By October 31, 2011, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) calculates that the human population will surpass 7 billion. This milestone represents both huge opportunities and challenges. Many people live longer healthier lives, and have fewer children, but great inequities exist. The UNFPA wants to harness the power of Social Media to raise awareness and social responsibility about the effects of growing to 7 billion.
On June 15, I was included in a “UN Hack Day”, along with other SAP employees, IBM, National Geographic and several others, to assist with their awareness campaign called “7 Billion Actions”. We reviewed their requirements for a website, Twitter page, and Facebook page, and provided recommendations and next steps to help them succeed. It was very rewarding to share experiences and insights from a social media perspective, to support such a positive cause. Our recommendations were around SEO, web page design and promotion of social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, etc.), as well as marketing advice that included standardizing brand, clearly defining the call to action, and highlighting what will be coming in the next few months.
On July 11, this campaign will launch its first phase, a call to action for people all over the world. You can help. Simply go to the website and click on "Stay Connected" just below the photo image, and providing information about your interest in one of seven key challenges. Then, stay connected by following @7billionactions on Twitter and liking 7 Billion Actions on Facebook. You will have access to the countdown to 7 billion, but more importantly, you can learn about the challenges ahead and how you can make a difference.
While on the site, explore the 7 key areas for action:
Poverty and Inequality: Breaking the Cycle. Reducing poverty and inequality also slows population growth.
Women and Girls: Empowerment and Progress. Unleashing the power of women and girls will accelerate progress on all fronts.
Young People: Forging the Future. Energetic and open to new technologies, history’s largest and most interconnected population of young people is transforming global politics and culture.
Reproductive Health and Rights: The Facts of Life. Ensuring that every child is wanted and every childbirth safe leads to smaller and stronger families.
Environment: Healthy Planet, Healthy People. All 7 billion of us, and those who will follow, depend on the health of our planet.
Aging: An Unprecedented Challenge. Lower fertility and longer lives add up to a new challenge worldwide: providing for aging populations.
Urbanization: Planning for Growth. The next two billion people will live in cities, so we need to plan for them now.
I am sharing this with you because I know that you are a community of caring individuals, who take challenges like these, apply your innovation and talents, then turn them into amazing results. You have a history of supporting the World Food Program with "Points for Food", and many of you support additional sustainable activities, both online and in your local communities. Please take a few minutes to connect and raise your awareness.
*Credits: Much of this content was built with reference to UNFPA materials, including press releases and web pages found at www.7billionactions.org.