Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get. But maybe your question isn’t here, or you want to write an article about us and need more information, or you have a project or a business idea involving our New7Wonders concept and you want to start the conversation. If that’s the case, contact us and we will respond immediately!
Who decides what a “Wonder” is?
You do. We do. Everyone does. New7Wonders has created a global voting platform for democratic participation and worldwide consensus on what constitutes Global Memory. By casting hundreds of millions of votes using the New7Wonders platform, people are creating lists of wonders: human-made, natural, urban, symbolic. The New7Wonders are a unique representation of global consensus and they form Global Memory — those canons of 7 things that everyone can and will remember. This is our legacy for future generations.
What is the difference between New7Wonders and all the other lists of wonders?
For many hundreds of years there have been lists of wonders, seven or more. Newspapers and magazines often publish lists. Sometimes academic organisations and scientific groups announce their own lists. Travel companies suggest the seven places you should visit. TV programmes have been produced on world wonders. Web content and navigation initiatives such as the world wonders project provide a lot of information on the many hundreds of marvellous places in our world. However, the fundamental difference with New7Wonders is this: for the first time in history, people from all over the world are directly able to choose the Wonders and other symbols of unity, casting hundreds of millions of votes.
What does New7Wonders give to the world?
New7Wonders makes four major contributions to the world:
- Organising the worldwide New7Wonders campaigns
Organising, producing, financing and hosting these historic and very first ever global participation campaigns. Giving citizens of our planet an opportunity to create a consensus on 7 symbols of unity, respecting and honouring the diversity of our world.
- Immediate benefit: Economic contribution made by New7Wonders
New7Wonders generates significant economic benefits for its participating locations. Four independent studies (not commissioned by New7Wonders) have shown this:
- A study published in by Pearson of London (leading publisher of university textbooks, and of the Financial Times newspaper), where it valued the economic contribution made by the first campaign to elect the man-made New 7 Wonders of the World as being in excess of US$ 5 billion worth of tourism, economic and promotional value. Please click here to download the attachment.
- A study published in by Grant Thornton of South Africa, which values the economic benefits of being successful in the New7Wonders of Nature as generating US$1.012 billion in the first five years alone for each winner (to which one can add the significant value of promotional and brand image which has not been included in this valuation).
- A study published by JDI of South Korea, which values the economic and tourism benefits of being successful in the New7Wonders of Nature as generating for each winner US$1.837 billion per annum.
- A study published by Fundación Mediterránea of Argentina cites the “wonder effect”, where the chosen locations all around the world, and without exception, show significantly higher tourism growth rates compared with worldwide average tourism growth. These four studies show how New7Wonders is an extraordinarily positive force in the world, bringing people together using modern, direct, interactive media, and in the end through this generating real economic plus-value.
- Connecting the world: Stimulating online empowerment.
Through its positive and popular campaigns, New7Wonders stimulates online empowerment in the world, both in developing countries (where people are obtaining their first e-mail addresses and going online for the first time in their life, by voting for the New7Wonders campaigns) as well as so-called developed countries (where both the older non-digitalised generation as well as the very young are also joining the online world for the first time through New7Wonders voting).
- Long-term objective: The New7Wonders Foundation mission of Global Memory
The Foundation objectives are not restoration or other similar initiatives, although the huge economic benefits outlined above will allow governments and public authorities to have the funds to do this themselves, and indeed this is something we expect them to do – to honour the fact that these locations have been chosen as Wonders. The objectives of the New7Wonders Foundation are towards Global Memory.
What authority does New7Wonders have?
The principal authority of New7Wonders comes from its own activities. Through the first-ever global vote with the man-made New7Wonders of the World, the second global campaign to elect the New7Wonders of Nature, and the third New7Wonders Cities campaign, New7Wonders benefits from the legitimacy of its voters and participants around the world. Over 600 million votes to date makes New7Wonders the de facto worldwide authority on the election of the new world wonders.
What is the relationship between New7Wonders the UN and Unesco?
New7Wonders has in the past worked with the United Nations, specifically with the United Nations Office For Partnerships. New7Wonders is not in partnership with Unesco, however, and there is a very good reason for this: due to its remit of cataloguing and long-listing world heritage locations, without being seen to favour some over others, Unesco is by statute not able to organise or endorse popular initiatives such as the New7Wonders campaigns. We see the activities of the UN and Unesco, and those of New7Wonders, as being totally complementary.
How is New7Wonders funded?
Funding for our campaigns, the New 7 Wonders of the World, New7Wonders of Nature and New7Wonders Cities came from different sources: telephone voting, license fees for the Official Declaration events, as well as license fees from companies that became Official Supporter sponsors of the Finalists. Sponsorship a well-recognised system used for events around the world and, regarding optional telephone voting, there was a small cost contribution that each caller made when using the service. Online voting via new7wonders.com was entirely free to use – in fact New7Wonders funded the costs of the website, the servers and the global voting platform.
Why is New7Wonders both a foundation and a commercial operation?
New7Wonders is both a foundation and a commercial operation. The New7Wonders organisation is based on a similar structure to other major international bodies, such as the International Olympic Committee. At the core of New7Wonders is the Swiss-registered non-profit New7Wonders Foundation, which organises the global activities and ensures objectives are met. As with other foundations that cannot by statute operate commercially, New7Wonders has transferred commercial operations to its licensing companies, NewOpenWorld Corporation and Global Platform Limited, which work to ensure that all the significant costs are covered. The best comparable example is the National Geographic Foundation and the National Geographic companies. Those companies are a commercial business and it shares some of its surplus with the foundation. The commercial operation ensures finances are intelligently managed so that funds can be generated for the foundation.
What happens to the costs, revenues and surplus?
New7Wonders exists without any form of taxpayer subsidy or bureaucratic burden on the public purse. In these challenging economic times, this is a positive virtue. It also guarantees the independence of New7Wonders from any kind of government interference or lobbying. Instead, New7Wonders funds itself via private sources such as sponsorship, the licensing rights to its events, and interactive telephone revenues. The funds that NewOpenWorld Corporation and Global Platform Limited receive through New7Wonders licensing and commercial partnerships are used as follows: (i) To set up and run the global New7Wonders voting platform, (ii) To run the first campaign that chose the man-made New 7 Wonders of the World, (iii) To run the second campaign electing the New7Wonders of Nature, (iv)To run the third campaign New7Wonders Cities, (v) To run the New7Wonders organization, (vi) To fund the WondersWall.com platform, (vii) to invest in future New7Wonders projects such as the Home of Global Memory.
Where are the headquarters of New7Wonders?
The first New7Wonders headquarters were at the Heidi Weber Museum on the shores of Lake Zürich in Switzerland. This was the last building to be designed by Le Corbusier, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. Le Corbusier framed his final masterpiece in steel and glass and thus created a signpost for the future. In May 2014, the Heidi Weber Museum was donated to the public domain and is being managed by the city of Zürich. The New7Wonders Foundation remains based in Switzerland and is evaluating country and city options for a new global headquarters.
Who is Bernard Weber?
Bernard Weber is the Founder and President of New7Wonders. Please see this page for more information.
What is happening now?
The New7Wonders Symbols of Peace campaign is underway, and you can suggest your own symbol and participate here: 7symbolsofpeace.com. Many different cultures, religions, political movements and individuals have developed peace symbols over the years and the goal of this campaign is to encourage a global debate during a time of uncertainty and yearning for hope.
Also, every year on 7 July (07 07) we all together celebrate the official world 7 WONDERS DAY. And our interactive platform WondersWall.com is growing all the time, building towards our Home of Global Memory.