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Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Students discuss solutions to world overpopulation in One World event

The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and the UF community is gathering on campus today to save it.

To address the issue of increasing world population, Challenge 2050, a UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences program, will host One World today in the University Auditorium to bring students and professionals together to discuss solutions.

Five individual students and one four-student team will present their ideas on how to solve global resource problems. Jenn Wert, Challenge 2050 coordinator for partnerships and creative initiatives, said the ideas include a water purification device and a shoe that collects electricity to power devices.

The presenters were selected from about 80 others by video submissions explaining their ideas. Those selected won $500, and one will win an additional $1,500 after the presentations, Wert said.

Cameron Outlaw, a 21-year-old UF political science senior, is one of the six chosen.

He is proposing a website called “One Solution,” where people from around the world can connect.

On the site, people can submit posts about problems they face and solutions they found. The users would be connected by keywords in their posts.

Outlaw said he wants to make people feel inspired and empowered.

“It’s really cool and kind of nerve-racking,” Outlaw said.

Registration is free, open to the public and can be completed from the event’s website. It is funded by $10,000 from Syngenta, a Swiss company that produces seeds and agricultural chemicals, and about 400 people are expected to come, Wert said.

Wert said those who attend will discuss future problems and solutions within groups of people from different disciplines. It brings undergraduate students into a discussion usually reserved for graduates and professionals.

“Our hope of One World is really to showcase the genius of our students, because they’re absolutely amazing,” she said. “Just because someone is 18 doesn’t mean that their perspectives are less valid.”

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