As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of Elevate on July 6th, 2021, it’s an appropriate moment to look back at some of the notable events that occurred a decade ago. Like any year, 2011 saw its share of highs and lows, and joys and sorrows. Some events now seem like flashes in the pan, while the fallout from others continues to reverberate.

In terms of politics, 2011 seems most likely to be remembered for the political upheavals, collectively referred to as “the Arab Spring,” across Northern Africa and the Middle East, including Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain. Following a January referendum, South Sudan became an independent state in July. Throughout the year, EU member states wrestled with the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.

It was a year of fearsome natural disasters. In March, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami killed thousands and precipitated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. In late April, the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded pummeled the southeastern United States. There was severe drought in the Horn of Africa, Mexico, and the southeastern U.S, while Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, and Australia experienced historic floods.

In the world of business, LinkedIn went public in May; September saw the start of “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York, which sparked similar demonstrations around the world. But the most reported business story was undoubtedly the October passing of tech visionary Steve Jobs.

In the arts, women ruled the pop charts, with Adele, Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga collectively accounting for the number-one hit record for 36 weeks in 2011 – though that didn’t stop electro-funk group LMFAO from scoring the smash summer hit, “Party Rock Anthem.” On movie screens, instalments of the Harry Potter and Transformers franchises were the highest-grossing films, while The King’s Speech won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay. In the United States, the TV shows Mad Men and Modern Family ruled. July saw the untimely death of singer Amy Winehouse at age 27 and the passing of famed portraitist Lucian Freud at 88.

As for sports, in July, football fans witnessed perhaps the greatest upset in the sport – and certainly in the women’s game – when Japan defeated the United States in penalty kicks to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Earlier in the year, India bested Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup, the first country to win the title on home soil.

It’s always best to end on a happy note. As far as celebrations, the wedding of the year – arguably of the decade – was the April nuptials of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton, attended by 1,900 guests at Westminster Abbey (along with an estimated two billion television viewers). Ten years later, the royal couple is still going strong – and so are we here at Elevate!