As the human race welcomes its seven billionth member today, Bernard Weber, Founder and President of New7Wonders, shares his thoughts about the challenges and the opportunities that this population milestone poses for our planet and our future.
Dear Friends of New7Wonders
With just 11 days to go in the campaign to elect the New7Wonders of Nature, the excitement is growing as the votes pour in. But there’s another story in the news today; in fact it’s 7 billion stories because the United Nations says that planet Earth’s population will reach 7 billion by the end of today.
The birth of the world’s 7-billionth baby should make us all pause for a moment to think about the kind of world that this child will experience. Already, our planet is facing huge problems: almost 1 billion people are hungry and the chance of catastrophic climate disruption is a real possibility.
But despite the dangers and the hazards, there are grounds for optimism. Technology is transforming lives for the better in the developing world, and by enabling 7 billion people to access information anytime, anywhere we can ensure that everyone has the skills to use the amazing ability of the new technologies to improve their lives.
The same central role that information technology has played in allowing New7Wonders to run open, global and democratic voting campaigns shows how it can be a major part of the solution to many of our problems. With the decreasing costs of smartphones in the developing world we are seeing a new generation accessing the Internet. Through better network connections, more creative software and the vast amounts of knowledge now accessible to millions, technology is connecting and educating the planet. This is a truly positive, hopeful development.
How we respond today will determine whether we have a more healthy and sustainable world in which the New7Wonders of Nature are preserved for the 7-billionth human to enjoy, or one that is marked by inequalities, economic decline and environmental tragedy. The choice is ours and we can all make a small contribution by voting for our natural heritage.
With warm and wonderful regards