We know that population growth exacerbates every challenge we face. To address that, population growth, which is continuing at 80 million a year, should no longer be accepted as inevitable. Instead, we should mark World Population Day by calling on people to have smaller families and advocating for policies that support them, both in the UK and abroad, so that we can build a sustainable future with a healthy environment and decent living standards for all.
My nan died last week, age 96; a 'good innings' as they say. According to best estimates, when she was born she joined approximately 1.8bn people alive that day, and when she died she left behind 7.3 bn. That is over 4 times the population in less than a century; the proverbial population 'hockey stick' after thousands of years of a straight line.
We often hear it said that there are too many people on Earth, that 'overpopulation' is an existential threat, and that fewer people might consume proportionately less, resulting in some easy environmental gains such as less carbon output and fewer species extinctions. It's a seductive logic, but is it true?
Globalisation has rendered us increasingly inter-dependent with massive opportunities and also risks/challenges as a result. Driven by technological advances from transport, to communications, and electronic networks, globalisation has delivered important advancements in terms of movement and exchange of people, ideas, values, resources, commodities and finance.
By investing to make contraception available to every woman who wants it, improving access to safe abortion where it's legal and making sure that medical care is readily available when things go wrong we can make a real difference. It's not rocket science - even for someone still relatively new to the development sector like me.
So, next week the Scots will decide if they want to be independent. Let me start by declaring a lack of interest in this issue. A complete lack of interest. I think may be one-eighth Scottish but I really don't care if I have Scottish blood coursing through my veins. It hasn't affected my life either way.
Fewer women are dying in child birth, more girls are going to school, increased numbers of women are taking on roles in public office, there are more female entrepreneurs and less poverty. But significant challenges remain, and we are still a long way from achieving universal access to reproductive and sexual health and the realisation of reproductive rights for all.
At NPC we do all our techie work because we want to help the voluntary sector use its resources in the very best way it can. Without understanding what you are trying to do you can't really achieve it; without measuring it to some degree, you can't get better; and without shared metrics you can't learn from anyone else.