Family planning is a fundamental right. More surprisingly perhaps, it’s also vital to improving children’s chances of survival. Ensuring women are able to plan whether or when to have children means babies and young children are more likely to survive, and it saves the lives of adolescent girls and women who are pregnant. And it helps countries to achieve their goals on development, and improve the lives of many millions of people.
How did we become so many? How large a number can our Earth sustain? These are important questions, but perhaps not the right ones for our times. When we look only at the big number, we risk being overwhelmed and losing sight of new opportunities to make life better for everyone in the future. So instead of asking questions like, “Are we too many?” we should instead be asking, “What can I do to make our world better?” or, “What can we do to transform our growing cities into forces for sustainability?” We should also ask ourselves what each of us can do to empower the elderly so they can play a more active role in their communities. What can we do to unleash the creativity and potential of the largest youth cohort humanity has ever seen?