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Listening to 7 Billion Voices

Liviane Urquiza's picture
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What does love mean to you?

​In this video you can watch and listen to people from multiple countries, origins, religions and cultures, answering the question.

Love. 7 billion Others

Like fear, hope, sadness, joy, loneliness, and awe, love is a universal feeling. By asking the same questions on elementary matters to thousands of people around the world, a web project has collected precious clues that we – the 7+ billion individuals currently living on Earth –have a lot more in common than we may think.

I first heard of this project called “7 Billion Others” in 2007 when I was studying storytelling. The lecturer was demonstrating the importance of telling a story that matters to the audience. I remember when he said that this was the only way anyone could make a positive change actually happen on a large scale – because a story well-told can impact the way you perceive the world as much as if you had lived the story yourself.

7 Billion Others was launched 10 years ago, not to drive political or social change, but simply to listen in order to better understand. Between 2003 and 2011, 6,000 interviews were filmed in 84 countries, while web users were invited to submit their own testimonies directly on 7billionothers.org. Now the website shows a collection of portraits revealing deep similarities regardless of the tremendous cultural diversity presented in the testimonies.

The suggested mosaic of testimonies may be a good start to learn how to better deal with our similarities and differences. In addition, initiatives like 7 Billion Others or “One Day on Earth” (another video project dedicated to worldwide people stories) provide an opportunity to listen to voices that do not usually reach a wide audience. I also think that these initiatives are powerful advocates for inclusion of minority voices, which is a crucial matter if we want to build a better future together.

A “Development Matters”  sub-project by 7 Billion Others aims to make worldwide citizens more sensitive to the global challenges and to inform them about the ins and outs of the Millennium Development Goals.

Play your part in the project

If you know how to make it relevant, telling your story is important, as it can help people become more aware of challenges that do not directly affect them.

You can contribute to the 7 Billion Others project. To do so, create a user account with your Facebook profile and then upload your video testimonial or submit a message answering the questions.

To watch more than 300 full testimonies on universal subjects like education, family, happiness, health, love, gender, nature, or war, check out the mosaic.

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