By this time next week, the world's population will exceed 7,000,000,000 people. That compares to 2,949,715,925 on the day I was born. (Way back then there were only about 42% of today's global population living on this third rock from the sun.)
Earlier this week, I witnessed the launch of an extraordinary event supporting the global movement for the 7 Billion Actions campaign. I had the privilege of participating in the two-part event, hosted by SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and SAP Marketing, with co-hosts including the United Nations Population Fund -- UNFPA -- and the Churchill Club. The two parts were:
- Executive Roundtable on “Innovating for a World of 7 Billion”
- SAP InnoJam: "Actions to Innovate for a World of 7 Billion"
The Executive Keynote & Roundtable Got Our Minds Engaged
The Executive Roundtable event served as the kickoff of the 7-day countdown to 7 Billion (which will happen by October 31), and it brought together both technology experts and humanitarians to innovate and design solutions that will make the world better for future generations.
First, Jonathan Becher -- SAP's Chief Marketing Officer -- hosted an executive discussion with member of the SAP Board, Dr. Vishal Sikka, and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin of UNFPA.
No offense to my SAP pals, but I get to see and hear Jonathan and Vishal alot (SAP TechEd anyone?), so I especially enjoyed Dr. Babatunde, who is the Executive Director of the U.N. Population Fund, and previously served as Nigeria’s Minister for Health, and was also Director General of the National Agency of Nigeria for the Control of HIV and AIDS, which coordinates all HIV/AIDS activities in the country. What a fresh and powerful message from a world leader right there in our offices!
Jonathan then hosted a roundtable of luminaries including:
- Timothy Freundlich – President, Impact Assets; Executive Co-Chairman, Good Capital
- Dr. Dickon Pinner – Partner, McKinsey; Co-founder, McKinsey’s Cleantech Practice
- Dr. Kavita Ramdas – Executive Director, Ripples to Waves, Stanford University
Again, no offense, but... For me, Dr. Ramdas was the stand-out. She was the only woman on the panel (to be improved upon for next time; Jonathan promised!) and was quite articulate and outspoken. She was less "academic" in her views; more emotive and her comments came from passion versus mathematical equations and studies into macro-trends. For me, that passion resonated.
Launch and Demo of a New Analytics Tool for the U.N. by SAP
You can't get more than three SAP people together without a software demo, and the attendees in-person and virtually were not disappointed.
SAP and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled two interactive population dashboards using business analytics technology from SAP to create greater transparency and awareness around population data and trends.
The dashboards, accessible to everyone and anyone at http://www.7billionactions.org, will be used by the UN, local governments, economists and NGOs to make informed decisions on how best to allocate resources to have the greatest impact in a world of seven billion people.
It was exciting to see SAP technology and solutions being used for such important work. Here are another couple of screenshots:
Try these dashboards yourself, with your favorite country or region, and your preferred parameters (births, deaths, youth, seniors ...) at http://7billionaction.org/data.
The InnoJam Session Got Everyone Actively Working on Solutions
The SAP InnoJam -- with the same "design thinking" philosophies we employ at SAP TechEd events around the world -- provided a unique platform that challenged participants to co-innovate and design solutions to provide better access to health and education using sustainable business models for the next one billion people.
A non-profit called Ashoka, and representatives from nearby Stanford University led the way. (Rather than leaving societal needs for the government or business sectors to address, social entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions, delivering extraordinary results, and improving the lives of millions of people -- and Ashoka is supporting that kind of work.)
The InnoJam participants included over 100 people from the U.N., Ashoka, SAP, Stanford, local businesses, universities (shout-out to my new friend and teammate Stephanie who is working on her MBA from Cal State Chico - good luck in your job search!), and more. We split into about 7 or 8 smaller teams and then competed with ideas and solutions that were presented back to a panel of esteemed judges at the end of the day.
Another Favorite Part...
I also loved the music video shown during the event, in part because it was a beautiful song, but more because it was "crowdsourced" by the U.N. with singers and musicians from around the world contributing verses. It shows the richness of talent across the globe, and the beautiful diversity of the world's people! Watch it here:
Impacts: Immediate and Longer-Term
There were 210 people in-person at the event in Palo Alto. We connected to a high school in Philadelphia, PA to engage students in the 7billionactions project. And social media and online video extended our reach to 6900+ virtual attendees. We saw 830+ tweets from 240+ non-SAP twitterers, 294,000+ facebook impressions, and 50+ YouTube viewers within the first hours of the event.
Some of the immediate coverage:
- GigaOM published: How Big Data Will Help Manage a World of 7 Billion People.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer published: SAP's U.N. Platform Marks 7 Billion World Population.
- SmartPlanet.com published: The global population will reach 7 billion this month; here are 7 things you didn’t know
- Healthcare IT News published: As population approaches 7 billion, SAP and UN launch analytics dashboards
- CNN published: The buzz behind 7 billion people: a milestone and a warning
More Insights From Other Participants and Experts
The SAP Community Network continues to encourage social media promotions from for #7Billion from Bangalore and Madrid TechEd events – If this is a topic that interests you, please also view SAP Mentor The specified item was not found. (on the roundtable) and The specified item was not found. (on the InnoJam) to learn how see the event from another perspective.
Also note that other members of this community -- the SAP Community Network (SCN) -- are passionate about both sustainability and corporate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and there are discussions and solutions and actions around both.