In 2011 the world's population will exceed 7 billion people. To mark this milestone, Global Voices has been commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund  (UNFPA) to write a series of posts that celebrate how one person or group can still make a difference in a world of 7 billion people. The stories , by Global Voices authors in different countries, will form part of a global campaign called 7 Billion Actions . Every story will also be translated by Lingua  into the UN languages French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic.
The challenges of keeping the world's people alive and healthy are many.Nearly all of the population growth taking place (97 out of every 100 people) is happening in less developed countries, where people are already vulnerable and at risk from weather disasters, water and food insecurity. In wealthier countries, people are concerned about low fertility, and ageing populations. And across the world, the gaps between rich and poor are growing.
Global Voices covers the challenges of global development year round (see our special coverage on the Millenium Development Goals ) but with this series we're looking forward to trying something a little different. We'll be celebrating the positive initiatives of individuals and organizations with short portraits that could inspire action elsewhere. Women's rights, education, sustainable urban and environmental development, are all issues that require urgent solutions, and clearly citizens themselves need to be a part of them.
Our authors for this series are based in Malawi, Egypt, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Brazil, and many more countries. Between them, they speak more than a dozen languages. Through their writing and translating we hope to introduce you to many new people, ideas and stories you won't hear about elsewhere!
Visit 7 Billion Actions  to engage with the campaign.
Here's a slideshow by the UNFPA about the population challenges ahead.