1. Sky City, the world's tallest skyscraper, to open in Changsha, China
Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world, officially opened on January 4, 2010. It’s both an architectural marvel and a reminder of hubris—for it coincided with Dubai’s financial troubles. Its record will be broken by China’s Sky City in June 2014. Sky City will be 838 metres tall, will house over 30,000 people and have over 100 elevators for 202 storeys. The building is to be completed within 90 days (excluding the 120 days for prefabrications). Currently, it is awaiting environmental clearance.
Even as India’s Mangalayaan gets closer to Mars, Nasa’s New Horizons, aimed for Pluto in 2015, will cross Neptune’s orbit in August 2014. The spacecraft was launched in 2006. You can’t, of course, watch it, but one spacecraft that you’ll probably be able to see is the International Cometary Explorer, which was launched in 1978. It will be approaching Earth next year and, if it is not sent on another mission, you can see it on display at Washington’s Smithsonian Museum.
Image: Pascal Lauener / Reuters3. World Economic Forum in Davos
Hacks love to make fun of WEF—the annual meeting that takes place in the Swiss mountains—for its self-importance and rather abstract themes. Yet, it is also an event very few people decline. It is a great place to grasp the mood among the movers and shakers of the world and of course to network, make deals and schmooze. The theme for the 2014 meet, which takes place from January 22-25, is ‘The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business’.
4. New Fed chairman takes over in US
Even a year ago, we would’ve been reluctant to include this as a major event. But Raghuram Rajan, who took over as the RBI governor earlier in 2013, changed it all. Rajan made an already important role interesting. His equivalent in the US, Ben Bernanke, was an academic at Princeton before taking charge of the Federal Reserve and he oversaw the institution as the US went through its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Janet Louise Yellen is awaiting Senate clearance to replace Bernanke in February 2014. Image: Maja Hitij / Reuters5. Fall of Berlin Wall celebrations
When the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, on November 9, 1989, it was seen as a triumph of capitalism and democracy. The Wall had separated West Germany from East Germany. Today, it might be hard to see where the West ended and the East began. But to mark the occasion, the city plans to have light installations where the wall once stood, along with a range of events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the historic day.6. Elections taking place around the world
Elections will dominate the mind of every Indian in 2014. But, watch out for the polls in other countries too. Brazil, which will be in our radar anyway due to the Fifa World Cup, will also conduct its presidential elections in October. Indonesia will hold them in July, Afghanistan and South Africa in April.
(This story appears in the 10 January, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)