Did you know that in just a few months the global population will have reached seven billion? That’s more than double the number of people living together on our planet just 50 years ago. As our population continues to grow, addressing existing challenges such as health, urbanization, education, and the environment becomes increasingly important, and new challenges and opportunities arise.
A few months ago I was invited to participate in a weekend-long brainstorming session to explore this issue. That gathering resulted in the formation of a special task force sponsored the by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an arm of the UN whose mission is to “promote the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.” In addition to representation from Thomson Reuters and other large organizations like IBM, SAP, T-Mobile and many others, participants came from NGOs and nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and some of the leading social media platforms, e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc.
The purpose of the gathering and the task force is to explore how social media technologies can be used to spur conversation and raise awareness, commitment and action around the challenges and opportunities we face as we approach the seven billion population mark this fall. The result of our efforts is the “7 Billion Actions” campaign, a call to action to highlight the challenges, opportunities and actions that will shape our common future.
I’m very honored and proud to be a part of this initiative on behalf of Thomson Reuters, and to help announce that today, July 11th, is World Population Day and the kickoff of this worldwide advocacy campaign, 7 Billion Actions, which will continue through October 31st, the date the UN projects the world’s population will reach and exceed seven billion.
The goal of the 7 Billion Actions campaign is to promote dialogue about what it means to live in a world with so many people and to encourage action on issues that affect us all as global citizens. The UNFPA, the 7 Billion campaign task force members and partner organizations will organize a variety of related activities throughout the next four months to support these goals.
Here’s a bit more about the campaign and the challenges and opportunities we all face as we approach this milestone: