The climate emergency is motivating many young people to become climate activists, and the buzz about their upcoming Global Climate Strike is invigorating. From September 20–27, students all over the globe will take to the streets to call for an end to the age of fossil fuels. Their demands are clear: transition to 100% clean energy, leave fossil fuels in the ground, and help victims of climate crisis. They write on the Climate Strike website, “Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.”
World of 7 Billion
Population Education offers a unique opportunity for middle and high school students worldwide to educate themselves on global issues surrounding climate, natural resource use, and social justice through film-making and advocacy. The World of 7 Billion international student video contest challenges students to consider how population growth impacts other global issues and to offer ideas for sustainable solutions. Students must consolidate and present their findings succinctly in a 60-second short film and are eligible to win up to $1,000 in cash prizes for top videos. The videos are judged by a panel of topical experts.
The contest began in 2011 as a one-off project to recognize global population reaching 7 billion. What was meant to be a one-time contest turned into an annual project of the Population Education program. Now in its ninth year, the contest receives nearly 3,000 submissions annually. Participation has grown to an estimated 5,500 students worldwide, from 50 countries and 48 U.S. states and territories.
In the fall of 2018, we added an Activism Toolkit to the World of 7 Billion website. We designed the toolkit to equip and empower contest participants to put their knowledge into action by organizing in their schools and communities, engaging their lawmakers, and adjusting their day-to-day habits in sustainable ways.
2019-2020 Video Contest
This year’s World of 7 Billion challenges are: Sustaining Water Systems, Ensuring Economic Opportunities, and Improving Climate Resiliency. Submissions will be accepted through February 27, 2020. More information, including resources to get students started, can be found here. If you’ve got a middle- or high-schooler in your life, encourage them to submit a video!
We’ll leave you with the high school first place winners of last year’s World of 7 Billion contest:
Sustainable Resource Use
Pitt Pongpittayapa & Kritin Vongthongsri
Protecting Human Rights