More than ever the Union is facing new challenges and so do the rural areas in Northern Europe. The tasks for the Innovation Circle network did not become less important. In fact, the network is needed now more than ever. As Rita Merca, IC chairwoman stated at the annual conference in Jurmala: “There are many networks in the world but we believe in ours” - with this positive, strong and confident avowal we should focus on the New Year. For now we wish you a successful and happy New Year full of joy, new projects, enriching cooperation and supportive friendship.

For review of the year 2011 the New York Times collected some of the major stories of 2011 in different videos. Also the German news magazine Spiegel came up with a Year in Review Pub Quiz where you might discover News you may have missed in 2011. The magazine also collcected the best pictures of 2011. And for those of you who prefer to move forward instead of looking back: Here you find 12 presentations that deal with the question "What will the world be like in 2012"; from global themes to trends in social media and marketing as well as digital innovations and the world's economic situation. 

"2012 belongs to those who focus on beating themself", says Stefan Hyttfors a keynote speaker who calls himself a digital revolutionist. He is also sure that "2012 will be brilliant for those who make a difference". So let's focus on the future, on the needs of the common people and rural areas and let's make a difference for all of us.

Happy 2012!

Pictures: Flickr © SamwiseGamgee69 (top) and © SJ Photography