The annual World of 7 Billion student video contest challenges students to think critically about the world’s most pressing issues. Each year, the contest topics spotlight current global issue areas. The aim of the contest is to encourage students to consider the topics within a greater context.
These three lessons include topics of push/pull migration factors, population projections, and indicators that keep a community and its people healthy.
“Women hold up half the sky,” reads an old Chinese saying. Indeed, women have traditionally been the world’s farmers, child bearers, and caretakers – the backbone of families and societies. And yet, women continue to suffer from gender discrimination in much of the world. This second-class citizenship is detrimental first and foremost to the well-being of women themselves, and is also a major obstacle to advancing economic development, reducing poverty and achieving environmentally sustainable societies.
One of the greatest challenges facing our growing population is how we will feed 10 billion people. As our global family expands by 30 percent in just a little over 30 years, experts expect we will need to double our food production if we are to accommodate both the growing number of people and their changing diets. At the same time, climate change is beginning to affect every aspect of food production, creating a lot of uncertainty about the world’s ability to meet future food needs.
The global community must manage an ever-growing amount of pollution as our population continues to grow by 80+ million people each year, much of it in urban areas. This waste is in the air, on land, and in the water, affecting the climate and our very own well-being. Preserving our environmental quality in the face of a more urbanized, affluent, and energy-dependent world is one of the largest challenges of the 21st century.
Let’s be frank: the outlook for the Arctic isn’t exactly as bright as snow. In the past 40 years we’ve witnessed massive ice melting on sea and land due to anthropological climate change, and with our continuously growing population it’s showing no signs of stopping. Even holding the increase in global average temperatures to 2°C as outlined in the Paris climate accords (which is far from a sure thing) could mean a rise as high as 5°C in the Arctic. Current climate projections predict the Arctic will have its first ice-free summer midway through this century.
We are happy to announce Jeanne Tunks as the 2017 Most Valuable Trainer! Jeanne is currently a professor at the University of North Texas where she teaches a variety of courses, including math and social studies methods. She was introduced to the Population Education program by a colleague about 10 years ago and the rest is history!
Our large and increasing human population generates an incredible amount of waste that greatly impacts the environment and public health around the world. Recycling can make a big difference for our planet, but recycling correctly can be confusing and difficult. There are a host of myths, misconceptions and mysteries surrounding recycling, and what we can and cannot recycle.
The World of 7 Billion student video contest is back for the 2017-2018 school year, and this year’s topics are: Advancing Women and Girls, Feeding 10 Billion, and Preventing Pollution. In preparation for creating their videos, students may consider reading some contemporary books as part of their research to explore these global challenges.
In a world with more than 7.5 billion people, human overcrowding and rampant population growth is evidently distressing Earth’s systems and societies. Where do we go from here? Are we heading towards Earth’s breaking point? Why are we only asking ourselves these questions when we can also ask…renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough?!