Every person on this planet has a story. It is estimated that this week the 8 billionth inhabitant will be born on Earth.
You will immediately think it will be in China or India. However, it could well be in Buenos Aires, Madrid, Bogota or Miami.
I was born in September 1969 when man was still talking about the feat of having reached the moon.
At that time, the Earth was home to a little less than 4 billion inhabitants.
According to the UN population counter, I was the 3,636,491,711th inhabitant.
In a little more than 50 years, more than 4 billion lives have been added to the history of planet Earth.
When my grandfather was about my age there were 2 billion living in the world. And when my oldest son is my age we will be crossing the 9 billion milestone.
The biggest leap in growth occurred in the 19th century, doubling the population in 100 years.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the leaps from one billion to one billion occurred in an average of 14 years.
They calculated that we would not reach 8 billion until 2025, but we are 3 years ahead of schedule.
About 40% of the eight billion live in China and India.
According to Time magazine, some 108 billion people have lived on our planet since the appearance of Homo Sapiens. That figure can be translated into less than 7.5% of all born humans alive right now.
Numbers help to understand only part of the context. Yet they can never communicate the true dimension of each person, of each life, of each story, of each feeling.
We are many but we are all unique, unequaled and unrepeatable.
That is what makes Earth a special place.
It was only in 2007 that most humans started living in cities, and in 2018 that most gained access to the Internet.
Two billion people were already connected to the Internet 10 years ago. Internet users in the world now reach 4.95 billion people.
A decade ago 73% of the world’s population was not yet connected, today more than 62% of the world’s population is.
Men and women have good news. We are practically in a tie.
On Earth there are 50.5 % men and 49.5 % women.
One out of every two people on Earth live in a city; about 55% of the world’s population. It is estimated that by 2050, the urban population will double, and almost 7 out of 10 people will live in cities.
Every day more than 200,000 people move to an urban center. And this trend is consolidating.
The average age of the world’s population is 30 years old.
In a young world, a new history may be about to be written.
The challenge. In the era of storytelling, where we recover the value of storytelling, of stories, the number 8 billion takes on a capital relevance.
It is exciting to see that, despite everything, the 21st century has broken down borders and flags to bring people together.
The “silent majority” puts human needs before ideological discourse.
The social, economic, political and cultural transformation we are undergoing is forcing us to make an enormous effort to adapt, which, to a greater or lesser extent, affects us all.
Some experts say that, for the first time in the history of mankind, parents are learning from their children.
Eight billion can be seen as a lot of people to compete with or as 8 billion new opportunities.
Many of the positive changes are related to the unstoppable and vertiginous advance of technologies and their extension to all orders of development (personal, professional, educational, industrial, economic, political).
And these advances can help make the world a fairer, more balanced, responsible and sustainable place.
It is also clear that challenges such as eradicating hunger, poverty, illiteracy, wars, child malnutrition, climate change and so many others force us to face the coming years with an iron responsibility.
This cannot be solved on its own, nor by a few. It can only be solved by all of us.
Only if we succeed will it be possible for future generations to write one day, in some digital media: “When my grandfather Andy was my age, there were only 8 billion people living in the world”.
Leaving a better world to our children is not only a pending subject, but also a responsibility.