Zurich, Switzerland: Dear friends of New7Wonders, I send you my best wishes for New Year’s Day. As we enter 2016, we are full of hope for the future and we want to share this message of optimism with the world.
The last 12 months have been marked by many noteworthy achievements and as we reflect on 2015 we have good reason to be enormously proud of the accomplishments of the New7Wonders movement. Let me give you some examples:
- In early May, Vigan was officially inaugurated as a New7Wonders City. Among the dignitaries attending the ceremony at St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral were Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay and Mayor Eva Medina of Vigan. The inauguration proved that heritage preservation and urban development can be two sides of the same coin: “In our quest to become strong competitors in the ASEAN and global economies, we cannot be too quick to tear down the old to build the new without serious deliberation and debate,” said Vice President Binay.
- The past year also witnessed further expansion of the “New7Wonders positive impact” phenomenon, which led to economic and social growth at all the Wonders actively promoting their status using a variety of means and media, including the Visit7Wonders platform.
Among the many media reports about the world of New7Wonders, two deserve special mention:
- The Daily Mail article “A cut above the rest: Stunning drone photographs capture the new Seven Wonders of the World like you’ve never seen them before” featured some truly extraordinary images and it shows how the Internet of Things is changing the way we see the world.
- The viral Instagram postings by Megan Sullivan about visiting the New7Wonders of the World in 13 days after being diagnosed with skin cancer. Megan is from California and like many Hollywood adventures this one had a very happy end.
So much for the past 12 months; our plans for this New Year involve:
- The Official Inaugurations of further New7Wonders Cities, starting with La Paz in Bolivia, scheduled for April 7, and La Habana, the capital of Cuba, thereafter.
- The continuation of the New7Wonders VII (Verification, Information and Improvement) audit programme, which is scheduled to review additional New7Wonders of the World in 2016, including Chichen Itza (Mexico), Machu Picchu (Peru) and Petra (Jordan).
And there are two major developments in the pipeline that I’m particularly excited about:
Firstly, the launch of the official New7Wonders Brand Book early this year. A Brand Book describes the tradition and values of a brand, presents rules that explain how it works and is designed to ensure that all touch-points (brochures, advertising, social media and so on) are treated in a consistent way.
Secondly, the launch of the redeveloped and totally updated mobile, tablet and PC Wall of Wonders experience. This is a major continuation global platform that has emerged from the hundreds of millions of votes that have chosen the New7Wonders. Created to bring together the people of the world, the Wall of Wonders will become the virtual manifestation of our movement and is open to all age groups, races, religions and cultures. Everyone is welcome to upload his/her or group photo. Simply, choose your Wonder, upload your photo, share with everyone and become part of the #wallofwonders
At a time when the news cycle is dominated by stories of trouble and terror, New7Wonders is an example of a positive vision that inspires global progress. We are determined to face the challenges of the New Year holding that positive belief firmly in our hearts because it is our greatest strength.
In this spirit of hope, I wish you a Wonderful New Year!
Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders