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New Program Plans of The Population Institute

August 01, 2008

In February of this year, the Board of the Population Institute (PI) began a process to reshape the leadership of the organization and to redesign its program activities in order to enable it to be even more effective in addressing global population concerns.
Over the last five months, PI has considered how it can more effectively impact the ways in which world population growth is contributing to various global crises: the energy crisis, the water crisis, the climate crisis, the food crisis, the decline of biodiversity, political instability and the failed state syndrome, as well as ongoing poverty and health problems that especially affect people in countries with rapid population growth. During this time, the Board has been considering various strategies for utilizing its resources to develop and support programs that would make a significant contribution to the resolution of these crises.  The Board also considered PI's proud 39-year history and its programs that have helped to focus the world's attention on the fundamental need to bring population into balance with the world's resources.
The outcome of this process was a decision to form a partnership with Population Media Center (PMC) and to name Bill Ryerson, PMC's founder and President, as President of the Population Institute.  Bill served as a Director of the Youth and Student Division at PI during its first decade, where he worked alongside PI's founder, Rodney Shaw. His many years of experience in the population field, along with his keen understanding of what is required to solve the population problem, put him in an excellent position to lead PI to a new level of effectiveness in its work.
The partnership of PI and PMC makes a great deal of sense.  PMC's work using entertainment-education serial dramas in developing countries to role model small family norms, elevate women's status, and promote the use of family planning had its origins at PI during the 1970s. The activities of the two organizations today complement each other in many ways. Working together will also ensure greater efficiency.
We have exciting program plans. One of the most significant will be an enhancement of the Global Media Awards, a program through which PI has encouraged journalists and commentators worldwide to emphasize the importance of population and its impact on global issues. PMC's involvement in the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, the Hollywood community, and its work with broadcasters around the world, will give the Global Media Awards a new level of prominence.
Another planned program will involve outreach to parliamentarians worldwide to build understanding of, and commitment to, sound population policies.
Additionally, PI, in collaboration with PMC, will work to implement a program to place population experts on talk shows and news interviews and to distribute relevant editorials to print media nationwide.
During PI's early years, it worked extensively with large membership organizations to build their support for bringing population into balance with natural resources and educating their members about population issues. PI is planning similar initiatives now, including outreach to faith-based organizations to build their support for voluntary family planning information and services worldwide.  Similarly, we plan to work with our colleagues in the environmental community whose missions are impossible to achieve without population stabilization.
We will also work with national and international educational institutions to incorporate population education programs into their curricula. It is critical that the leaders of tomorrow and people everywhere understand the implications of population trends for the future of our planet and what is required to solve these problems.
We welcome your suggestions, your involvement, and your continued support -- all of which make the vital work of the Population Institute possible.

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