Yesterday was World Population Day, an annual event to raise awareness of global population issues. This year, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund chose the day to kick off a yearlong push to improve investment in adolescent girls. Girls around the world face greater challenges than their male counterparts. Yet with the largest percentage of youth in history, we - as a global population - have a great opportunity to improve the future of humanity by improving the fortunes of girls around the world right now.
Twenty years ago, 179 countries met in Cairo to adopt a forward-looking 20-year plan to address the population issues of the early 21st century. The resulting ICPD Programme of Action was remarkable in its recognition that reproductive health and rights, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are cornerstones of population and development programmes. The visionary plan is rooted in principles of human rights and became the steering document of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
One year ago, The United Nations Population Fund asked us to help engage youth in a global discussion to help set UN population policy for the next 20 years. Hundreds of youth leaders met at the Global Youth Forum in Bali - joined by thousands participating online representing every country in the world (even Antartica!)- and drafted what has become known as the Bali Declaration. Setting specific, bold targets for improving the status of women, LGBT, and underprivelidged youth, as well as improving health, education, and employment worldwide, the Bali Declaration has been hailed by some as the most progressive UN Declaration to date.
We were honored to be asked by Catalyst magazine to tell the story behind the 7 Billion Actions campaign that we created with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Published by Pratt, Catalyst (formerly Catalyst Strategic Design Review) strives to "stimulate thinking and encourage conversation about the role of strategic design in defining and developing creative economies and thriving cultures for an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future". We co-wrote the article, which appears in the Designing Peace Issue, to tell the story of the thinking, strategy and tactics behind 7 Billion Actions.
Currently running in The Netherlands, the ICPD International Conference on Human Rights is the second of three thematic conferences that will shape UN population policy for the next 20 years. (The first was the Global Youth Forum in December.) Hosted by UNFPA, the Government of the Netherlands and The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the conference is focused on identifying emerging challenges to delivering equal rights for all. We are proud to extend our relationship with the ICPD partners to deliver a visual identity system that set a tone of hope and empowerment for all conference materials.
Did you know that 43% of the world is under age 25? Almost half! And that number is over 50% in developing countries. This number represents a half of the world that has long clamored to have its voice heard - and has found technology and social media to be the platforms that finally give them the influence they have long demanded. Just look to Egypt and the Arab Spring for potent examples of the power that youth wield today.
We just added a handful of projects to the Work portfolio on our site, including the 7 Billion Actions campaign and AccessRH program that we branded for The United Nations Population Fund, the trilogy of album covers we did for Bruce Levingston, as well as a gallery of event invitations that we have produced in the last few years.
In addition, we've begun writing down some of the great things clients have been saying about us. We have added quotes from our longtime client Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost as well as the United Nations Development Program to accompany the projects in our portfolio section. We have some others coming soon, and all are being collected on our Clients page.
UVC had a great year in 2011, working with clients we love to create design and branding for meaningful campaigns, products, and companies. One of our favorite projects was the UN's 7 Billion Actions campaign, which encouraged people to take action to help the other 6,999,999,999 people on Earth. So, we were thrilled to see the banner we created for the campaign appear in Google's Zeitgeist 2011 Year In Review video. With over 7 million views on YouTube (not to mention over 300,000 people who have seen the banner in person in front of the UN headquarters in NY), it might just be our most-seen project to date. Check out the video to see our work (at the 0:10 mark) and the other events and campaigns that changed the world in 2011.
Here at Ultravirgo, we are passionate about projects that improve public health. And we believe everyone has the right to enjoy quality reproductive health. But quality supplies and reliable information are often hard to come by in low-and middle-income countries, jeopardizing this right. Which is why we were proud to work with the United Nations Population Fund to help launch AccessRH, a new approach to reproductive health supplies procurement that also offers access to the largest database of contraceptive procurement statistics in the world.
As of today, according to the United Nations Population Fund, the global population has reached 7 billion people. It's a difficult number to comprehend. For example, when we were creating the 24 foot banner that is hanging outside the UN headquarters in New York (and other countries around the world) my first thought was to use the extra-large canvas to create a grid of 7 billion dots and recolor them to create the message. Until I did the math, realizing it would require 352,254 dots per square inch. To me, however, the number is just an abstract figure anyway, and not what is important about the milestone. What is important are the 7 billion individual people that it represents.
We've been honored to be doing a lot of work lately for the United Nations Population Fund. We recently wrapped up a complete brand package for a new initiative called AccessRH. Combining their existing procurement system for ordering reproductive health supplies with the largest database tracking reproductive health supplies ordering in the world, the initiative is a giant leap forward in improving access to contraceptives, especially in developing countries. With 201 million women around the world expressing need for contraceptives that they cannot obtain, there is a huge need for improvement. Meeting their needs would avert some 52 million unwanted pregnancies each year. We are honored to be able to help UNFPA communicate the power of their groundbreaking efforts.
This week, we attended twin launch events for the 7 Billion Actions Campaign that we have been developing with The United Nations Population Fund. As you may or may not know, the global population will be hitting 7 billion on October 31, and the campaign aims not just to raise awareness of not just the population issues involved, but to highlight the efforts (big and small) that individuals and organizations have made to make the world a better place.<
We are thrilled to be working with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to help support the recently-launched 7 Billion Actions campaign. With the global population set to hit 7 billion people (!!) late this year, UNFPA is taking the lead by starting a truly collaborative global movement. Partnering with corporations, NGOs, and non-profits around the world, the campaign aims to inspire awareness and action around the issues that impact our global experience - by moving the focus beyond the numbers, to the stories of the 7 billion individuals that share our planet. The entire Ultravirgo team is honored to be part of this historic moment, and look forward to contributing our expertise to the movement.