World Population Day 2020 Live Q&A

17 March 2020

World Population Day (WPD), established by the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, falls on 11 July every year and seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.

Last year, we marked WPD by holding events in three cities in three different continents - Lagos, New York and London. Read about our WPD 2019 activities here.

This year, due to the pandemic, we are marking the event digitally.


Join us for a live discussion about population and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)!


Where: Population Matters' Facebook page

When: 5pm UK time (British Summer Time), 11 July 2020 






Robin Maynard (moderator), Director, Population Matters


Wendo Aszed, Founder and Executive Director, Dandelion Africa

Wendo Aszed is the founder and executive director of Dandelion Africa, a grassroots organisation in Kenya focused on women’s health and economic empowerment. A former bank executive, she has dedicated herself to the welfare of women in rural areas. Founded in 2009, Dandelion Africa provides economic and skills training as well as health information and contraception, and is constructing a maternity clinic.


Kelley Dennings, Population and Sustainability Campaigner, Center for Biological Diversity

Kelley Dennings helps lead the Center’s work highlighting the connections between human population growth, consumption and their threat to endangered species and wild places by promoting rights-based solutions like voluntary family planning. Before joining the Center, she worked in waste reduction and forest conservation. She is a certified family planning health worker. She holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from N.C. State and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Florida


Laurel Hanscom, Chief Executive Officer, Global Footprint Network

As CEO, Laurel Hanscom leads the overall operations and strategy of Global Footprint Network. She is constantly searching for ways to increase the impact and relevance of Ecological Footprint research. Since joining Global Footprint Network, Laurel has worn various hats, but she has a particular passion for Global Footprint Network’s open data platform and sustainable development projects. Laurel also contributes to the production and improvement of the National Footprint Accounts. Before joining Global Footprint Network’s research team, Laurel worked in the Office of Strategic Information, Research & Planning, at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, DC, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. Her two years in the Ecuadorian Amazon were preceded by a brief career as an environmental analyst at AECOM, specializing in socioeconomic and environmental justice impacts. She holds a BA and MA in geography from San Diego State University, where her research focused on climate change vulnerability and agriculture.


Mari Marcel Thekaekara, Indian writer and campaigner on women's rights

Mari is a writer and human rights activist based in Gudalur, in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu. She writes on human rights issues with a focus on dalits, adivasis, women, children, the environment, and poverty. Mari's book Endless Filth, published in 1999, on balmikis, is to be followed by a second book on campaigns within India to abolish manual scavenging work. She co-founded Accord in 1985 to work with Adivasi people.



Audience members will have a chance to submit questions for the panel by commenting on the Facebook live stream. 



Learn more about population and the SDGs here.

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