Today our world added its 7 billionth member. Imagine a world population of 7 billion people! While that is staggering, I find the rate of growth even more astounding.
In 1999, we had just passed the 6 billion mark, which is 1 billion people in just over a decade. And in just 8 more years, we are expected to add another 3 billion people. By 2100, we will be a world population of 10 billion people and growing.
I highlight these statistics neither to be an alarmist nor to advocate for more birth control or other social programs. Rather I raise it to ask, what does this mean to us and to our future generations? What will life be like and how will life have to evolve to accommodate this rate of growth?
One thing I have learned is that extrapolating the past to predict the future is usually wrong. We create the future so that it solves the problems of the past, and this ends up transforming the way we live. This is the very nature of creativity, the very essence of life itself.
The rather dramatic rise in population will inevitably create many new challenges, challenges that will call forward the creative essence of being human. I cannot predict what that creative energy will produce, but perhaps collectively we can catch a glimpse of some possibilities. What creative solutions will we bring into existence? How do you think our world will change and how will we evolve as a species?
[Image: Flickr user Pavlunka]