £40m to connect underserved communities to economic opportunities

This week, JPMorgan Chase announced new investments in the UK to the sum of £40 million, over five years, aimed at improving access to job opportunities. The company intends to reduce barriers to entry-level positions and improve access to quality careers with a focus on operations and technology jobs across the firm.

The business will look to help young people access better career guidance, employability support and training to kick-start their careers. 

The firm is also supporting the development of easy-to-use financial management tools – offering solutions to help UK residents better manage their day-to-day finances.  

Read more here.

RELATED: Explore our upcoming programme, The Future of Work: People, Culture and Tech

3. Innovative AI noise-cancelling headphones prototype revealed

Colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle have created a prototype for AI noise-cancelling headphones that can remove specific noises or even isolate one person’s voice.

The innovative headphone technology allows you to select certain background noises to drown out, and home in on one specific voice. The device uses an artificial intelligence system called a neural network that has been trained on multiple types of sound, enabling users to manage certain categories of sound via an app, allowing it to either be passed through the headphones or blocked out.

The creator behind the technology, Shyam Gollakota, says the effect is like an ‘audio spotlight’, allowing users to focus intently even in chaotic or loud environments.

Read more here.

RELATED: Explore our AI & Big Data: Empowering Tomorrow programme

News-style programme AI & Big Data: Empowering Tomorrow will explore the organisations using AI and big data as a force for good. The programme will be premiered at TechEx Europe, 1st-2nd October, in Amsterdam and will feature thought leaders TechUK and more to be confirmed.

Also… New sightings of sei whales in Argentina

Image: Instagram @sei_whales_

After nearly a century of being hunted to near extinction, sei whale populations are bouncing back and returning to their former habitats, in Argentinian waters.

The 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling continues to show extraordinary benefits, with sei whales returning to the South American nation’s coastal waters for the first time in nearly a decade.

Mariano Coscarella, a biologist and marine ecosystem researcher at Argentina’s CONICET scientific agency, explained that the whales “reproduce every two or three years, so it’s [taken] nearly 100 years for their population to reach a level where people can notice their presence.”

The third largest whale in the world, the sei can weigh up to 28 tonnes and is among the fastest whales on the planet.

Read more here.