We are 7 Billion – what’s next?

October 31, 2011

Earlier this year I wrote about ‘awareness raising campaigns‘. Although the 7 Billionth Person mark is not an awareness raising campaign per se, it has many of the same characteristics.  It has been interesting to watch the progression of public attention.  It started a few weeks back when the United Nation Population Fund (UNFP) released its 2011 State of the World’s Population report predicting 7 billion people by 31 October.  Next came a run of ‘fun’ stories such as National Geographic’s “World’s Most Typical person” and online  interactive activities including the BBC’s “What’s your Number?”  Then on “the day” itself a plethora of articles and blogs some of which were collected on the Good Intentions blog.

There are a lot of important issues here, not the least of which are: what are the implications of population growth? Is it population growth per se we should be worried about or consumption and distribution (of basic goods and services) patterns?  Who should be making decisions about population control?  What roles do governments, NGOs, and individuals play?  But after all of the attention subsides and the public’s attention moves on to the next issue, where does that leave us?  Hopefully in a place where we have all learned something that will move us to some type of action.  For policy makers and thought leaders that may be looking at questions in different ways.  For individual actors, hopefully with a heightened commitment to (and perhaps some new ideas for) making the world our new arrivals come into a better place.  Some good ideas can be found from the UNFP’s 7 Billion Actions campaign & from the UN Foundation.

So welcome Danica or Nargis or Moussa or Sofia or Daniel or Chloé or Cheng and so many others around the world.  We’re glad you are here and we hope we can make this world a better place for you.