Seven Billion

Seven Billion of us ....... Click here for 
United Nations Population site to see changes that are making a difference by highlighting positive action by individuals and organizations around the world.

For the last few centuries the West has dominated economics, politics and culture, but now it's the East that could determine our future. Two countries dominate this new horizon, China and India.
India has a population of 1.1 billion of which 685 million are 30 years and under. These young Indians will inherit this new found global influence, but who are they and what do they think about life?

Following on from the success of iSpeak China, seen by over 11 million people, Adrian Fisk made a journey through India to find an answer to this question.

"I found young Indians aged 16 - 30 years, gave them a piece of paper and simply told them they could write whatever they wanted to, I then photographed them holding the paper.
These images allow us an unprecedented look at what young India is really thinking. The Economist magazine has India verses China on its front cover. Through iSpeak we can make our own conclusions about these two emerging giants."

 Click here for the images and what the people interviewed wrote on their pieces of paper

and here for the same i speak exercise in China

Click here for a smorgasbord of short stories from around the world of people and their work for change...

Although this poem specifically mentions American life it is equally true for any of us in rich countries. Live simply that others may simply live is an old aphorism and one that I know I am far from reaching...


When she awoke in the morning

She threw back her all cotton sheet,

Cotton woven in a far off country

By a dark skinned girl chained to her large loom.

When she went into her kitchen

She ground beans to brew her coffee,

Beans grown, roasted in a far off country

Where the tall trees were cleared off the land

For the coffee bushes to be planted

And tended by boys not in school and men

Old before their time and where all the waste

From treating the beans is flushed and dumped

In the river, adding that detritus

To the human waste and chemical run

Off already there in the gray water

And where downstream others used the water,

That dark water, for cooking and bathing.

After her children boarded the school bus,

Wearing clothing made in the Philippines,

Mauritania, Taiwan, a hodge-podge

Of imports from other worlds, far off countries,

Where sweat shops flourished,

Filled with child workers,

She went shopping:

Guatemalan cantaloupes, Mexican tomatoes,

Chilean oranges, California lettuce,

Carolina rice, Michigan peaches,

Blueberries from Maine, all bought because

In her garden she grew hybrid tea roses,

Siberian iris, cross-bred daylilies in six colors,

Held down by pine bark, chipped in Oregon.

Then she roamed the market aisle marked

"Special," and bought a basket, its colors

Imitative of Mexican folk art, made in China,

The price suggesting child or prison labor

Dyed the fronds of grass, wove the basket

And attached the label.

She ate a quick lunch of a hamburger,

The ground beef from a far off country

Where the virgin forest was burned off

So cattle could graze on tropical grass,

The bun made from Canadian wheat

And the ketchup, again those Mexican tomatoes.

She drove home to prop up her feet

On the foam cushioned sofa, turn on the TV,

Assembled in Nicaragua,

In a maquiladora by a woman

Who rose at five a.m. to walk three kilometers

To the bus, who then rode twenty-five miles

To the factory in the tax free zone,

Who worked from eight to five

With a quarter of an hour to eat

Or use the toilet,

Who got home at eight o'clock

To bathe and feed her three children,

With eighteen cents an hour in her pocket

On good days.

The woman on the sofa

Watched two soap operas

As usual on a week day,

And ate ice cream,

American ice cream.

She liked American ice cream.

She lived an ordinary life


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