Population: Giving Voice to the Elephant in the Room

United States

PMC and the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere co-hosted a two-day workshop in Washington, DC on March 23- 24, 2014 to discuss and formulate strategies for reemphasizing population size and growth as primary components of political, social and environmental agendas around the world.

The Population: Giving Voice to the Elephant in the Room – Perspectives, Goals, and Action workshop gathered experts from international population and environmentalist groups, foundations, universities, and policy makers and civil society leaders for discussion as part of PMC’s issues advocacy.

The workshop looked at interconnected global problems that are threatening humanity, such as: poverty, water scarcity, extraordinary weather events, widening gaps between rich and the poor, loss of biodiversity, and toxification of the biosphere. Participants discussed why, although population is one of the most basic drivers of these related problems, conversations about the need to humanely stabilize and then reduce population size are taboo, highly politicized and avoided. Participants then brainstormed ways that population could re-enter the conversation, not as a hot potato — but as an essential component of responsible governance.


As part of PMC’s issues advocacy, PMC provides opportunities for thoughtful discussion about the impact of the world’s increasing population and how individuals and organizations can best work to bring human health and human rights enhancing solutions to fruition.

Making a Difference

The Population: Giving Voice to the Elephant in the Room – Perspectives, Goals, and Action workshop resulted in a joint-submission by PMC and MAHB to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) regarding their work of drafting a set of indicators to help guide monitoring and evaluation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The PMC/MAHB comments were directed towards SDSN indicator “2c” (“Realize sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, and promote the rapid reduction in fertility to replacement level or below through exclusively voluntary means”).

As of October, 2014, follow up to the conference was ongoing, including continuing conversations with meeting participants about the feasibility of  an effective 21st century social movement around the population issue.

Project Information

Title: Population: Giving Voice to the Elephant in the Room – Perspectives, Goals, and Action
Format: Issue Advocacy: Population
Location: Washington DC, USA
Language: English
Duration: March 23-24, 2014

PMC and the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere co-hosted this two-day workshop.


This project funded by

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