As we look back at how events have unfolded in the past year or more, a few things stand out. We are seeing unusual shifts in tone and tremendous change on a whole host of cultural and societal issues. Gender equality, gay rights and same sex marriage, issues of race and religion, women’s empowerment, the list goes on. Covert topics are out in the open and fringe debates have moved front and center thanks to the many platforms and avenues to air them. The tools of communication are being deployed in powerful and impactful ways – through movies, books, and more – and people are lapping up these stories.

This issue of Viewpoint examines the dynamics of cultural change and resistance to it, as well as the enabling role of various media. It also includes a list of the top social, political or technological milestones that are likely to impact public behaviour or mindset going forward.

We hope these viewpoints and the important questions they raise fuel many more productive debates and discussions.

Wishing all our readers a year of positive change ahead.