Section V: Ecological Civilization

Track 3: Population and Women
Marilyn Hempel, chair

Friday, June 5   

11am to 12:30pm Section V Plenary 

Sandra Lubarsky “What Can We Hope For” 

Appalachian State University, Department of Sustainable Development, Boone, NC

                             Track Sessions (Bios Below)


2:00 – 3:30pm  Session 1 Women and Population where are we starting?

Marilyn Hempel

4:00 – 5:30pm  Session 2 Vandana Shiva She has helped thoughtful people everywhere to understand what “development” has done to women and to the poor. A leading world figure calling for redirecting our policies and practices.

Saturday, June 6

11am- 12:30pm Session 3 “Survival 101” Panel see below.

2pm – 3:30pm  Session 4 “Return of the Population Factor” Part 1
Panel see below.

4:00 – 5:30pm  Session 5  “Return of the Population Factor” PART 2

Continuation of 2pm panel discussion concluding with
specific action recommendations form participants.

Sunday, June 7 

11am-12:30pm Session 6 “The Eighth Billion” film and discussion.

Monty Hempel, award-winning documentary filmmaker,
                                        will present his film.” Discussion will follow.

2 – 3:30pm Session 7 “Population and Women”

     Marilyn Hempel, Sally Seven and other panelists.

4 – 5:30 pm Session 8 What is working and where do we go from here?

Without population stabilization there is no hope for a sustainable future.

Why? At this time in history, numbers of people – and what they do – affect EVERYTHING. At 7.3 billion, humans now impact every region of the planet. Whether your issue is climate disruption or loss of biodiversity or social justice, population is the great amplifier.

 Overpopulation and overconsumption have robbed poor people of their fair share of resources, and, horrifyingly, have robbed other species of their lives. Humans are causing the Sixth Extinction. At no other time on Earth has one species caused the death of so many other creatures – and has even changed the climate itself – the climate upon which all life on Earth depends.

 According to scientific studies and to ecological footprint analysis, at a modest European-style consumption level (half the consumption of the average American), the long-term carrying capacity of planet Earth is about 2 billion people.

The key question is: Can we move in the direction of sustainability? In order to do that, can we quickly stabilize, and then lower, human population numbers? Can we stop overconsumption and a culture based on Growth? How? What is the role of women? Would the world move towards sustainability more quickly if women were in charge? Join us for a stimulating conversation that will ask – and answer – these questions and more.

Share your expertise. Learn what you can do.


Title: “Survival 101”

The annual increase in global population (86.6 million more births than deaths each year) is the most rapid in the history of humankind. A business as usual scenario for the second half of the 21st century suggests the likehood of massive starvation and the certainty of unprecedented overwhelming migration.

▪Dr. Zhang Xiuyu will open with remarks concerning population impacts on the environment. (see biographies below)

▪Dr. Malcolm Potts will follow with why we should move into survival mode. For example, in the Sahel (north Africa) where Dr. Potts has worked for years, the food supply is growing arithmetically; the population increasing geometrically. Add in climate change, and the possibility of a Malthusian disaster seem possible — unless urgent, large scale policy changes and financial investments in family planning and girls education are made immediately.

▪Bob Gillespie will introduce the World Leader’s Statement on Population Stabilization.

▪An internationally renowned expert panel will share their ideas and engage the audience in discussion.


—Dr. Zhang Xuiyu; Dr. Malcolm Potts (Bixby Chair, UC Berkeley); 

—Robert Gillespie (President, Population Communication);

—Dr. Martha Campbell (President, Venture Strategies); 

—Prof. Monty Hempel (Hedco Chair, University of Redlands); 

—Sterling Franklin (Trustee, Morris S. Smith Foundation); 

—Dr. Sally Seven (League of Women Voters); 

—Marilyn Hempel (Executive Director, Blue Planet United); 

—Dr. Marilee Scaff (retired university professor).

Title: “Return of the Population Factor”.

Women Hold up Half the Sky – the Heavier Half. In some countries, women hold it all up. The sooner women and girls have equal rights – including the right to choose the number and spacing of their children – the sooner the world will be on the path to sustainability.

▪Dr. Martha Campbell will open with remarks, “Why the Silence on Population” She will describe a strange pattern of behavior in the early 1990s that suddenly caused vast numbers of people to avoid using the word “population”. She will explain how this happened, and tell us how we can, and must, end the silence on population.  

▪A roundtable discussion with the panelists from the morning session will follow, concluding with specific action recommendations.

 All conference attendees are welcome to join in this important discussion.

To learn more, please see the biographies of the presenters (below). Read the book Facing the Population Challenge: Wisdom from the Elders available on Amazon.


Biographies of Presenters

 Dr. Zhang Xiuyu has a PhD. In Science and is Senior Engineer and Deputy Director of the Research Center for Ecological Civilization at the South China Institute of Environmental Science in Guangzhou, China. Dr. Zhang’s field of research includes environmental strategies, ecological civilization, and the relationship between the environment and population.

 Dr. Malcolm Potts, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCOG, is a Cambridge (England)-trained obstetrician and biologist. He now holds the Bixby Chair of Population and Family Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained a double first in Natural Sciences at Cambridge and did his clinical training at University College London. Dr. Potts has been working internationally since 1968, when he became the first medical director of International Planned Parenthood Federation. Dr. Potts has written 11 books and published over 350 papers and articles. Dr. Potts latest book is Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World. He has been a frontline witness to conflict around the world. In combining personal experience with scientific findings in genetics and anthropology, he explains war’s pivotal position in the human experience and how men in particular evolved under conditions that favored gang behavior, rape and organized aggression. Dr. Potts charts a course for making warfare less frequent and less brutal.

 Dr. Martha Campbell is the President of Venture Strategies for Health and Development, and a Lecturer in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1994 she joined the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, directing the population program, which included reproductive rights. She has written and spoken on why there is silence and sensitivity around the subject of population growth.

 Sterling Franklin is Trustee of The Morris S. Smith Foundation. An attorney, he has spent a lifetime advocating for women’s rights and population stabilization. He is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood.

 Robert Gillespie is the President and founder of Population Communication. When Population Communication was founded in 1977, the world’s population was close to four billion. The seven billion people today are headed to eleven billion by the turn of the century. Population Communication is actively working on prescribing the actions to achieve replacement-size families by improving the status of women, guaranteeing quality family planning services, and reinforcing a human rights approach to reproductive health and family planning. Mr. Gillespie is the author of the World Leader’s Statement on Population Stabilization, signed by the leaders of 77 countries.

 Dr. Lamont C. Hempel holds the Hedco Chair of Environmental Studies at the University of Redlands, CA. As well as being a professor, he is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He is the author of several books, including Environmental Governance: The Global Challenge. His work has taken him to more than 85 countries.

 Marilyn Hempel is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization, Blue Planet United. For 21 years, she has been the editor of the news journal, Population Press. She was a delegate to both the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

 Jane Roberts is the Founder of “34 Million Friends of United Nations Population Fund”. She taught French before becoming a full-time advocate for women’s rights. She has been Woman of the Year in MS Magazine and received a Special Recognition Award from the Population, Reproductive Health, and Family Planning branch of the American Public Health Association. Since 2002, she has spoken at more than 50 colleges and universities and to civic, law, environmental, women’s, church, and public health groups about 34 Million Friends and the deeper issues of population, development, and environment, and of the human rights of women and girls.

 Dr. Marilee Scaff is a retired university professor of education. She holds an MA in religion from the University of Chicago and a PhD in educational psychology from the Claremont Graduate University. As well as being a professor and counselor, she is a lifetime member of the League of Women Voters. She is a full-time volunteer in the sustainability movement, especially in the areas of environmental protection and the empowerment of women. She is a leader in the Claremont movement to gain control of its water.

 Dr. Sally Seven is a social psychologist. She is the Past President and current Government Director of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County, current board member of the local Claremont Area League of Women Voters, and member of Health Care for All – California [San Gabriel Valley chapter]. Dr. Seven has over thirty years experience in education and in the analysis of command, management, and information systems. She earned her doctorate in experimental social psychology from the Claremont Graduate School University. Before becoming an ergonomics consultant, she designed and taught courses in communication, socialization, and critical thinking at Claremont McKenna College.